| || |
Boston Red Sox:
Ben Cherrington has been very busy creating the Red Sox for 2015 and beyond, and they are nowhere near finished. They have already resigned Koji Uehara. They have also reinforced the left side of their infield with Pablo Sandoval and added even more depth with Hanley Ramirez to an outfield that already has Yoenis Cespedes, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Daniel Nava, Rusney Castillo, and Jackie Bradley Jr. This opens up possibilities for a blockbuster trade sending away outfielders to perhaps reel in pitching. They also got Juan Fransisco off waivers a smaller but possibly very beneficial deal
Were these smart deals? Although these deals may benefit the Red Sox a small amount, they could have used nearly 40 million every year for the next five years in a better way. Perhaps cementing a deal with Lester or a different pitcher, or just one of these deals and a contract with Lester. These deals do reestablish a team friendship and spirit that the '13, '07 and '04 teams had because of the supposedly very strong friendship between Ortiz, Ramirez, and Sandoval, however Sandoval's free swinging bat and NP/O of only 5.04 is simply not like the Red Sox, who ranked 2nd in NP/O both of the last 2 years. I simply do not see how signing another large contract player for their already overpacked outfield, spending nearly $200,000,000 over the next five years, and signing a 3rd baseman who swings far to often for the sox was a helpful idea. They also have pushed their homegrown players such as, Middlebrooks, Betts, Bogaerts, and Bradley into a position in which they feel that they are unwelcome on the team and that there job is in jeopardy by signing new players at their positions.
Are they done? No. Plain and simple the Red Sox are far from done headlining the Hot Stove news. They still have a rotation with only two established starters (Clay Bucholz and Joe Kelly) both of whom are very injury prone, and they also have an overpacked outfield. They are still interested in Jon Lester, but I think it is more likely that they can't afford him and that they instead settle for someone like Ervin Santana. There have also been rumors of a trade for Cole Hamels and given their outfield situation I would predict a trade of Yoenis Cespedes and Jackie Bradley Jr or another young player for Hamels.
Toronto Blue Jays:
The Blue Jays over the past few years have been rising in the AL East and They desperately want to win in 2015. They Jays haven't even seen a postseason birth since 1993, this is the longest running postseason drought in the majors by 8 years. For this reason the Jays have been very ambitious in improving their team. On October 28th they claimed 1st baseman Justin Smoak off waivers a small transaction that kicked off a busy offseason. This transaction bumped 31 year old Adam Lind out of a job resulting in the trade between the Jays and Brewers that sent Marco Estrada to the Jays for Adam Lind. They also signed the best catcher free agent on the market in Russel Martin who will help them in the future. Martin's deal has him in Toronto for the next five years earning a total of $82 million. Most recently the Jays finished a blockbuster deal with the A's sending Brett Lawrie and prospects for Josh Donaldson.
Were these smart deals? The Blue Jays have improved there team for 2015 mostly by their Donaldson trade. The Lind trade however I believe to be much less helpful for the '15 season. Lind is a good first baseman who's 1.9 WAR in 2014 was quite good considering he only had 290 at bats. He also had an above average 6.19 NP/O that fortifies his placement among top 1st basemen. Estrada has potential however his inconsistency is a huge problem that lost him a job in the starting rotation last year. Despite this trade the Blue Jays have created a great 2015 team through the Donaldson trade and the acquisition of Russel Martin. The Donaldson trade is possibly beneficial for the A's in the long run but for the Blue Jays focus which is on the 2015 season this trade certainly helps out.
Are they done? It is unlikely that the Blue Jays are involved in any more blockbuster deals but they may still have a few smaller signing left this year.
The A's have been very busy this offseason with three major deals starting with the signing of Billy Butler to a 3 year $30 million contract. They continued by trading for Ike Davis an established first baseman. Lastly they were the other team in the trade with the Blue Jays mentioned above sending their star Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie and prospects.
We're these smart deals? These deals give the A's a promising future but the Donaldson trade especially causes one to think they are looking more to the future than a '15 ring. Their new 1st baseman and DH will help the team next year and in the ones to follow as Billy Beane once again makes smart but sometimes risky deals.
Are they Done? Almost certainly not. The A's still need some bullpen help and there have been rumors of a potential trade of Jeff Samardzija possibly for prospects, maybe even back to the Cubs.