December 22, 2010

Yankees Are "Very Far Behind The Red Sox"

A week ago, Over The Monster began posting the Top Moments of 2010.

Here is the list so far:
No. 10 - Bard Blows By Bronx Bombers
No. 9 - Night of the Living Jed
No. 8 - Nomar Bids A Final Farewell At Fenway
No. 7 - Fond (Premature) Farewells In The Final Game
No. 6 - Darnell's Debut
No. 5 - Opening Night Comebacker
Joel Sherman, Post:
AL executive: "The way [the Yankees] are constituted right now, they are one injury to a veteran in their rotation or a bad stretch from CC from losing their season." ...

If [Andy Pettitte] shuns retirement yet again, then the club's rotation is thin ... [and] the Red Sox have added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, plus Bobby Jenks for bullpen depth.

"Right now, they are very far behind the Red Sox," an NL official said. ... "Yankees vs. Red Sox, I don't think those teams are close right now." ...


Benjamin said...

This has been a fun off-season so far, perhaps the most fun I can remember, but I can't put too much stock in the notion of "winning the off-season". None of it's real until they start playing the games in April.

laura k (aka L-girl) said...

but I can't put too much stock in the notion of "winning the off-season". None of it's real until they start playing the games in April.

I agree - I find it kind of bizarre. The Red Sox have strengthened the team in a big way, and it's very exciting, but so far we're comparing two teams on paper. People seem a little ahead of themselves.

But otoh, whatever, it's good to savour the fun along the way.

allan said...

I'll worry about April in April, if there is any need to worry.

allan said...

Breaking News from Peter Gammons!!!!

Zenslinger said...

Agreed. What if we don't have a good year regardless? There's going to be a lot of pissed-off Red Sox fans who were expecting 100+ wins.

allan said...

We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

Benjamin said...

The way I figure, we're treading water this off season. That's better than the MFYs and FKRs are doing, which is what's important for reaching the post season, but I don't think we're wildly better than last year.

We gained an Adrian but lost another Adrian. That's probably a wash compared to last season (though clearly Gonzalez is better than Beltre going forward).

We gained Crawford but lost Martinez. Probably also a wash, unless Saltalamacchia outperforms.

The rotation is unchanged. Any improvement will come from having Beckett/Lackey bounce back (we're hopefully getting odd-year Beckett). Nobody's expecting much from Matsusaka. I wouldn't be surprised if Buchholz regresses a little (unsustainably low BABIP).

The bullpen has clearly been upgraded. Given what a bottomless pit of suck it was last year, that's cause for hope.

If we took last year, subtracted the injuries, and added some better bullpen arms, we would have won more than 89 games. That's basically what we've done. So yay.

But I guess what I'm saying, to the extent an off season has winners and losers, is we haven't won the off season so much as the MFYs have lost it.

laura k (aka L-girl) said...

You must be a really serious pessimist to see this offseason as "treading water"! The additions of Gonazalez and Crawford are a big improvement, not a wash, to my mind.

Benjamin said...

Those are huge additions, but they came after some huge subtractions (relative to last year).

Beltre was a beast last year. .321/.365/.553. OPS+ of 149. I'm not too sad to see him go, because I don't think he'll put up those numbers this year, much less four or five years from now, whereas Gonzalez is a much better bet to give us those both in the future and right away. (Past three years .285/.387/.523, 151 OPS+.) But we don't get to have Beltre's 2010 performance AND Gonzalez's 2011 performance. We're losing Beltre's.

Ditto for Crawford. We're replacing Victor Martinez + the left field platoon of Hall/McDonald/etc. (OPS+ 122 and 95ish) with Crawford + Saltalamacchia (OPS+ 134 and 88). Again a good move for both this year and the future, but it's probably a wash production-wise this year.

Defensively, we probably lost ground at the infield corners and gained some in left field (and maybe behind the plate)

I love these moves, because Beltre and Martinez weren't worth keeping, at least on the terms Martinez got from Detroit and Beltre will likely get from the Angels. But let's not downplay what they gave us last year and what we needed to replace with them gone.

Basically we lost our #2 and #5 hitters from last year but replaced them with hitters who are as good now and will be better going forward. Great job, Theo! Now if we score more runs this year, though, it will probably be because we get a full season out of 2010's #1 and #4 hitters.

And with the problems the MFYs and FKRs are facing, it should be enough to get us into the playoffs and maybe take us all the way. (I'm hardly pessimistic about our chances this year.)

Dr. Jeff said...

I like these kinds of lists, but that blog is nearly unreadable because of all of the ads. More kudos to JOS for keeping it ad-free.

laura k (aka L-girl) said...

Thanks, Benajamin - very good perspective.

allan said...

that blog is nearly unreadable because of all of the ads

With the template change, I weeded out some blog links, too. If the blog was gone or had not been updated in six months, it got the ax. Some are so polluted with ads they make OTM look like JoS. I showed L some of them and she said: "Don't those people have any self-respect?"

Patrick said...

but in addition to signing Crawford and Gonzalez, we also basically picked up some kid named Jacoby, who will improve the dismal defense in center from last year, and maybe steal a few bases.

laura k (aka L-girl) said...

Ha ha, very true Patrick.

Jere said...

Benja-phil: We lost an aging Victor and an aging Beltre, and we're gaining Gonzalez, Crawford, Ellsbury, Youkilis, and Pedroia. We're treading the shit out of that water and turning it into liquid gold!