Just a few short weeks ago the Bucs had several holes to fill. Alot of people here were not happy with not keeping Doumit around for 7.25 mil. The Front Office doesn't exactly look stupid for not exercising his option, seeing that he only got 3 mil to play for the Twins. Furthermore, picking up Barajas for 4 mil and an option for 2013 at 3.5 mil seems pretty smart to me. Now we can sit back and see what Sanchez can do in 2012, with an insurance policy going into 2013 if he falters.
Alot of people didn't want to see Cedeno let go. At 3 mil he sure seemed cheap enough. Cedeno really can make some flashy spectacular plays sometimes. Still it's easy to remember alot of posters bitchin here on gamethreads when he would make some very bad mental mistakes. I can recall one in particular when he let a routine groundball come to him instead of charging it, and the runner caught him napping and beat the throw to first. Now Barmes may or may not turn out to be a good signing. However it's just amazing to me that some people here are already discounting his power numbers. A few posters have pointed out ALL of his homers last season were to leftfield! Think about it though, other than the few premier shortstops out there, how many slick fielding players at this position have opposite field power?
The Front Office continues to draft well and smart, as evident when they landed Bell. They didn't sit on their hands when the Bucs were contending by getting Derek Lee. The pitching staff ran out of gas and they had several key injuries, not a good scenario for any small market team. They have made some great trades over the past few years that get overshadowed by the Jason Bay disaster. Karstens, McDonald, Tabata, Morton and Hanrahan are solid players to build around.
As we go forward I have all the faith in the world the Front Office will find a good IB and a quality starter to replace Maholm. Alot of people here are already writing off 2012 but I think there's a good chance come the All Star Break next season the Buccos will be right near the top of the division again. Only this time they won't fade.