Perhaps it's just fallout from the Bowden years, like, "where'd he get THAT guy?" Plus, with the steadily increasing level of talent in the majors and minors (due to the truly global player marketplace), it makes it more likely to find someone useful in the scrap heap going forward.
Little did I know at the time I slapped together my little report that other pundits were weighing in on the six-year guys.
From the Baseball Prospectus chat with Chris Kahrl, Guru of "Transaction Analysis":
Will, aka RCS (Fredericton, NB): Of the six-year free agents, who could make a splash in 2005? Of last year's six-year free agents, who made the biggest splash in 2004? Did you notice any team's performing better than most others in signing the right players of this type?
Chris Kahrl: Much depends on who's doing the shopping. Certainly, some teams are more active than others in sifting through the minor league free agent bin, like the Reds, A's, Red Sox, even the Royals. The Yankees could really help themselves, but they barely bother to remember the names of anybody after the first twenty or so players in the organization.
Guys I like in this year's pool: C Mike Rose, UT Josh McKinley, OF Chip Ambres, RHP Brian Rose, perhaps 3B Jared Sandberg for teams with lefty platoonable pop in the infield corners. And Jack Cust, because if Cal Pickering can make it, why not Jack?