-The power has shifted in the AL West race, and fairly dramatically. Cliff Lee going to Seattle and Lackey leaving the Angels for Boston is a big swing in Seattle’s direction. Seattle now boasts arguably the best 1-2 punch in all of Baseball with Lee-Hernandez atop their rotation, and will therefore be extremely dangerous should they make the post season. The Angels are looking at Derek Lowe to replace Lackey (ouch!) and as things stand right now, the ace of their staff is Jered Weaver.
-It’s not as timely after Theo’s shopping spree yesterday, but I still love it when Shaunessy nukes the Red Sox. Here’s the money quote:
Everyone agrees that the Yankees can spend the most money. It was no fun watching New York commit a half billion dollars to messrs.Teixeira, Sabathia and Burnett last winter. But the Red Sox are not a team that can complain about Yankee spending. The Sox are a Have team, not a Have Not team. Boston is not Oakland, Pittsburgh or Kansas City. Through the years the Sox have been able to take players from other teams (Curt Schilling and Victor Martinez come to mind) because they can afford to pay.
They dished out millions for Johnny Damon, Keith Foulke, Daisuke Matsuzaka and J.D. Drew. They raided rosters of the Have Nots. Now they are complaining about Yankee payroll?
It’s absurd. Epstein, like Brian Cashman, can afford to make mistakes. Edgar Renteria and Julio Lugo are examples A and B of Theo’s biggest blunders. This year the Sox will pay $18 million to have Lugo and Mike Lowell (trade pending with the Rangers) play for other teams.
Epstein is touting organization prospects named Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish, Ryan Westmorland, Casey Kelly and Lars Anderson, but they are a couple of years away. In Boston the message needs to be “win now.’’
And that means “Beat the Yankees.’’
-While we still don’t have all the details, and I’m still not sure I understand the deal from the Phillies perspective, the best news about yesterday’s Roy Halladay deal is that he is out of the AL East. We no longer have to face him 3-4 times a year, we didn’t have to give up the farm and he didn’t wind up in Boston. This was the best case scenario for the Yankees, given what it would have taken to acquire his services.
-Mike Cameron’s signing with Boston and Hideki Matsui going to Anaheim should increase the chances that Johnny Damon comes back, since Cammy was an obvious backup plan for the Yanks. But then it would also stand to reason that Johnny’s better bargaining position will mean more years and/or dollars from the Yanks. If the budget holds (currently around 180) and Cashman stays true to inching down the payroll this year, that could mean a little less depth on the bench.
-With the reports yesterday that the Yanks are pursuing Ben Sheets, Johnny Damon still unsigned and apparently only enough room on the 2010 payroll for one or the other, it begs a question. If you’re Brian Cashman, and you have to choose between the two, which option would you prefer? Going with Sheets means Melky’s your everyday Left Fielder next year, but it also means you would upgrade your starting rotation AND bullpen, since you could move either Hughes or Joba there. Johnny Damon in Left with Phil Hughes as #5 or Ben Sheets in the rotation, Hughes/Joba in the bullpen and Melky in Left? Which team is better?
-The Red Sox aren’t done yet, not by a long shot. They may have solved their outfield situation with Cammy and bolstered their rotation with Lackey, yet the infield situation is still up in the air with Mike Lowell’s (still unofficial) departure. Which leads me to yet another good read by Lisa Swan, who’s really been making a name for herself in the Yankee blogosphere lately.
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