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MLB Rumors: Jason Giambi And Pat Burrell

Buster Olney hits upon quite a few free agent rumors in his behind-the-wall Sunday column. Amongst the more interesting tidbits is his speculation that the Oakland A's will sign DH Jason Giambi and the Tampa Bay Rays will sign OF/DH Pat Burrell and reports that pitcher Ben Sheets medical records have team concerned with his shoulder and not the forearm that sidelined him at the end of 2008.

Of the two speculative signings, I can't see too much wrong with either assuming the contract length is minimal for Giambi and understandable given Burrell will be filling the DH role for the length of the deal unless the Rays intend to move Carl Crawford to right field. In Oakland, a multi-year contract will have Giambi blocking one of the few proven power prospects in the minor leagues right now - 1B/3B/OF/DH Chris Carter. Nevermind leaving the A's with nowhere to go with Eric Chavez if his multiple surgeries make 3B too challenging for him to do anything but DH over the last two years of his contract.

In Tampa, I don't have as many concerns about a Pat Burrell deal. The team doesn't have any hot power hitting prospects who would be blocked at DH or in the outfield over the next two seasons. According to John Sickels, the Rays don't possess any 1B/DH types in their Top 20, and the top OFers either missed a full season in A-ball (Desmond Jennings) or are 25-years-old without the power game to DH (Fernando Perez) regularly.

I like both Jennings in three seasons and Perez this season as a major sleeper in AL-only formats, but neither is threatened by Patt Burrell over the next two seasons.