With all the Winter Meeting activity, its been easy to forget how much time is left in the off season. For example, today is the first day of winter.
The big news throughout baseball is Milwaukee’s trade for 2009 AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. Since its a slow news day, I thought I’d highlight some of the excellent analysis of this trade. I find this trade incredibly interesting for the primary reason that nobody seems to know who got the better end of it. Fangraphs Marc Hulet isn’t impressed with any of the four players Kansas City received. SI’s Joe Posnanski isn’t ready to write off the trade yet, but he isn’t optimistic Kansas City got anything of lasting value for their superstar pitcher.
Then there’s the other side, led by former BP’er Rany Jazayerli who covers the Royals at the aptly titled Rany on the Royals blog. Mr. Jazayerli thinks the Royals did well (“Maybe even very well”) to land the talent they did, but concedes, “I have colleagues who love this trade for the Royals (Kevin Goldstein). I have colleagues who think the Royals did poorly (Keith Law and Joe Posnanski). I have colleagues who think the Royals could have done better (Christina Kahrl). I have colleagues who think the Royals did alright, considering (Joe Sheehan and Rob Neyer).” Like any trade it will take years to sort out who really got the better of it, but the one thing we do know is Milwaukee’s starting staff of Greinke, Gallardo, Marcum, and Wolf looks pretty good.
Back to the Red Sox, R. J. Andeson of Fangraphs takes a look at the Sox acquisition of relief pitcher Dan Wheeler. Overall, he likes the move as Wheeler is at this point the fourth reliever in Boston’s pen. He wonders, though, how Wheeler’s fly ball tendencies will play in Fenway Park.
It sounds as if Yankees GM Brian Cashman is ready to go to Spring Training with the team he’s got, at least that’s what this ESPNBoston piece says. I’m skeptical this is anything but a smokescreen, but Steven Goldman of The Pinstriped Bible takes Cashman at his word and wishes the Yankees wouldn’t be so afraid of their own pitching prospects. Speaking of the Pinstriped Bible, they were hitting on all cylinders today, as Cliff Corcoran posted an in-depth piece on the Yankee bullpen. The fun part comes at the end when he compares New York’s pen to Boston’s (last paragraph).
Finally, there is an interesting post over at Sons of Sam Horn by OttoC who, after doing some extensive math, predicts the Red Sox current pitching staff to allow 668 runs next season. That’s 76 runs fewer than they allowed last year. Using the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog’s Pythagorean Record Calculator, if the Sox score the same number of runs as they did last year (818) a number that seems reasonably attainable, the Sox would project to win 96 games. If they’re able to up it to 900 runs scored, that makes them a 103-59 team. Many things (good and bad) can happen between now and 103 wins, but it sure does look good on paper, doesn’t it?