Aramis Ramirez just changed the free agent market by signing a five-year contract with the Cubs for $73 million. The Cubs also signed Kerry Wood to a one-year deal for $1.75 million that could be worth as much as $6 million with incentives.
Also, the Orioles traded reliever Chris Britton for starter Jaret Wright and cash. The Orioles will pay $3 million for Wright's services next year; if your team is desperate for starting pitching, I guess there's an argument to be made that it's worth trading a decent young reliever for the right to pay Wright to start for you. This is especially true if your pitching coach is Leo Mazzone, who was Wright's coach when he had his one good season. But this is an uninspired move, to be sure, and not one I would make. As for the Yankees, they're paying $4 million of Wright's salary, but they would have owed him a $4 million buyout on his contract anyway, so they basically get Britton for free. They still need to look for starting pitching, but this is another good move by Brian Cashman and company.