Links from the past week or so… the economy is ok for the Yankees, the Sox new digs and UMass Hoops? Really? What is this 1995?
Yankees breaking the bank this offseason picking up CC Sabathia for seven years at 160 million, they also signed AJ Burnett with a five year 82 million dollar deal and traded for Mike Cameron. The Yankees will now have three of the five highest paid players in baseball on their roster. Right Brian Cashman take shots at the Red Sox for using John Henry’s plane to go to Japan while trying to get Dice-K. I know that the Red Sox aren’t some scrappy team that doesn’t have high paid players, some Sox fans are a little delusional about that but let’s not kid ourselves the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets clearly have the ability to spend whatever they want on players.
The Yankees have also reportedly offered a four year 66 million dollar deal to D-Lowe. They really aren’t messing around this offseason. Granted they’re breaking the bank to bring in the best available free agent pitchers it will be interesting to see if that strategy works out for them. It hasn’t really worked out that well in the past…see Brown, Kevin and Pavano, Carl. I’m sure they’ll be back in the hunt this year but the AL East is going to be a lot more interesting with the Rays, Sox and Yankees, I’ll also be interested in seeing what the Blue Jays do now after losing Burnett. The Jays always seem to make decent moves they just can’t quite put it together.
Meanwhile in Red Sox Nation…
His holiness Peter Gammons reported last week that the Sox were interested in acquiring John Smoltz. According to MLB.com the Red Sox will more likely add a second tier free agent pitcher like Smoltz rather than make a run at Derek Lowe. First off, doesn’t it seem a little weird that D-Lowe is being considered one of the best available pitchers? Sure he was an integral part of the 2004 World Series but that was four years ago.
With that said Lowe is a horse, he went 14-11 in 34 starts with a 3.24 ERA last year but Lowe has also pitched at least 182 innings in each of the last seven seasons only dropping below 200 innings twice while averaging 33.5 starts since being made into a full time starter in 2002. Whoever gets Lowe will be getting a quality guy who can certainly eat up some innings but the Red Sox don’t need a number one or number two starter, let me rephrase the Red Sox don’t need to give a guy that would be the team’s number four starter, ace or number two money, which is why Smoltz would be a perfect fit for the Sox.
Smoltz would fill the role that the Red Sox had set up for Schilling/Bartolo Colon last season. He would be a great guy to have there to bolster the rotation during the second half. Plus Tito likes to give Beckett some time during the season to recuperate before the playoffs, I could see him giving Beckett and Lester a little time off over the summer and Smoltz would fit in perfectly.
The other night NESN interviewed Theo at the winter meetings and he talked about teams want to win the offseason. He talked about how the Red Sox are focused on having a good offseason but the team’s main focus in winning during the season. Sure he said this before the Yankees started signing every free agent on the market that just because a team, but it was interesting to hear him talk about how it’s important to get your team ready for the upcoming season but to also have a plan in place for the future. The Red Sox have clearly shown their commitment to winning over the long haul by trying to develop their minor league players and signing guys like Pedroia to long term deals. Over the last 8 years the Yankees model of signing big name free agents has not been as effective as other methods of crafting a team. Hopefully the Red Sox balance of free agent signings and player development will continue to be successful, especially now that you add in the Devil Rays incredible rise. The AL East is going to be a war of attrition in 2009.
Some fans are up in arms about the Red Sox not picking up any of the big name free agent pitchers while others are furious about the new Sox unis. Not going to lie, I don’t mind them. The new road uniforms are pretty cool, they have a late 70’s/80’s feel to them and I like the hanging Sox logo being featured more prominently. People freaked out and thought the team was ditching the B logo for the Sox logo on the new hats but thankfully those are just alternate hats.
Mayne Street is awesome. I just watched these for the first time yesterday and after watching one episode I immediately had to watch the other nine. Kenny Mayne is hilarious, his demeanor and delivery is perfect and I can’t wait for episode ten. Even if you don’t think it’s good watch episode nine solely for the cameo at the end. If you don’t laugh at that you don’t have a pulse or like viral videos
The Angels offered Mark Teixeira an 8-year deal reported to be worth at least 160 million. I still think the Sox would be better off with Teixeira than any of the free agent (err…Yankees’) pitchers.
Manny Ramirez is considering retirement. Now I know this is very unlikely but remember when I said that Red Sox fans will be glad to not be a part of the circus that is Manny during the offseason? Well yes we’re glad. It is funny that after Manny carried the Dodgers into the playoffs he’s been an afterthought compared to C.C. and Burnett. You’d think if Scott Boras is creating markets for Tek he’d be able to get a decent offer for Man-Ram. This will probably workout well for the Dodgers in the end. Last year the A-Rod opted out of his contract with the Yankees hoping to cash in with another monster deal. When it didn’t happen he went back to the Yankees for a lot less than was expected. We could see the same with Manny if he doesn’t get the huge deal he was looking for he’ll probably end up back in LA, where he will be miserable by July, for a much shorter deal than what he originally wanted.
But obviously the Yankees have expressed interest in Manny…and why they wouldn’t.
Okie to run Honolulu Marathon...apparently he was intrigued by the Boston Marathon during last year’s Patriots Day game.
Also UMass beat Kansas yesterday 61-60…I’m going to see if I can find my Lou Roe jersey.
Can anyone beat the Celtics?
One final note – to everyone that got Red Sox tickets yesterday, specifically Sox Pax, then immediately put them on Craigslist…I hope all the bad things in the world happen to you and no one else…seriously I spent five and a half hours in the virtual waiting room on two computers and didn’t get any tickets. Sweet I can’t wait to shell out 80 bucks for bleacher seats to a Sox-Royals game. Stick to selling your Hinder tickets...assbags.