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Boston’s Management Strategy May Help Club Prevail Again In 2015 AL East

Ben Cherington pulled off the biggest salary dump in MLB History in 2012, with his clearing the deck of Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett.  He replaced them with saavy, playoff tested Veterans - on lower value, and year contracts.  His club won the 2013 AL East with the revamped squad - that improved almost 30 Wins from 2012.  Last season, the club suffered another last place finish, however he dealt away Jon Lester, for Yoenis Cespedes, and then turned that asset into Rick Porcello.  The club also was able to sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval for this year, and have inked Rusney Castillo and Yoan Moncada since last summer.  The Red Sox are showing the way to handle a roster year to year.  If you are in it, spend the money, and when you are out, trade anybody of value not in your long term plans.

Ben Cherington pulled off the biggest salary dump in MLB History in 2012, with his clearing the deck of Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett. He replaced them with savvy, playoff tested Veterans – on lower value, and year contracts. His club won the 2013 AL East (and the World Series of course) with the revamped squad – that improved almost 30 Wins from 2012. Last season, the club suffered another last place finish, however he dealt away Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes, and then turned that asset into Rick Porcello. The club also was able to sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval for this year, and have also inked Rusney Castillo and Yoan Moncada to long-term deals since last summer. The Red Sox are showing the way to handle a roster year to year. If you are in it, spend the money, and when you are out, trade anybody of value not in your long term plans.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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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.

It is too bad the ownership is not staking the O's with a bunch of Free Agents to reel in a World Series while the  Yankees are down.  The have a nice team depth wise,but could use an ace pitcher for the playoffs.  Last year, they were swept in the ALCS by the Royals.  To start the year, they are close to the Red Sox and Blue Jays for talent,  but they may be surpassed when Boston is willing to fork out cash to obtain players later in the season.  AP Photo - Gene J. Puskar

It is too bad the ownership is not staking the O’s with a bunch of Free Agents to reel in a World Series while the Yankees are down. The have a nice team depth wise,but could use an ace pitcher for the playoffs. Last year, they were swept in the ALCS by the Royals. To start the year, they are close to the Red Sox and Blue Jays for talent, but they may be surpassed when Boston is willing to fork out cash to obtain players later in the season. AP Photo – Gene J. Puskar

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.

Toronto is the only team in the MLB not in the USA.  With that comes foreign currency.  For the years of 1990 - 2007, the Canadian Dollar was hovering around the 70 cents mark for the duration.  The last economic crash in the USA - had the dollar at par for the better part of the last 7 years, including once reaching $1.10 for every George Washington bill in America.  The average for the exchange rate has been in the mid 90 cents range.  The loonie has been in a nosedive since 2014 kicked in - and now it is around 78 cents for every US Dollar right now.

Toronto is the only team in the MLB not in the USA. With that comes foreign currency. For the years of 1990 – 2007, the Canadian Dollar was hovering around the 70 cents mark for the duration. The last economic crash in the USA – had the dollar at par for the better part of the last 7 years, including once reaching $1.10 for every George Washington bill in America. The average for the exchange rate has been in the mid 90 cents range. The loonie has been in a nosedive since 2014 kicked in – and now it is around 78 cents for every US Dollar right now.

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

CC Sabathia is looking like he went on the Jesus Montero world eating tour in 2014’s winter  Then again, maybe he will pitch great again at over 3 bills.

The Bronx Bombers will need bounce back seasons from Brian McCann, Stephen Drew, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and A-Rod this season in order to compete. That my friend is a tall order.

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.

The Rays should finally see a decline after trading away several players over the last few years, and losing Andrew Freidman and Joe Maddon from their organization.  While they have the best Starting Rotation in the Division, their offensive lineup is horrific compared to the other 4 teams, and in a Division where hitters ballparks reign supreme!

The Rays should finally see a decline after trading away several players over the last few years, and losing Andrew Freidman and Joe Maddon from their organization. While they have the best Starting Rotation in the Division, their offensive lineup is horrific compared to the other 4 teams, and in a Division where hitters ballparks reign supreme!

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.

Last year, the team tanked it so early, they parlayed the asset of Lester into Yoenis Cespedes, who was flipped in a trade to land Rick Porcello.

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 Red Sox are playing smart against the high revenue clubs, by not being bogged down by huge contracts long-term. In fact, they don't have a player in the top 50 salaries of ALL - Time, where other teams have several of these type of players on their roster currently. Between smart moves on payroll, and making proper midseason calculations on their teams trajectory, it has positioned them in a positive light to run rampant on the AL East for many years to come. NO matter what transpires before July, Cherington and CO. will, make their moves either way.

Boston are playing smart against the high revenue clubs, by not being bogged down by huge contracts long-term. In fact, they don’t have a player in the top 50 salaries of ALL – Time, where other teams have several of these type of players on their roster currently. Between good moves on payroll, and making proper midseason calculations on their teams trajectory over the last few seasons, it has positioned them to run rampant on the AL East for many years to come. NO matter what transpires before July, Cherington and CO. will make their moves either way again, always with another title as the goal.

*** 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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