Monday, November 17, 2008

Silent Giant

Its become expected that the Yankees and the Red Sox will compete for talent in every offseason. The trend has been continuous and for the most part, the Yankees have come out on top.

2002: Jose Contreras (Yankees)
2003: Alex Rodriguez (Yankees)
2004: Carl Pavano (Yankees)
2006 Daisuke Matsuzaka (Red Sox)
2007: Johan Santana (Mets)
(Note: I had to throw Santana in here because without the Yankees and Red Sox backing away from Johan, the Mets never would have signed him. I still have no idea how Omar Minaya pulled that trade off.)

These two franchises were like the USSR and US throughout the Cold War, the baseball world seems to revolve around the Yankees and Red Sox at all times, especially the offseason. Who needs Reagan and Gorbachev when you got George Steinbrenner and Larry Lucchino?

However, this offseason is a different story. The Yankees are in their typical buy mode because of new found financial flexibility from expiring contracts and the new Yankee Stadium. In all likelihood, the Yankees will go after most of the big name free agents to compete at the top of the AL East with the Sox and Rays. At this point, the Yankees are an after thought to both of those teams, who are vastly superior to the Yankees. However, alot can change during the winter.

On the other hand, the Red Sox probably won't be major players on the free agent market because they do not have any glaring holes on their roster. If anything, the Red Sox will focus on signing Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon, and Dustin Pedroia to extensions while trading whatever is left of Julio Lugo. Even when the Yankees make their big moves, the Red Sox have such a good roster and farm system in place that they will not have to make a big move to match the Yankees.

So this offseason should shape up differently. With the Red Sox out of the picture, the Yankees could wind up bidding against themselves for free agents because no other team is likely to spend in their stratosphere. It should be interesting to see if the Red Sox get involved in certain free agents solely with the intention of raising the price/years. Then again, I don't think it would matter to the Yankees if they paid an extra $10 mil as long as they sign the guy they want.

So we probably won't see any crazy Yankee/Red Sox bidding wars this offseason, but hey, that doesn't mean this won't be interesting. This is still the Yankees and Red Sox. And these two clubs still hate each other.


SoxAddict said...

Well the interesting part about this year is that the Angels, Mets, Dodgers, Tigers (maybe), and a few other teams can now afford to be part of a bidding war. There weren't a lot of people that could afford to give 15 mil a year to a player 3 years ago. That is a bit different now.

Either way, it should be funny in 4 years when someone has an aged Manny Ramirez making 25 mil and refusing to play, or 6 years from now when CC Sabathia has eaten himself into a coma but is still making 20+ mil a year.

I'm SO glad the Red Sox are (for the most part) out of the FA market this year.

Josh said...

Does anyone think that the Angels/Orioles will be happy to have Mark Teixeira nine years from now? Even as a young free agent, whoever signs Tex needs to have some restraint when giving out absurd amounts of years.

We'll see what teams are willing to get into bidding wars with the Yankees this offseason. I think more than likely, we will see the Yankees bidding against themselves for most of the big time free agents.

That's what will be funniest to me.