Via Evans Clinchy of NESN.com today -
If you want to be a champion, you’d better be prepared to spend like one. That’s the sad truth about baseball today.
Years from now, when baseball historians look back on the 2009 Yankees, they’ll remember them for the exorbitant amount of money they spent and the historic dividends it paid. By investing $423 million last winter in CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, the Bronx Bombers all but assured themselves of World Series glory — not just now, but in the years ahead as well.
The Red Sox went into this offseason knowing that if they want to compete on that level, they have to spend the big bucks too. And while it may not be a cool $423 mil, the Red Sox have spent handsomely on their 2010 championship quest.
The signings of John Lackey, Mike Cameron, Adrian Beltre and Marco Scutaro add up to just over $120 million in new contracts added in the last month and a half. And while that might not be even in the same universe with the cash the Yankees doled out, it gets the job done just fine in Boston.
The Red Sox were a competitive team in 2009 — they won 95 games and the American League wild card. They weren’t in the market for a complete overhaul this winter — they just needed a few minor tweaks to make their team even better for 2010. It wasn’t about big contracts for huge superstars — the Red Sox just needed deeper pitching, better defense and a complete lineup from one through nine.
You know, everyone is talking about the Yankees and the Red Sox in the A.L. East like it’s a two-team race.
What about the Rays rotation of James Shields, Matt Garza, Jeff Niemann, David Price and Wade Davis? What about Tampa Bay scoring 800 runs last year with Pat Burrell and B.J. Upton not having good years?
If the Rays sign Johnny Damon to be their D.H. this season, and if the Rays can get some decent performances out of their bullpen, they should give the Sox and Yankees a run for their “money” this season – and both Boston and New York, and their fans, should not forget about Tampa Bay.