I suppose you saw that the European economy is all shot to hell and gone (though I think the Independent (link) is panicking a bit). This does not portend well for anyone.
What are several more years of a slow economy going to mean for sports? People are going to have less disposable income and they will cut out stuff they don't need (like baseball tickets and merchandise). TV networks are going to have less money to pay the leagues, and they'll be forced to charge advertisers (also feeling the squeeze) less in order to sell spots. There will generally be less money floating around.
I'm just guessing here, but I think highly-paid, long-term contracts are going to become less common and less expensive. It might be wise for Dayton to wait until late in the winter before he signs anybody, because there are likely to be fewer bidders for high-priced players. It might also be wise not to sign any expensive free agents this off-season to anything long-term. Especially anyone who's not a starter.
If Jackson or Maholm drops into our lap cheap, fine, sign 'em up. Rich Harden would come cheap, and so would Erik Bedard, though they're both likely to get hurt, so sign 'em up for one year with a club option. If not, wait it out.