Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Well yesterday was certainly an interesting day in the baseball offseason. The Red Sox made two huge signings. Two of the best ten pitchers in baseball were moved. The World Series MVP is now on a different team. So it's time for some quicknotes to cover the big day.
~While I picked on Meech, Bill Baer and CRM this morning, if I had read Rosenthal's post over the weekend, I probably would have thought the same thing. "This trade seems a bit far fetched." Bill's post was likely the best rundown of why it didn't make much sense. The Phillies were giving up an Ace and Prospects for an Ace. Why not just give up the prospects and have two aces? Your best chance to win a World Series is 2010 before J-Roll and Utley start creeping towards regression and players like Werth demand huge salaries on the open market. In reality it seems like the Phillies made this move strictly because Cliff Lee apparently desires to test the Free Agent waters and Roy Halladay is apparently ok with signing a deal and being done with it (He did specify the 4 teams he was willing to be traded too). The Phillies are getting a mild upgrade at ace but the comfort of having him locked down for three additional years at the cost of downgrading their minor league staff some. It's a risky maneuver from their perspective but I think it says a lot about Cliff Lee and how Philadelphia must have just thought their chances of signing him next offseason was limited.
~The signing of John Lackey is obviously a huge move for the Red Sox. He was the best and most reliable free agent starter out there. The Red Sox are now stripping him away from the team that defeated them in the postseason and they are significantly bolstering their pitching staff. If you're a Red Sox fan this move has to please you a lot.
~The Red Sox weren't done however as they also signed CF Mike Cameron. If I was a Red Sox fan I'd be a lot more tepid on this move. First off he's going to strike out about 9000 times. Second off he's not exactly youthful (37 at seasons start). Finally he hasn't batted over .250 in any of the past three seasons. Yes he provides some pop and some speed and good defense, but he's really a better fantasy hitter than an actual hitter. What I would be concerned about if I was a Sox fan is that this takes them out of the Jason Bay hunt. If Cameron is their filler for Bay then they still have a lot of work to do building this offense. But...
~The Red Sox signings of John Lackey and Mike Cameron lead me to believe a trade is around the corner and that with said trade Bay may once again become an option. Why? Well the Sox had been rumored to desire Adrian Gonzalez for a very long time, probably cause he's awesome. The Sox now have the filler pieces via free agency to trade away some chips that the Padres would desire. With a starting 4 of Lackey, Beckett, Lester and Dice-K, the Sox don't necessarily need Buchholz. With Cameron in center and potentially a corner outfield signing they don't necessarily need Ellsbury. Could the Padres be content with an offer where the cornerstones are Buchholz and Ellsbury? I would think that would be enticing.
~The Final big news of the day was Hideki Matsui signing with the Angels. I'm less surprised that the Yankees did not bring Matsui back than I am he signed with the Angels. The Yankees obviously prefer Johnny Damon or someone that can play a corner outfield spot rather than Matsui who is locked into the DH role. I'm surprised that the Angels preferred Matsui over Vlad. Sure Vlad is injury prone, but so to is Godzilla. Matsui had a better 2009 than Vladimir did, but Vlad is the historically better player. Perhaps the Angels just think Vlad is basically done as a useful player and prefer to move on.