With still a month to go until spring training, what's interesting these days?
The Yankees response to the Sox off-season was to unload their coffers to Rafael Soriano.
Here's the skinny on Soriano's last two years against Papelbon's. They've both pitched about the same number of innings, with similar strikeout totals, and save totals. Of course, if you look at the WHIP numbers, Soriano has a pretty decided edge. Papelbon's been an intriguing personality and mostly effective closer up until last season. What I can't understand is how a guy who views himself as one of the best relievers in the game has so limited development of secondary pitches. Is that the most professional development available?
I hope that Papelbon has an Eckersley-like Cy Young/MVP 1992 season, but the career trajectory for Papelbon doesn't inspire confidence in that outcome.
The most intriguing story for the Sox isn't the catching, but who plays shortstop. Marco Scutaro had a solid year last season, with his statistics NOT so different from Derek Jeter (really). But is a health Jed Lowrie a better overall player?
I can't stand Scott Boras, but he delivered the goods for his clients. He got a Mendoza line (.196/.325/.407/.732) power hitter (Carlos Pena) 10M, got Beltre 80M, and Soriano 35M. If the AMA got Boras as representation, then maybe I'd join (just kidding).
If the bullpen shapes up with Papelbon, Bard, Jenks, Wheeler, Doubront, Wakefield, Okajima...it could be worse.
The big three of Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, and Vlad Guerrero are out there? Right? What if they all signed with Baltimore? Maybe I'll just grab a pig and take a flight...
And that doesn't count Johnny Damon and Russell Branyan (.215/.319/.483/.802). Where's Branyan's Carlos Pena money?
Albert Pujols' money? What is that?
The most important question mark on the team for 2011? For me, it has to be Josh Beckett. We all know he's better than 6 wins, an ERA of 5.78, and 20 homers allowed in 127 innings. But is he the 'Beckett of old' or an "old, injured Beckett"?