Believe it or not, but the last place Red Sox may actually be in better position for future years than the AL East champion Yankees, argues Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. The Yankees have tens of millions tied up in an aging and increasingly unproductive roster, while the Red Sox shed much of their major payroll commitments when they dealt Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers.
Here are some news and notes from around the baseball world…
- Elvis Andrus is a major trade chip for the Rangers if they choose to move him, notes Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, who outlines Andrus' trade value and circumstances behind a possible deal. Durrett also says Texas could instead try to trade an older, more expensive player like Nelson Cruz or Ian Kinsler.
- The Rangers have interest in B.J. Upton but they see him as a corner outfielder rather than in center, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com as part of a fan mailbag.
- The longer Zack Greinke takes to pick his next team, the longer it will delay the rest of the Angels' offseason moves, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Greinke is the Angels' top target and his status with the team could determine what the Halos do with Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Torii Hunter.
- The Rockies have Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and A's third base coach Mike Gallego on their list of possible external candidates for manager, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Mark Wiley is the favorite to become the Rockies' new director of pitching operations, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Wiley, currently a Marlins scout, would oversee pitchers at all levels of the Colorado organization as the team tries to develop arms capable of performing at Coors Field.
- Andy Pettitte hopes to have a decision made about his playing future "in a month or so," reports ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand. The Yankees southpaw hinted last week that he was looking to return in 2013.
- The Yankees are in for a busy offseason though "by any objective measure, the Yankees aren't a team in need of a major overhaul," writes Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. Costa details the five most pressing questions facing the Bombers this winter.
- Wilson Betemit doesn't appear to have much of a role on next year's Orioles roster, writes CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff. Betemit is owed $1.75MM from the O's in 2013 and his $3.2MM option for 2014 will vest with 324 more plate appearances.
- The Twins have no plans to alter the dimensions at Target Field next season, team president Dave St. Peter said in an e-mail to reporters (including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger).
One sec, I want to predict the future: Red Sox fans will like Abraham’s article and yankee fans and fans who generally hate the Red Sox will scoff.
This amazing feat of reading the future is brought to you by SWP. When in doubt, accept no substitutes.
I simply cannot wait until enough various NYY/Sox fans read that and give opinions on it SWP.. No middle ground, but he does speaketh the truth on age.. WOW.. Which way does NY go?
We also should still wonder which way Boston goes, we know there is still 3 different way with them.. Spend like drunken dolts (almost no chance) partial rebuild with several FA and give up some top prospects via trade (My estimation about 50% chance) or the right way and total rebuild thru system more or less.
It is partially true that the Red Sox may be better off than the Yankess in terms of contracts but dealing Gonzalez, Crawford, and Beckett does put a dent in their roster talent-wise. So in essence, you trade financial commitment for a lower chance of winning your division. Not saying the Yankees roster getting old and becoming unproductive is going to be better than the Red Sox roster but old does not correlate to under performance and an under performing player can have a resurgence.
East Coast Bias
Hey, people say Yankees are washed up and aged has beens every year, yet we make the post season every year. In fact, we had the best record in the AL this year. Short memory span though…
Writers are just doing their job trying to get people to read their stuff. And beating up on the Yanks’ old age and ARod is the new black. I’m confident Cashman will work something out like he always does, and we’ll be back in the post season next year, like every year.
I’d like to thank you for proving my point.
Why would the Rangers view BJ Upton as a corner outfielder? He is a very good defensive CF.
Not really, is a big lazy and not the best with the glove. He mostly can get away with it because he has very good speed.
According to UZR, he was slightly below average.
He graded out above average the 4 seasons before that, with the first two being very good.
I’d agree with that article. The Yankees have an absurd amount of money tied up and a very, very weak farm system. The Sox freed up a ton of cash and have a pretty solid farm. The Yanks may win for a few more years, but unless they shed some serious salary and strengthen their farm significantly, they are in serious trouble.
Wouldn’t say very very weak. Most consider it a middle of the road, and sox’s farm is maybe 5 slots higher. People have been saying the Yankees are in serious trouble for years now. The difference that while the Sox may have a stronger farm right now they also have alot more holes. You don’t need a solid player at every position, you only need prospects to fill your future holes, and While the Yankees may have a few holes, the sox have many many holes in their team, in the rotation and several positions, whereas the yankees only need to find a rf/dh. They have some depth coming up in the positions they are weak. Sure they may be weak on top pitchers in the minors, but they allowed the 4th most runs in the AL.
It was middle of the road before guys like Betances imploded and Banuelos needed TJ surgery. They still have a few pieces like Sanchez and Williams, but it’s pretty weak given the disappointing seasons from their pitchers.
BA had them at 13, and 2 players isn’t everything. Preseason BA had only 1 yankee in the top 50. In their midseason ranking they put 3 Yankees in the top 50. Often times organizations take hits year to year on prospects. Yankees just had some very good performances from some of their minor leaguers.
Why don’t you do yourself a favor and reply on actual facts and not your biased opinion.
Do us all a favor and tell us where he’s wrong.
I want to see the Yankees look into role players. Guys who aren’t big named stars but guys who will do what it takes to better the team. Todd Frazier (3B) Justin Ruggiano (OF) Jeff Keppinger (INF) and Martin Maldonado (C) etc are all under the radar names who the Yankees should look into to fill their deeper needs. These type of players are young, can produce, and can resemble the mold of the late 90’s team who relied on timely hitting and contact, not solely power to win ball games. Look for speed, youth, and on base percentage this offseason. I’m tired of them going after the big names and the most expensive product only to have it back fire if they do not win. Seeing us get younger at positions like Third, Catcher, and the Outfield would be such a refreshing sight.
No more aging veterans… please!
Not a fan of the others, simply because they are rookies coming off good seasons, and would be pretty expensive to trade for, but I think they should have interest in Keppinger. He has the ability to play every position in the infield, and is a decent hitter. I think they could work him in almost everday giving him time in the field while someone else dh’s. I just think that he might be interested if he can find a starting job where he can establish himself.
I am a big fan of Keppinger. He’s a career .333 hitter against lefties (nearly 800ab’s) and .269 against righties which is just fine. And as you said, he can field.
East Coast Bias
What the hell are you talking about? What “big names” have we gone after recently? Bartolo Colon? Hiroki Kuroda? Look at the free agents last few years, and who the Yankees signed. It was no where near the “big names.” Selective memory, perhaps? Short memory as well. We won 95 games last year, with the same team that got swept by the Tigers. Let’s react, but not over react. Have faith in Cashman that he will do what is necessary and we will be back in the post season next year like we are every year. This isn’t a bad team, just played like one last few games.
Despite what it feels like, or what you read, it isn’t the end of the world.
Yankees sign someone when they see the need. Their infield is set, and they were fine in the outfield until injuries. This offseason they need to figure out RF and DH situation, and pitching and then they are pretty much set.
East Coast Bias
Also, “no more aging veterans” means no Hiroki Kuroda, no Raul Ibanez, no Ichiro Suzuki, no Andy Pettitte this past year. All “aging veterans” who were crucial to the success of this team in 2012. Are you saying we shouldn’t have signed/acquired them?
Contact hitting isn’t a problem for the Yankees. Multiple teams which were worse at making contact won 90+ games and/or made the playoffs this year.
A single with runners on 2nd and 3rd would be nice once in a while.
Yankees in 2012 were ranked 23 in team left on base per game and 16th in runners left in scoring position
Yankees were absolutely attrocious with RISP this season.
BJ Up as corner OF – that’s weird. As for Rangers being able to move Kinsler, good luck on that without sliding him into an enticement package with Andrus AND Olt. or a bad-contract swap (cue the ARod rumours!!)
is the kinsler remark a joke?
I hope so. The guy is making only 9ish mill a year, disgustingly good in the field at times, and a good hitter. Every team that doesn’t have a stud at 2B would kill for a guy like Kinsler. NTM his contract runs out at his age 37 year, and he’s a .311 career playoff hitter.
Look at Kinsler’s road numbers and then tell me what team would want him? He is a product of Arlington and wouldn’t produce anywhere else.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that a lot of players play much better at home. Yes, the splits are fairly extreme, but I’d be willing to bet he’d put up good numbers on teams other than the Rangers.
Kinsler signed a 5 year 75 million deal in April
“$13M in ’13, $16M in 2014 and 2015, $14M in 2016 and $11M in 2017. Option for 2018 is $10M with a $5M buyout.”
Still not that bad for a top tier 2B.
I can think of the Orioles as one team that would really like to have him.
East Coast Bias
a bad joke.
The only thing comparable would be a couple years back when Texas couldn’t move Michael Young without taking a huge discount and paying salary, who was owed comparable money, putting up likewise numbers and was still being billed as someone who could be moved back to either SS/2b still then.
‘cue the ARod rumours’ is, of course, a joke. Kinsler’s contract is a joke, too
Really don’t quite agree with abraham. Sure the Sox were able to get rid of alot of payroll, but with the loss of production from those 3 players next year could be huge. Agon is still top 5 1B, CC can be a solid LF, while still overpaid he can provide production, and beckett has turned it around into a good #2 in LA.
Sure it will definetely help them 3-4 years down the road, but in that time the Yankees will still be competing for the division. I think the biggest way that it will hurt them is the loss of agon. There aren’t really any top 1B available for several more offseasons.
Not sure why so many see Rafael Soriano opting out. Highly doubt anyone will pay him $14M, and how much will his value be different between this year and next.
for relievers, years mean more than annual salary sometimes. They have very short life spans in the majors. Look at Heath Bell
Bell has had a decent career so far. I really wasn’t a fan of that contract, but he should somewhat return to form. He has always played similiar to his FIP, but this year, he his era is way higher.
Out of the 3 closers last season
I think that soriano would fall in a similiar category to them, but there is a big distance between the 3 contracts. In 2 of them though you are looking at 8.5-9M. That is far from the $14M he is guaranteed next year. Relievers are not always short lifespan, they are often times starters that got converted and can get away for awhile by pushing up their velocity and only facing the batters once per game. Soriano is to the point where he is established and unless he is injured (which is true for any player) he should be able to get a decent contract. I think what Madson got after the new CBA came out should scare him somewhat.
Yea but the problem is, after his ups and downs, I don’t think he’d get more then 3-years $15 mil. Guys just aren’t spending on closers anymore (short of Philly).
While this may seem obvious to everyone, it takes one team. Like the Angels. Their pen was horrible, they need another top flight reliever. All of a sudden 3/33 looks better than 1/14
Yea, but you also have to opt out. 1/14 is guaranteed, sure he might be able to find a better deal, but he could also end up with a madson 1/8.5M
It’s extremely simple. Saves pay on the free agent market. Players can have monster numbers as setup guys but without the saves they don’t get the top dollar contracts. If he comes back next year he’ll be behind Rivera and he’ll have to face the free agent market with hardly any saves and a year older. Add in the fact that he almost never has back to back healthy years and he would be an idiot not to opt out. He won’t get a $14MM salary next year with his new team but over the next 3 years he’ll make more money and that’s what matters.
How exactly is the yankees roster unproductive? They probably had the best offense in the AL last year. A sample size of 9 games is nothing to base the quality of a team on. Instead maybe look at the previous 162.
East Coast Bias
You mean when we were the best team in the AL with 95 wins? Nah…
Exactly. They could change their approach a bit, but they aren’t in a rebuild mode, they led the AL in wins.
Wonder if the Pirates could have interest in Andrus, Cruz, or Kinsler. That would be a worthy upgrade. Cheaper than Hamilon and more reliable than Cabrera or any other free agent.
I dont think we would have much intrested in kingsler cause Neil Walker when healthy is a above average 2nd bman. We will not be looking to brin in an OF cause we got marte lf, cuth cf, Tabata/Snyder rf. Andrus would be perfect lead off hitter and ss our biggest need but no way they get him without moving cole or Tailon
It’s too soon to tell whether Abraham is right. By attrition, the Yankees are going to shear off old players quickly. Swisher is gone, Granderson has an option, Soriano, even if he stays, is just for one more year. Jeter has one more year (realistically). They could be a 75 win team next year, and maybe that’s not a bad thing. The Red Sox, in recent years, have had a gift for being ruthless with players that no longer fit. Maybe the Yankees need to show it as well. But even with all the money the Red Sox have saved, they still have to choose wisely the next time around. It was just a couple of years ago that the Boston Media was comparing the team to the 1927 Yankees. That’s one of the great things about baseball-you never know.
You really believe because a team didn’t hit in the post season that they’ll go from the best record in the AL to dropping 75 wins when they’ll have Rivera/Pettitte/Pineda/Gardner for the entire season? All they’re losing is possibly Swisher/Martin and Soriano but adding those 4 players and whoever they replace Swisher/Martin with is a net gain. Not a 20 win loss. They could have a rotation of CC/Kuroda/Pineda/Pettitte/Hughes/Nova/Phelps as depth next year. That’s very enviable. Don’t let the major media make you think this is a bad team just because they slumped offensively in the playoffs.
Rivera if hes in his old form will put up the same numbers as Soriano did the past year. So thats not really an improvement. Pettite is an ok starter but hes old and can he pitch 200 innings? No one knows what they will get from Pineda. The only sure upgrade is Gardner. If they let Swisher go like you said then they would be trading homeruns for Gardners defense and speed. Plus losing Martin who knows what they will get out of the catcher spot. Lots of question marks. I dont think they drop to 75 wins but I doubt they win 95 again.
C’mon really? Soriano walks over 3 per 9 and has problems with lefties and gives up way too many home runs and fly balls. Rivera is an upgrade in every way. Pettitte is an okay starter??? Go check his stats. He struck out over 8 per 9 walked about 2.5 per 9 and got over 56% ground balls. His fWAR was 1.7 in barely over 75 innings. And the injury was a complete fluke comebacker. He doesn’t need to pitch 200 innings. You do realize that nobody has 5 starters that go 200 innings right? That’s why I mentioned all that depth. He’ll give them above average to elite performance for 1/2-2/3 of the year. A lot of people will sign up for that. Anything from Pineda is a plus but they didn’t get a pitch from him this year and had Andy go down with a fluke injury and CC missed some time with a couple of minor ailments as well but they still won 95. And they won’t be trading Gardner for Swisher. They’re trading Gardner for Ichiro. Ichiro leaves and they either bring Swisher back or get a replacement RF. Every team has questions marks and the Yankees don’t have many. You’re just using wishful thinking if you think they’re in trouble. Not to mention we aren’t even talking about if they bring in reinforcements. We’re strictly talking about if they bring back the players they had last year and don’t even try an improve. All you’re doing is looking at one team and trying to emphasize every question mark. You could do that with every team and almost every one would have more question marks and with less resources to deal with those question marks. Their main competition in the AL East will be the O’s and Rays right? Can the O’s rag tag rotation all have career years again? Can they possibly win that many extra inning and 1 run games when history has shown no team is capable of doing that consistently? Who plays 2B and LF? who becomes the DH? What do they do with Reynolds? With the Rays: Can Longoria stay healthy? Can they replace Upton? Who’s going to play 1B and DH and SS and supply the power? Will they have to trade Shields for offense? Will they ever get a catcher? Can Rodney have another year like last year? The Yankees got the shaft as the reward for getting the best record in the league. They got to play the 2nd best record in the ALDS and then for some reason the Tigers with the 7th best record got a day off between the LDS and LCS and the Yankees didn’t. Then they hit a massive offensive slump that wasn’t indicative of their talent level and people lost it. Every team ever goes into slumps like that. Theirs came at the worst time. It’s just popular for hack writers and Yankee haters to make more out of it than it really is.
Soriano got 42 saves in 46 chances thats all that matters for a closer. In 2010 and 2011 Rivera had 5 each season but prior to that he averaged about 3 blown saves per season. So I’m not really sure where there is room for upgrade there other than maybe Rivera’s saves will be less messy. Yeah he doesnt have to pitch 200 but considering he will likely be their number 3 guy he should get around 175, the last time hes done that was 2009. Yes he was retired but I mean hes not getting any younger. Most people think Swisher will be gone but I guess we have to wait and see. I think any team in the AL East can compete, this year the Orioles came out of nowhere and that can very well happen with a team like the Blue Jays as well. I wouldnt worry about the Rays they seem to always lose significant players and still compete year in and year out. Do you expect people not write about the fact that the entire Yankees team hit like .150 all together in the series? A team with a $200 million payroll hitting .150 as a team in a playoff series. A guy making $29 million per getting bench, a guy with 43 homeruns during the season getting benched. That is like a gold mine for reporters.
I’m not a Yankee hater at all (not in the least). I was just making an observation that the team is getting older, some people are off contract, and the FO could make an administrative decision to make a run at the luxury tax threshold. It’s far fetched. They had a lousy series, It’s not indicative of their overall talent level, but there are a lot of players on the down-slope of their careers,
Let me clarify some of the statements regarding the Yankees needing to rebuild from the ground up.
Do the Yankees need a drastic overhaul to compete in 2013? No.
Do the Yankees need to move some of these contracts while they still can and start thinking about how they can rebuild their farm in order to compete in 2014 and beyond. Absolutely. The smart thing to do is understand where you stand in comparison with the other teams and make a judgment call. If they feel they can trade for a big arm, get Pineida back, get some production out of A-Rod and Jeter will be back for spring, perhaps they can still get something done in 2013. But that’s a heck of a lot of variables to count on. The safer and smarter move would be to move around whatever money and players they can, try to get some pieces back (though that will be hard given that Teix and A-Rod haven’t produced at a high level since 2009).
But New York doesn’t deal with rebuilding well (nor does Boston). I’m interested to see if Cashman & the Steinbrenners are on the same page this off-season. I smell another Rafael Soriano situation brewing…
I don’t think it is alot to expect out of those players for 2013/2014. They were in the top 3 of # days players spent on the dl this year. Yankees don’t need to rebuild. Maybe change their approach a bit, but they are coming off a season in which they led the AL in wins, and they did that without Gardner, Pettitte, Pineda for most of the year, and arod missing significant time. They also weathered down years from martin, granderson, teix, and sabathia. I think that next year they have a good shot at winning just as many games if they get healthy.
If the Rangers trade Andrus we need either the King or Price.
I’d trade Andrus for the King in a heartbeat!!!
You are way overvaluing Andrus. Will take way more than him to trade for either of those players.
“Yankees are saddled with big contracts” is more a trope than actual fact.
The only contracts they have past 2013 are A-Rod, Teixeira, and CC, and
CC is still highly productive. A-Rod and Teixeira may not be worth their
contracts right now, but they’re still on the field producing and not injured, Vernon Wells-bad, etc.
If they’re trying to get below 189MM for 2014, they still have over 100MM they can spend on the 2014 payroll.
East Coast Bias
Yes, but those three contracts are three of the largest contracts in the history of the game, and two of the players are already showing pretty significant signs of decline while the third is already 32, under contract for at least four more years, and like it or not doesn’t have a body that suggests longevity. That’s like $75M for three players who are already at least 32, under contract for 4+ more years, and in two cases already declining. That leaves $100M to field the other 22 players, plus depth, which no doubt can be done, but without a strong farm system it’s a lot harder to do – especially when you consider that $20M+ of that will likely be going to Cano, and you’ve got $80M to field 21 players plus depth. If you aren’t getting production out of ARod or Teixeira and you’ve only got $80M to plug the rest of your holes (and have to get that production out of non-1B/3BorDH positions) all of a sudden competing starts to look a lot harder.
Look, I would never count the Yankees out, and I fully believe that they’ll do what it takes to remain competitive, but those are some mighty dark rose colored glasses you’re wearing.
“the third is already 32, under contract for at least four more years,
and like it or not doesn’t have a body that suggests longevity.”
Seriously, enough with this argument already. Sabathia hasn’t thrown less than 200 innings since 2006. In 12 MLB seasons, he’s made 28 or more starts in… ALL OF THEM. He’s a workhorse if there ever was one. His conditioning, or perceived lack thereof, is obviously not an issue.
“Hasn’t been an issue” is not the same as “is not an issue,” or “wont be an issue.” The older he gets, and the more he has to use his back/knees as a big guy, the more likely it is to become an issue.
Besides looking past the giant bias of the Red Sox/Yankees article and the fact that the Yankees only have 3 long term contracts right now and one of them is an ace and can afford ARod/Tex in decline, especially since they still are above average hitters even though the media is portraying them as completely useless…..Here’s one huge problem: Ok so the Red Sox have the payroll flexibility to add players. What in the even close to recent history makes anyone think they’re good at signing FA’s or trading for and then extending players?
The Rangers are set up very well for the future with the strength of the farm system and the quality of big leaguers. The only portion of their game I am not really thrilled with is their staring pitching which I think lacks a true #1 at the moment.
I guess you didn’t see Yu Darvish’s Stats this season
That’s one!!!! The Rangers need one more quality starting pitcher (Greinke, Price, Shields to name a few) to go along with Darvish and Harrison. Kinsler, Cruz, Perez, and Olt are just a few names that might be used to pry Price or Shields away from Tampa Bay. In fact, I think it would be awesome if they signed FA Greinke and then traded for one of the two in Tampa Bay. A replacement for Hamilton will be hard to come by, but in time there will be someone. I, for one, am not quite ready to let go of Andrus.
Price for Price will be very steep. He is 3rd best starter in the AL and is still only 27 and has 3 years left of control I believe. I don’t believe they are trying to trade him, but I think they should listen to offers. TB doesn’t have the ability to keep him once he becomes a free agent, so if they see an offer they absolutely can’t pass it might be good to trade.
It will take alot more then you suggest. Rays have no use for KInsler because his $16M salary is way too much for the Rays. Cruz is also on the upper limits of the salary the rays can absorb, and honestly he isn’t that good. Sure he can hit a few hr, but that is in a small ballpark and he can’t even get his obp up above .320.
Perez and olt really is just a starting point for Price. Probably takes at least 2 more good prospects for Tampa to even listen.
I agree with this. I do, however, believe Price will be traded.
As a Rangers fan, I want absolutely nothing to do with James Shields.
I wouldn’t call Darvish an ace right now. He will more than likely be a strong #1 next season, but not an ace. There aren’t many out there and I wouldn’t put him in Verlander or Hernandez category at all (yet), and I’m a Rangers fan.
I would be thrilled to nab David Price, but the cost would be ridiculous after this season. It would take too much, and I wouldn’t be willing to load up an already talented team with gobs more talent. Not to mention that we’ve met TB 2/3 years in the playoffs.
Trade Andrus to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller