The Weak MLB Dollar
If you think things are tough in the world, just think about the poor, poor Yankees and Red Sox. The Yankees have a payroll in 2011 of $ 202,689,028, the Red Sox payroll for 2011 is $ 161,762,475. Why is this an issue? Because despite payroll and trades, both teams can’t field the pitching staffs that they want to. If any two teams could go back and make another deal for a pitcher, it would be both teams.
The Red Sox suffered a huge blow today with the announcement of Clay Buchholz having a stress fracture in his back. He’ll be out the rest of the season. Despite gaining Erik Bedard, they still have John Lackey (9-8, 6.20 ERA) and Andrew Miller (4-1, 5.36 ERA) in their 5-man rotation. Think they would have been happy if Hiroki Kuroda waived his no-trade clause, if Jeremy Guthrie was traded by the O’s, or if Charlie Hough came out of retirement? Yes to all of the above. They need a starter. Tim Wakefield is still in the picture and Alfredo Aceves would be valuable as a starter, but they don’t have any prospects to bring up outside of Felix Doubront.
The Yankees are going to a 6-man rotation with the successful outing that Ivan Nova had in the doubleheader with Baltimore this weekend. Still, those six haven’t been as sexy as in years past. C.C. Sabathia has been dominant (15-5, 2.56 ERA) and you have to wonder how much is left in Freddy Garcia (10-7, 3.22 ERA) and Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.30 ERA) as the season goes on. A.J. Burnett has been as inconsistent as always (8-9, 4.23 ERA) and Phil Hughes (1-3, 8.24 ERA) looks dead, even with his “dead-arm” healed. Ivan Nova (9-4, 4.01 ERA) coming back from a minor ankle injury could help, but look at what they have here.
Teams in large markets dominate the payroll list, the top seven are the Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, Cubs, and Mets. Philadelphia seems to be taking steps towards becoming the National League version of the Yankees, trading for and buying talent to succeed. Good for them. However, at some point, buying your talent and dealing your young pitching depth could bury you. Josh Beckett is great, but how great would Boston look with Anibal Sanchez (6-4, 3.74 ERA) and Hanley Ramirez (15 2B, 10 HR, 19 SB in his WORST season to date). The Yankees have Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos coming up through the system, but they, and the Red Sox, have made so many deals involving young talent that they have had no other choice. Now, in the luxury tax, they fear taking on more salary to offset their short comings. We aren’t even talking about Carl Crawford here. If you pay for talent and they don’t work out, you end up starting guys like Colon and Miller on your team. I remember when spending money used to get you something. It doesn’t look like they spent it wisely with their starting pitching.