I called the Jacoby Ellsbury to New York move back in September.
That one was as easy as predicting the Orioles won’t sign any REAL free agents in the winter.
The Yankees not only added a quality player, but they’re now going to face the Red Sox 19 times a year with Ellsbury on THEIR team instead of the other way around.
Ellsbury’s injury history makes it easy for people jealous of the Yankees to snicker and point their finger at New York’s front office while saying, “You dummies…that guy is always hurt!”
He wasn’t hurt last October when Boston was winning the World Series.
I completely understand that people in Baltimore are conditioned to criticize all free agent signings of the Yankees and Red Sox. Go back and look at the way the orange apologists in town laughed and scoffed at Boston last winter when they inked Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino to contracts.
How’d that work out for the guys in Boston?
Back in 2009 when the Yankees landed Sabathia, Teixeira and Burnett, lots of folks in Baltimore LOL’d at New York for forking over $400 million for those three guys. They won the World Series that year. Sabathia has been phenomenal in New York, Teixeira was very good until his injury last year and Burnett was outstanding the year New York won the title but has since moved on.
They signed those three players because they wanted to win.
And win they did.
We pick on everything those franchises do because we want their signings to fail — but as the Red Sox showed last year, when you sign good players they rarely fail. That’s why they’re good baseball players. Some of the signings don’t work out. See my comments above about A.J. Burnett in New York. But, if one girl in your high school economics class says, “No thanks, I’d rather feed my goldfish” when you ask her to the prom, do you not ask anyone else?
I also understand the need to review a player’s health while evaluating his worth, but please don’t be one of those goofs who says “I wouldn’t take Ellsbury on my team, he’s injury prone.”
No, he isn’t.
Nolan Reimold — now there’s a guy living in the definition of “injury prone”.
He doesn’t play. Because he’s always hurt.
And, when you don’t play, you have ZERO value to the team.
Ellsbury — and some of his injuries have been more about his style-of-play than anything else — is a helluva baseball player who clearly got paid a king’s ransom in New York because he’s the proverbial “table setter” for the rest of the lineup.
Sure, he can’t be missing 60 games a year over the next seven seasons or his $153 million dollar deal will be outrageously out-of-balance, but you can’t go into any sort of “mega contract” pre-predicting a player’s health or you wouldn’t sign anyone of value.
This, of course, speaks far more about the Yankees wanting to win than it does anything else. They had a gaping hole at catcher heading into the winter and quickly solved it in a big way by bringing on Brian McCann. They wanted an upgrade in centerfield and quickly solved it by adding Ellsbury.
Did they overpay for those two?
Most certainly they did.
Are the Yankees a MUCH better team this morning than they were two weeks ago today?
You bet your pin-striped rear end they are.
And that’s how they roll in New York, where their quest for winning trumps everything.
In Baltimore, where the Orioles have GOBS ANB GOBS of money at their disposal, the quest for winning comes in 3rd or 4th place on the list of “what’s really important to us this off-season?”
By the way, the Red Sox will also be heard from over the next month or so.
Sure, they just won the World Series – something we haven’t done in Charm City for 30 years now – but they’re not going to sit back and dismantle their team while the Yankees get better.
The Orioles don’t compete with the Yankees and Red Sox for players for one reason and one reason only.
Because they choose not to.