Friday, December 10, 2010

East Beast: Boston Red Sox Bulking Up!

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-Digger's Daily-

Baseball in Boston has quickly become a hot topic. GM Theo Epstein is one of the games best. He weaved a little magic and waived big bucks to bulk up the Red Sox with two of baseball's brightest stars. First, Boston traded for Padres first-baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Next up, take aim at Carl Crawford who recently spent time with Yankees GM Brian Cashman. A soon to be announced $140M contract instantly transforms Boston's lineup into a serious juggernaut. Cashman was even quoted as saying "Great move. Great player." The most important factor is Gonzalez (28) enters his prime baseball years. For the first time he now has solid lineup protection. Imagine the stats he'll register in AL East hitter friendly parks. Crawford is in his prime. Epstein locked up 2 premier players for years to come. Yanks are offering Lee a mega deal. It's anyone's guess where he'll pitch. If Boston stretches its' piggy bank???

There's one player not many are taking notice of due to the flurry of recent activity. In the midst of Dunn signing with White Sox, Pena now a Cub, Hardy traded to Baltimore, Uggla in Atlanta, Gonzalez, Crawford... here's a move which might shift AL East balance this year. Catcher Russell Martin. Boston let Martinez go to free up free agent cash. Varitek is a fan favorite but is relegated to backup duties and Jarrod Saltalamacchia isn't a producer. Martin is a perfect fit in Fenway. Boston would also handicap the Yankees. Yanks want to play it safe by landing Martin. Posada is the new DH and Girardi must be a bit nervous handing the catching duties to a rookie in '11. Martin is a good fit for the Yanks and others. Expect a Yankees vs Red Sox free agent war to erupt at any moment. Yanks desperately need pitching. What will they do if Lee spurns a mega deal to play for his favorite team? I'd bet he picks a team before Sunday.

Boston and New York aren't the only East teams getting busy. A chess match is in progress. Questions surround Tampa in my mind. A great club playing winning baseball could barely draw fans to home games until late last season. It's going to hurt their spending power as evidenced by Crawford's departure. Curious eye should pay attention to see how they respond to a significant divisional power shift. Baltimore is quietly solidifying their underachieving club. A healthy J.J. Hardy couldn't have landed in a better short porch division for putting up some nice power numbers. Brendan Harris was part of the deal too as the O's try plugging a few gaps. Toronto has a new manager. John Farrell takes over as Blue Jays skipper replacing everyone's favorite, Cito Gaston. Jays will probably spend wisely, not wildly.

AL East baseball is heating up in dead of winter!

Boston clear early winners acquiring rising stars. Yankees busy re-signing aging veterans. Tampa hoping pitching prevails. Baltimore and Toronto sharing Cinderella status. Stay tuned for breaking free agent announcements... it's going to be a busy few weeks of player signings. No one wants to get left out in the cold like last season. Plenty of careers came to screeching halts in the winter of 2009. Can you guess (remember) their names? Didn't think so.


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