Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wezen on the Yanks 2009 outlook

Another FOTB Lar from Wezen-ball is in the midst of taking a look at every team's 2009 outlook. Up today, the Yanks. You'll have to head over to read the whole thing which leverages the forecasts from three publications, but here is most of his conclusion:

Still, by snagging both CC and Teixeira this winter, the Yankees added the two best players available to their team. The money they paid, while staggering, just doesn't matter. If the Brewers had that kind of means available, I'd be upset if they hadn't done the same thing.

The knock against the Yankees for the last 7 or 8 years, since their last World Series appearance, has been that their free agent purchases have been neither timely (ie, the players are too old) nor well thought out (ie, not part of a broader, "team"-building plan). For the most part, I agree with those points, but I'm not sure this winter falls into either category. With two young, talented players like CC and Teixeira getting added to this team, the Yankees are indeed improved enough to compete with the Rays and Red Sox at the top of the division.

I completely agree all of that. Hate the Yanks as you wish but you also wish your team would have been able to do the same thing if it could. True stuff.

His final point also rings true, though I think he's discounting some of the same issues facing the RedSox (age, injury, etc):
It may not be enough, though. With A-Rod missing the start of the season (and being gone for who knows how long), and with too many older (eg, Jeter), injured (eg, Matsui), or unproven (eg, Cabrera, Hughes) players, I don't think the Yankees are a complete enough team to compete with Tampa and Boston. They'll be there, but, at the end, the Red Sox and Rays are going to pull away. At least, that's how I see it right now. Who knows what will change in the next week or month or more?
I know I am alone in wondering if all the innings faced by the Rays young rotation won't have some sort of negative effect/hangover this year. Just ask Justin Verlander after he was taxed in 2006. The year-after-effect might be in effect for some of these guys, though it seems that Joe Maddon is being really careful and having them take their time this Spring.


lar said...

Glad you (mostly) approve, Jason. When dealing with these "big deal" clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox, I'm always nervous that I'll write something that looks like I'm judging the organization, and not the baseball decisions that the team has made.

That said, maybe you're right that I was ignoring some of the same issues that I see with the Yankees in the Red Sox. I do recognize the injury issues with the likes of Ortiz (who I don't trust anymore) and Lowell and Beckett and Drew, and maybe I should have been more clear on that. I don't know why I like the Sox better this year... maybe I just trust their team/management (with Francona, Epstein, etc) a little more. That's all I can figure.

Jason @ IIATMS said...


I can't really disagree; Theo & Co. are on a multi-year run of decisions that have mostly worked out favorably, including a win streak on deals they lost (Contreras, Pavano, Teix?).

But Ortiz, Lowell, Drew, along with smart, cheap bets Smoltz, Penny and Rocco share as much risk as the Yanks, if not more. But I liked the write-up. Isn't the point of all *this* to engage in an open dialogue? Good stuff!