|December 5, 2012||Tweet|
|Written by Mallow Hunt|
|Wednesday, 05 December 2012 22:03|
The signings of Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli show the Red Sox are commited to putting a plus-product on the field this year. Both contracts - good for 3 years, $39M each - will boost a lineup hopefully returning versions of their keystone sparkplug Dustin Pedroia and aging bopper David Ortiz.
A little help in the pitching department would help Boston's chances of avoiding a repeat of a staff with the fourth-worst team ERA in MLB (4.40), which is where all the Jacoby Ellsbury trade rumors stem from. The Red Sox will be better but I'm not ready to send them to the postseason with the moves Toronto have made on offense and even with the moves the Yankees haven't made.
Speaking of New York, with the Yankees facing a hole with the loss of A-Rod, they might need to address quite soon. Letting Eric Chavez go (1 year, $3M to Arizona) will be a smart move as it's unlikely he'll turn in another season like 2012, which was quite good for a stop-gap 3B (.286 AVG with 16 HR).
The Yankees been linked to now-signed 3B Jeff Keppinger (3 years, $12M), and even the mightily hated Kevin Youkilis. The smart thing would be to inquire about Stephen Drew and play the Scott Boras game, although it seems unlikely he'd be willing to switch to SS. Still, the possibility also remains for Japanese import Hiroyuki Nakajima to sign with New York and make the move to the hot corner.
Angel Pagan signed a rich 4 year, $40M deal with the Giants, who also brought back postseason hero Marco Scutaro at the cost of 3 years, $20M.
The Angels made it clear they weren't intersted in bringing back Dan Haren after an injury-plagued 2012 season in which he struggled, so instead Haren turned around and signed with Washington for a reasonable 1 year, $13M. Haren could turn things around in the NL, but don't expect the 32 year old to move like another AL-to-NL pitcher did (Gio Gonzalez), even if he's fully healthy. Something close to 15 wins, 210 IP, 3.60 ERA, and 175 K's isn't too much to expect from Haren and he could exceed his draft cost if leaguemates are sour on him going into 2013.
On the flip-side lefty set-up ace Sean Burnett is leaving the Nationals, on a 2 year, $8M pact with the Angels. The Angels could stand to have a stronger bullpen, as they finished 22nd in baseball with a collective 3.97 ERA from their relievers, and Burnett instantly becomes a good stopper with a chance to get a crack at some saves if any injuries shake out especially with Jordan Walden now out of town (to Atlanta).
The Nationals also added Denard Span via trade and he makes for an excellent 2013 sleeper as the Nats continue to get better.
The Royals are being rumored as interested in almost every front-line starter, from James Shields, to Anibal Sanchez, to Kyle Lohse, but sadly not Zack Greinke, although something about that reunion seems fitting. If they're willing to face the ramifications of moving top-prospect Wil Myers, then they very easily could get their wish and add their first game-changing ace since Greinke was traded. Decisions, decisions...
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