Blog Entry

Red Sox G.M. says don't sleep on Rays

Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:23 am
Theo Epstein The Red Sox had a "town hall" with fans last night on NESN, and there was a whole lot of Sox talk -- but one of the things I found interesting (or at least more interesting than the on-going Red Sox-Yankees banter) was general manager Theo Epstein's opinion on the Rays via the St. Petersburg Times):
"I think the demise of the Rays is greatly exaggerated. Even before those moves we never erased them at all from our radar. I think they’re uniquely positioned to lose some really good players and keep their status as one of the best teams in baseball, given the strength of their farm system and the players they have ready to step in. They lose [Matt] Garza, they have [Jeremy] Hellickson to step in. They lose [Carl] Crawford they have [Desmond] Jennings and [Matt] Joyce to step in. They're going to be real tough.''
I'm not sure the Rays are the class of the American League East, but it would be important to note that they're not going to revert to the Devil Rays just because Crawford is gone.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: February 1, 2011 5:16 pm

Red Sox G.M. says don't sleep on Rays

This offseason has likely made Theo Epstein, and Brian Cashman a little nervous, for tons of reasons other than anything concerning the Red Sox and Yankees. Many people have written about the imminent decline of the Yankees, but I don't think we'll see that this year. On the offensive side, they will be just fine with their stacked lineup. Where I think the Yankees need to be concerned is in their rotation. With the signings of Mark Prior, Bartolo Colon, and Freddy Garcia, the Yanks will be just fine with whatever combination of those three they go with, and add in Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. If Andy Pettite comes back as expected, then they'll actually be quite strong assuming Burnett doesn't tank completely. 
But as important as their own teams are to them, Cashman and Epstein have to be worried about the other 3 teams in the division. Epstein is bang on when he says the Rays won't regress that much, and if they play it right, they could be scary good again in a year or two, and that's a max time frame. The Jays have likely regressed a little this off-season with the departures of Shaun Marcum and Vernon Wells, but the return further positioned the Jays to be successful sooner than later. The Jays will be a major factor come 2012. And the Orioles keep getting better as well. Their young players will likely take another step this year, and their offseason was pretty positive. They could become a legit team in another year or two (with some pitching development/help). 
I know it sounds ridiculous, and could be blocked from happening by an open pocketbook.. but what if... and I mean what if.... the Yankees were 5th in the AL East in 2013-4 when players like A-Rod and Jeter are rounding out their careers. Don't completely scoff.. its not completely out of the realm of possibility. (but ok.. I'll admit it's not likely).

Since: Aug 28, 2007
Posted on: February 1, 2011 1:49 pm

Red Sox G.M. says don't sleep on Rays

I'm not so sure Beefy...the Yanks are getting older and older. 
There s/b some decline but most importantly: nagging injuries!

     Opening day lineup
Jeter, 36 (turns 37 in June)
Swisher, 30
Texeira, 30 (turns 31 on 4/11)
A-Rod, 35 (turns 36 in July)
Cano, 28
Posada, 39 (turns 40 in August)
Martin, 28 (Cervelli s/b the Catcher)
Granderson, 30
Gardner, 27 (turns 28 in August)

Sabathia is a stud
Burnett = Jekyl & hyde
Hughes was 11-3 at break, then 7-5 ERA 4.19
and got clobbered in his 2 starts @ Texas in Oct

the yanks have taken a page out of the old Sox book and signed:
Mark Prior, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon

Bullpen is their strength.
Rivera, 41 (will he ever get old?)

YANKEES will finish THIRD!


Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 1:48 pm

Red Sox G.M. says don't sleep on Rays

When a team can pitch, they are always going to be a factor. It's a double tough division, and I think they'll finish third, but would not be shocked if they made the playoffs. If Manny and Damon can still play at a reasonable level, who knows. Thought they would have been better off with Vlad, but the GM didn't ask my opinion. If they can take a little offensive pressure off Longoria, they may be better than last year on offense. Yeah they'll miss Crawford, but they won't miss the K machine Pena. Maybe Upton steps it up too, along with some of the other young guys.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:43 am

Red Sox G.M. says don't sleep on Rays

Anything is possible and injuries are part of the game but the AL East will come down to Boston and NewYork once again. Go BoSox. See you in Tampa in September

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