Oh, this could get interesting. The Red Sox have made it very clear that they are playing zero games this offseason, signing third baseman Pablo Sandoval and short stop Hanley Ramirez. Now it’s time to see how Yankees GM Brian Cashman answers back, or if he will at all.
The Sox nabbed two of the bigger names in free agency this offseason rather quickly signing Sandoval to a five-year deal worth $98M and Ramirez to a four-year deal worth $88M. There is still more work that needs to be done in Boston though.
The signings did create a very scary lineup in Boston which already features David Ortiz and former MVP Dustin Pedroia. I would mention Yoenis Cespedes, but rumors are circling that he is a key piece in trade talks for the Sox. The BoSox offense is not an issue, their pitching staff however is. With only one member of the rotation having over 50 career starts in Clay Buchholz, who has been a model of inconsistency over the years.
So what can the Yankees do to combat Boston’s major signings? Well they need to make sure that Boston does not get a front line starter. Max Scherzer and former Red Sox John Lester headline the list of pitchers available. The Yankees had mixed feelings about going after big names this offseason but if they want to win in 2015 they’re going to have to spend money some money, but smarter this time.
The best move the Yankees can make, sign John Lester. Steal him from Boston, take their beloved ace. They would need to move quickly as Lester has been visiting with other teams and was just offered a six-year $135M deal from the Cubs. The lefty who turns 31 in January would fill a much needed spot for the Yankees who had to piece together a rotation this past season due to injuries. Lester gives the Yankees a solidified ace who would compliment Tanaka beautifully. He also gives the Yankees a definite go to guy in the postseason, if they were to make it that far. His numbers speak for them self. Lester is 116-67 in his career, almost all of which he has done in the AL East. His 2.57 ERA in the postseason (0.43 in the World Series) is definitely intriguing as well.The greatest part about Lester is that he wouldn’t cost the bombers another first-round pick. Yankees could walk away with a great pitcher and still be able to fortify their weak farm system come June. Lester makes too much sense for the Yankees at the moment. The move does seem unlikely at the moment since they Yankees have been surprisingly quiet, but former Red Sox Curt Schilling knows never to count out Cashman.
Lester would still be the better option in the Bronx. He saves money, he saves draft picks, he’s succeeded in the AL East and he thrives in the postseason. Best of all, the move would keep him away from the Red Sox. It is going to be fun either way to see if the Yankees begin to combat Boston’s moves, or if Boston can bring in any more star power.