I’m sure Andy will have a post about this later, but I just wanted to post now that the news is out that David Price is headed to Boston. The money is big, as we thought it might be- $217-million over 7 years. It makes gives Price the biggest contract ever for a pitcher and assuming it is evenly averaged over the length of the deal, Price will make about $1-million per start.
Price gets rightfully knocked for not pitching well in the postseason, but he is a wonderful pitcher and solves a big problem for Boston. The money in this deal is astounding, especially when you consider how the Red Sox lowballed Jon Lester, but the ultimate way to judge this deal in my mind is if the Red Sox win a World Series with Price. If they do, great deal. If they don’t, ugh. In many ways this is exactly like the Yankees deal with Sabathia after the 2008 season. Both teams gave a stud lefty a seven-year, record-breaking deal, with an opt-out after three seasons. The Yankees won their World Series and then made the mistake of bringing Sabathia back after he opted-out. We will have to wait to see if Boston gets similar results and makes a similar error.
Multiple outlets are reporting that the Red Sox have signed Chris Young to a multiyear deal. Clearly Yankee fans will have a target to boo vociferously when the Red Sox come to town in 2016.
Ok, maybe not. Young was a nice complementary player for the Yankees. He murdered left-handed pitching and played all three outfield spots. But, he was clearly not needed when the Yankees traded for Hicks. And while the details of his new deal are not known, the fact that it is for more than one year makes me a bigger fan of the Hicks trade than before. The Yankees picked Young off the waiver wire in 2014 and brought him back for an economical $2.5-million. I suspect the Red Sox will be paying him a lot more than that.
I know the season has technically started, but today is Opening Day in my mind. Here’s how I see the 162-game season and beyond unfolding.
3- New York
I think Tampa is the best team in the AL East and I expect they will be the only team that cracks the 90-win level in the division. Boston comes in second with the Yankees repeating last year’s 85-77 record. Toronto and Baltimore bring up the rear.
3- Kansas City
I didn’t like the Cabrera extension, but he will earn whatever he gets paid this season. The Tigers are the class of the division and I see no reason not to pick them to repeat. Cleveland showed us something last year and while KC is a trendy pick, I am not buying it yet. Minnesota will be lousy, but I bet Phil Hughes has a nice year away from the Bronx.
A lot of things went wrong for the Angels last year and I think they rectify those this year with a division crown. Oakland is right behind them, but Texas drops off because of injuries. I wonder how Robinson Cano will enjoy playing meaningless games as early as August 1st? The only thing keeping Seattle out of the basement is the train wreck that is the Houston roster.
4- New York
This is really a two-tier division. Washington and Atlanta are much, much better than everyone else. I think the Nats take the crown this year. I expect it will be a long summer in Philadelphia.
1- St. Louis
The Cards are consistently excellent and I suspect they win the NL Central again. Pittsburgh snuck up on people last year, they won’t do that again this one and I expect them to drop back a bit and miss the playoffs.
2- San Francisco
3- San Diego
A classic rivalry will fight for the crown in the NL West until the end. I say LA gets it.
Wild Card Round
Oakland over Boston
San Francisco over Cincinnati
(Yup, no playoffs in the Bronx this year)
Detroit over Oakland
Tampa over Anaheim
Washington over St. Louis
LA over San Francisco
Tampa over Detroit
LA over Washington
LA over Tampa
That’s how I see 2014 unfolding, how about you?
The A-Rod arbitration hearing took a big turn today. Alex stormed out of the hearing, cursed out a baseball executive and vowed that he would not return to the proceedings. This was reportedly in response to the arbitrator in the case ruling that Bud Selig doesn’t need to testify. Alex then went to WFAN’s studios and sat down with Mike Francesa for an interview. (They haven’t posted the audio of it yet, but you can bet they will soon.) In the interview he denied doing anything wrong, including using PED’s and obstructing the investigation. Here’s a partial transcript of the key exchange
Francesa– “Were you guilty of any of these charges?”
Francesa– “Did you do anything wrong?”
Francesa– “Did you do any PED’s?”
Francesa– “Did you obstruct just- anybody any witnesses? Did you do anything they accused you of doing?”
Francesa– “So you are guilty in your mind of nothing?”
A-Rod– “I feel like I should be there opening day”
All of this raises a number of questions. First and foremost, why won’t Bud Selig testify in the arbitration hearing? Considering all we have heard about MLB’s behavior so far, Selig should take the stand and tell his side of the story. And Alex’s side has a good argument that the arbitrator is afraid of being fired by Selig if he compels him to testify since that could happen (not until after this case) and did happen to the arbitrator who ruled that Ryan Braun didn’t fail a drug test in 2011.
Now, was Alex’s reaction today genuine? That’s a tougher one to answer. On one hand, I can understand why he was angry and I can’t blame him. On the other, he needed to make a scene. Let me explain that one further. Arbitration is used to keep things out of the courts and since MLB and the Players’ Association have agreed to use arbitration to solve their disputes, A-Rod is going to have a tough time getting a court to listen to an appeal of arbitration unless he can somehow convince a court that he was railroaded. That’s why I would be very suspicious of his motives today.
But ultimately, Alex proclaimed his innocence clearly and unequivocally. I don’t know why he waited until now to do so, he claims it was because of his attorneys, but he has done it. He was clearly upset in his interview with Francesa over how he has been treated by MLB, Selig and the Yankees. (They are replaying it on YES after the Nets game tonight if you want to watch) I don’t know where this is going next, but it is clear that Alex is going to exhaust every avenue possible to him if the arbitrator finds he is guilty.