Theo Epstein made a statement yesterday, saying loud and clear — “We’re here to win in 2011.” You gotta give it to the guy, every time I start to question him he answers. You also got to love his sneakiness, stating after signing Gonzalez that his focus was now on the bullpen. He made moves in a major way, and he made them early. Gotta love it. After signing Crawford to a 7-year $142 million deal, the Red Sox have the best team in the Bigs. Here’s a look at my new proposed line-up for the Sox.
1) Carl Crawford, L, LF
2) Dustin Pedroia, R, 2B
3) David Ortiz, L, DH
4) Kevin Youkilis, R, 3B
5) Adian Gonzalez, L, 1B
6) JD Drew, L, RF
7) Marco Scutaro, SS, R
8)Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, S
9) Jacoby Ellsbury, L, CF
Yes, that is going to be 6 left-handed hitters if need be. This line-up has it all in my opinion, minus a good catcher (which is the second most important position in baseball). That said we’ve got a gold glove infield, an incredibly fast outfield, power, and two of the best on the base paths in the league. Coupled with our starting pitching and a bullpen that Theo is trying to add to — watch out.
Now now now. Shut up for a moment Yankees fans. I’ve already started to hear it. “The Red Sox sold out, the Red Sox are the Yankees.” Frankly, New Yorkers, you’re just making yourself look pathetic by saying these things. Your showing us Boston people that our comments get to you. Because if you sit back and look at the numbers, well, how about we do that?
Players making over $30 million in 2011 — Yankees 1 (A-Rod), Red Sox 0
Players making over $20 million in 2011 — Yankees 3 (CC, A-Rod, Tex), Sox 0 (Crawford may, but his contract likely increases by year)
Players making over $15 million in 2011 — Yankees 6 (AJ, Mo, CC, Jeter, A-Rod, Tex), Red Sox 2 (Lackey, Crawford)
As far as signing players to long-term, big deals I gave the Yankees hell for signing AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia, and Mark Texiera in the same offseason to the tune of $441 million. The Red Sox have really only signed Crawford, although it does seem very likely they will give Adrian Gonzalez a contract extension early in the season. Even if they pay his 150+ million over many seasons, that brings Crawford and Gonzalez’s signings to about 2/3 of the Yankees spending that off-season. Which seems about right. Boston’s payroll will be less than the Yankees, significantly, as it always is.
Oh, and that’s not to mention the deal the Yankees will likely sign Cliff Lee too. That makes those numbers look even worse. Frankly, they have no option other than to get him now — they’ll need another lefty arm to pitch the Red Sox lefty-happy line-up.
Bring on the spring.