If the Saltalamacchia/Varitek tandem doesn’t pan out, the Sox can always apply for help from Catchers Without Boarders.
To the links!
After the Cliff Lee signing, we all compared the reported numbers and came up with a huge difference in total money between the Yankees supposed offer (7 years/$160 million) which Lee turned down and the Phillies supposed offer (5 years/$100 million) which he accepted. This led to stories about altruism and a love of Philadelphia trumping total dollars. But it turns out our rush to judgment may have been hasty. Emma Span at Bronx Banter and Paul SF at Yanks Fan/Sox Fan come to a similar conclusion about Cliff Lee, that maybe, just maybe, he did take the best offer on the table after all.
Fangraph’s Joe Pawlikowski (who’s name I’m sure I spelled correctly because I cut ‘n pasted it) takes a look at who the Yankees can acquire to help fill their rotational needs in 2011. He focuses on the trade market for reasons that become obvious once you read this: Carl Pavano, Best Available Free Agent Starting Pitcher. Then comes the soon-to-be contractually obligated Zack Greinke reference, which is fair as Greinke is the best starter available, though it has been reported he is not interested in playing for the Yankees and has a no-trade clause in his contract to prevent it from happening. Of special interest to Red Sox fans was Mr. Pawlikowski’s mention of Derek Lowe of the Braves and the two years and $30 million remaining on his contract. Lowe unquestionably isn’t Lee, but as a stop-gap innings eater he’d probably fit in well on the Yankees. By my count that would make him the sixth player* from the ’04 championship team to subsequently play for the Yankees, and as we all know, every time that happens an Angel gets his wings ripped off by a demon.
*Quick Trivia I: Can you name the other five ’04 Red Sox to subsequently play for the Yankees ? Answer at the end of the post.
SI.com’s Joe Sheehan also takes a look at the Cliff Lee fallout and suggests some starters the Yankees could target. Mr. Sheehan’s list is different than Mr. Pawlikowski’s in that Mr. Sheehan engages in what you might call shooting the moon. For example, Mr. Sheehan suggests the Yankees use Jesus Montero as bait (presumably along with others) and take aim at the Rays David Price. That seems like a non-starter to me, but what do I know*? In fairness, the question of such a trade hinges on how useful Montero becomes defensively. If he can catch, he’s incredibly valuable and a player like Price in return for him becomes a more reasonable suggestion. If he can’t, and all I’ve read on the matter suggests that is the case, then he’s a cost controlled DH, which, while nice, isn’t quite as valuable.
*Quick Trivia II: Can you name what I know? Answer at the end of the post.
Steven Goldman of Pinstriped Bible fame makes a plea for Yankee fans to hold it together after losing Lee to Philadelphia. Mr. Goldman argues while having Lee for the next few seasons would likely have been a good thing, the end might not have been pretty, and at about $23 million per year, in fact it might have been rather gory. This puts Mr. Goldman in agreement with the Beacon’s own Marc Normandin, who states in elegant prose on this very site that missing out on Lee may have indeed been a blessing in disguise for the Yankees. The Globe’s Chad Finn echos his agreement as well. I see where this line of thought is coming from, and apologies if I’m off the reservation here, but aren’t these the Yankees we’re talking about? Is an extra $50 million over two years really going to prevent them from signing free agents and operating as usual? I put it to you, dear reader, but before you answer, keep in mind the Red Sox spent $21.75 million last year on Mike Lowell and Julio Lugo.
In actual news, the Red Sox are reportedly close to signing former Orioles reliever Matt Albers, whose first name soars off the tongue like a falcon through a cloudless sky. Albers is likely the first of many attempts to catch bullpen-based lightning in a bottle for the Red Sox this off season. But, according to Sons of Sam Horn posters Savin Hillbilly and SoxScout, there may be reason to feel some optimism about Albers. Pitch f/x data shows that Albers has recently increased his velocity and ground ball rate dramatically. If that holds up, he could prove to be a valuable bullpen arm for the Sox in 2011.
A few quickies…
CJ Spurlock uses some visually stimulating charts to literally see who is more valuable, the Yankees Mark Teixeira or the Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez. You may take the fact that you’re reading about it on this blog as a clue as to who comes out on top.
In his Keys To The Hot Stove, Jose Melendez thinks the Yankees missed out on Cliff Lee because either they’re in the mafia, or to use Mr. Melendez’s words, they’re “sexually inadequate”.
Surviving Grady provides us with the next installment of the Cashman-Headwarmer Dialogues.
* * *
Quick Trivia I Answer: 1) Alan Embree, 2) Mike Myers, 3) Mark Belhorn, 4) Doug Mientkiewicz and 5) Johnny Damon
Quick Trivia II Answer: The largest organ of the human body is the skin!