This offseason's top free agent hitters had 1 complete hitter(Mark Teixiera) and the vast assortment of veteran hitters whose main money-maker is their bat and what they do at the plate. Manny aside, it took until January and February for said player-types to get signed and every single one of them signed for far below their perceived "market" values. Combined, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Adam Dunn and Milton Bradley make as much money as A-Rod's 2009. I realize that Raul Ibanez and Jason Giambi are both veteran bat-only players, but they're in the twilight of his career (ala Manny) and GMs or writers use intangibles as reasons why players get paid what they do.
What is interesting is that 3 out of 4 of the aforementioned undermarket hitters signed for playoff level teams who had glaring needs that these players filled. Yet these teams got bonus value with the fact that every single one of these hitters is a noted on-base threat and has obvious power?
So with the undermarket costs, why did only 1 non-2008 playoff team determine to disregard the ecomonic turmoil and pay what was needed to sign a guaranteed on-base and power threat? Every AL team could've plugged a Milton Bradley, Pat Burrell, Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu as they're DHs and negated their perceived defensive inefficiencies.
Was it Milton's tumoltuous past and injury-plagued career, was it Dunn's glove or his questioned "love of the game", Burrell's slow-footedness and 2-month slumps or was it Abreu's sudden diminishing power?
Who knows, but when baseball makes as much as it does...
Does it really matter??