I had just posted something else, when I noticed this ridiculous article by Jayson Stark. He spends thousands of words glorifying the moves Boston made this offseason, while saying that the Yankees just threw money at their problems.
“For $423 million, the Yankees obviously got some nice pieces,” said one scout. “But in terms of filling needs, I think Boston did just as well, if not better.”
We know the names in the Yankees’ new stimulus package: CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett. They were the biggest, brightest packages on the free-agent shelves, and the Yankees bought out the store.
But the Red Sox’s additions were products of a whole different philosophy, not just a whole different checking account. The four free agents they imported — John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Takashi Saito and Rocco Baldelli — cost this team 4 million fewer guaranteed dollars ($12.5 million total) than the Yankees will pay Burnett alone this year.
Nevertheless, the upside of those men gives the Red Sox four potential impact players without the price tags, or long-term inflexibility, that come with handing out contracts that run through 2016.
And that, for this team, was the whole idea.
Seriously??? The Red Sox offered Teixeira an 8 year deal worth 170 million dollars. They did not choose to go to the bargain bin, they were forced there by their inability to reel in their top target. Being that they did not bring in any other big bats, it seems that the Red Sox have acknowledged that they have a weakness in the middle of the order that has now gone unaddressed. This canard that they set out on this plan prior to the offseason is ridiculous, being that most baseball insiders believed that Smoltz and Saito would sign with their 2008 clubs. The Sox failed at their offseason goals, and turned to gambles that may pay dividends, if everything falls their way. They need Baldelli to remain healthy for the first time, Smoltz to recover from major surgery on the wrong side of 40, Penny to avoid shoulder issues that have already flared up, and Saito to stay away from the surgery that Dodgers officials were certain that he would need. I am sure some of these players will help the 2009 Sox for at least part of the season. However, Stark’s article is written as if all four would play as they had in the past, while the Yankees additions would flop in the postseason due to their inexperience. it is a wonder that ESPN can print such drivel without a disclaimer.
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