The recent rash of ill-advised free agent signings (Damon, Washburn, Jones) has reminded me once again of something I hardly like to dwell on: there are some major league teams that have a lot of money, and there are some teams that don't. It's gotten to the point where not only can't a team like the Royals or Pirates afford the actual value for premium talent, but you can no longer even get premium talent for its actual value. Increasingly teams like the Mets are giving guys extra years in their deals for which they don't even expect them to be healthy or good.
So what's a po' team to do? Draft smart, trade often, and load up on free talent. The upshot of a team like Los Angeles throwing money away on Nomar Garciaparra is a player like Hee Seop Choi becomes available. If a team is neglecting its farm system, pick it clean by signing minor league free agents and using the Rule 5 draft. There are underappreciated and underutilized players all over major league baseball. (Can't Kevin Youkilis catch a break?) Of course, it would be a lot easier for the Rockies if they had two hundred million dollars. Come to think of it, me too.