Boston’s Management Strategy May Help Club Prevail Again In 2015 AL East
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The terrible news of Marcus Stroman‘s ACL earlier this week has dampened the chances the Toronto Blue Jays chances to really take a shot at the Division.
Let me qualify this more….
I think the Jays will compete all season, and may take a run at one of the Wild Card Spots for sure, it just at this time of the year, losing any pitching hurts big time.
Toronto is already lacking an ace, but that is not a cause for grave concern in this Division, with the AL East possessing exactly zero of them now, following the departures of Jon Lester and David Price in the last 9 months. But they are in trouble when it comes to depth versus the other clubs.
Baltimore had 5 starters in 2014 with an ERA under 4. Boston revamped its Staff, and has upgraded its offense significantly as well.
I wouldn’t be overly concerned with New York or Tampa Bay, but they might just chew enough wins out of the Canadian franchise – to prevent them from a Division crown.
If the season were to start today. I would peg Boston with a win total of about 88, and Toronto with 86. Given a few breaks, the Jays could reel in another few victories. Here is the problem.. The Jays aren’t in the financial setting to compete with the Red Sox.
Why is enough being said about the Canadian Dollar plunging from near par for the last several years – to now only raking in 78 cents on the American Greenback? This is about a 30% tax on Toronto compared to their USA Division rivals.
Luckily for them, the Yankees are in their own financial hell. Also fortunate is that the Rays are bottom feeding for team salary, and Peter Angelos is still feeling scorned from 15 years ago, when Albert Belle and others fleeced him out of a small fortune.
Tampa Bay has the best entire Pitching Staff in the AL East, but they aren’t make any pitchers shake on the bump with their hitting prowess.
The Yankees are aging, and may have to depend on Alex Rodriguez for offensive help? No seriously..New York may run through 10 Starting Pitchers – with a cavalcade of injury troubles mounting – and guys who are facing down health issues still stemming from last year. Their top 3 guys in the Rotation combined for 41 starts last campaign. Michael Pineda is held together with duct tape and steel wool
Brian Cashman may finally elect to dump payroll if the team struggles up until the deadline this time around. At some point this aging roster will have to be rebuilt – or they face the catastrophic immediate future of the Phillies.
I don’t see the Pinstripers as a threat.
Baltimore should have been throwing everything and the kitchen sink – in an effort to nail down a championship. Chris Davis and Matt Wieters are in the last years of their contracts, and the payroll is only going to balloon in the coming years. I would be pissed if I were in Maryland right now.
Having Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy still lurking around may give the team a shot in the arm if one of them can pan out. I won’t hold my breath on that, but the O’s also have Buck Showalter, and can classicly overachieve in the regular season without winning style points.
This brings me to Boston. This ownership and brass have flown under the radar, and almost are bookending their success with failure, in what could be classified as a Jekyl and Hyde team.
A motivated and happy Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval will help the ageless David Ortiz on offense, and the club is loaded with about 10 OF on its roster. The one thing they will do better than any other club during the campaign in take on salary.
The Red Sox have enough guys on the big club and Minors to pull off a deal for an ace like Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto or Jeff Samardzija half way through the year. Can you imagine how brilliant the brass will look if they land Hamels.
One could argue Hamels is on a level playing field with Jon Lester, and the financial commitment would just be north of $100 MIL for 5 years, and about $55 MIL less than it would have taken to bring back their former hero.
Boston has masted the mid year move in 2012, 2013 and 2014. As someone who understands financing quite well I love the template for it. Bring in a player halfway through the year and a $20 MIL player, only costs you $15 MIL if you acquire him in June. That extra savings on team payroll is worth giving up prospects for.
In 2012, they manage to free themselves of Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez, arming them with money to sign Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew prior to their 2013 World Series run.
Boston does not have anyone with a massive contract left in their stable. Dustin Pedroia has the most cash left on his contract, but he was grossly underpaid for the 1st part of the deal, making a small correction now – as he regresses slightly.
Signing Yoan Moncada was brilliant. Any time you can add players without losing anyone of the parent club is an awesome way to build a championship caliber club.
Ben Cherington knows when to walk away from a player when the dollars become too high. On the same angle, he has repositioned himself to acquire and take on salary when no one else in the Division seems willing to do so. The Red Sox have several top prospects to dangle for trade chips.
In a battle that very little that may separate the top 3 clubs, the ability to tack on key players in midstream this year maybe the deciding factor in who wins the crown. No doubt, part of the philosophy will be to acquire players as the season drags on.
Besides, since no other team in the Division was making moves, what is the rush for Boston.. Better to wait a few months, where your dollars become stronger for the rest of the year
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.
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Posted on March 13, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged adrian gonzalez, AL East, albert belle, alex rodriguez, baltimore orioles, ben cherington, boston red sox, brian cashman, Brian McCann, buck showalter, Canadian Dollar, carl crawford, carlos beltran, cc sabathia, chris davis, cole hamels, dan duquette, david ortiz, david price, dustin pedroia, dylan bundy, jeff samardzija, jesus montero, johnny cueto, jon lester, josh beckett, marcus stroman, mark teixeira, mashiro tanaka, matt wieters, michael pineda, mike napoli, peter angelos, rick porcello, rogers center, rusney castillo, shane victorino, stephen drew, tampa bay rays, toronto blue jays, yoan moncada, yoenis cespedes. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.