Transaction Analysis

Indians sign Ellis Burks for 3 years, $19.5 million

This is a curious move the Indians made. The signing of the very productive 36-year old outfielder isn’t that curious, but the timing is. If he can put up the same kind of production he has over the past two seasons, he’s worth the $7 million per season the Indians will pay him (although I’m not sure about giving a 36-year old with cranky knees a 3-year contract when he’s missed at least 40 games in three of the past four seasons). The curious timing is what's bothersome. It appears that this could be the end of Manny Ramirez hitting in the middle of the Indians batting order. The Indians still had a decent chance to sign him as no team has offered more than the 7-year $119 million deal they did. Now Burks saves them $10 million over Manny, but Ramirez is only 28 years old and arguably the best hitter in baseball. The only way this is a good move is if the Indians still do sign Ramirez or bring in a top pitcher (i.e. Mike Mussina) by using the money they saved in this deal. I don’t see either happening, so for now, and this is no offense to the production of Ellis Burks, this is a bad move because they made it too soon.

Triple Steal Rating: Out

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TripleSteal Rating Scale:
Grand Slam - A can't miss move; automatically makes the team considerably better.
Home Run -
A great move; will help the team now and down the road.
Triple -
A good move; plugs a temporary hole or will help in the future.
Double -
An average move; team will get what they paid for.
Single -
A head-scratcher; could help, but we definitely don't see how.
Out -
A panic move; tells fans "hey, we're trying..."
Double Play -
A disaster; will make fans angry just thinking about it.

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