Monday, February 06, 2006
The Super Bowl is over so the count down to the equipment truck leaving Yawkey Way can get underway. My guess is seven or eight days. In the meantime, today starts my American League preview. Even though most issues have been resolved with the Sox, I'll wait for a final product is completed before passing judgment, but onto the other teams.
Let's just talk about how the non-contenders - Seattle, KC, Texass, shot first and ask questions later (a.k.a. Det-Riot) and Baltimore - could enhance the Sox roster. Because if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Keith Foulke is the biggest question mark, and the Sox are without a net at this position. Seattle's Eddie Guardado is in the last year of his contract could be available during the summer. The M’s will have difficultly competing with Oaktown and the O.C./L.A./Ana and Guardado is in the last year of his contract, which he is set to earn $6.25 million. He is nice trade bait for a contender needing a “closer” which could be the Sox. Regardless of the success of Foulke’s comeback, they can use a power southpaw reliever.
The M’s signings of Matt Lawton and Carl Everett only adds to the OF/1B/DH logjam. Seattle has Reed in center, Ichiro in right, Sexson at first leaving only left and DH for the two new employees, Ibanez and if healthy, Chris Snelling. Raul Ibanez, in his last year at $4.25 million, could be on the block and draw interest from the Olde Towne Team. Ibanez would be at first with Youkilis at third if Mike Lowell and Tony Graffanino fail or Tony G is dealt. Carlos Pena could serve a similar purpose as Ibanez if necessary. The power-patience hitter from Mass should be on the block with Chris Shelton as a less expensive option at first. DH isn't a possibilitiy either with the Meat Hook locked up. Pena is making a reasonable $2.8 million in 2006.
The Sox could acquire a third baseman directly by the name of Melvin Mora. Mora is in the last year of his deal earning $4 million before hitting the free agent market. If the O’s, who will be out of contention, do not feel they have a shot of resigning the professional hitter. The Sox could be interested if Lowell sucks.
The rest are A.L. postseason contenders and will be reviewed in the following days, which is sure to address the following questions:
• Out West, can Oakland’s inexperience over take LAA?
• In the flyovers, did the trade of Coco hurt the Indians shot at winning the division over the Other Sox?
• Can the Twins score enough to be in the hunt?
• Is Toronto ready to take on both the 500 and 700 pound gorillas back East?
• Did the MFY buy themselves another division title by inking the latest Benedict Arnold?