The coveted rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox teed off and took its first whirl in 2014 Tuesday afternoon. The Yankees would go on to win the exhibition game 8-1. Looking forward into what lays ahead in 2014, it deems relevant to analyze each teams current roster as well as all key offseason acquisitions and losses.
First off, lets begin with the Yankees. Dating back to last season, the Yankees were plagued with injuries to many of the team’s key players and failed to make a run in the playoffs. Of course for the Yankees organization, this is completely unacceptable for a team that leads all of Major League Baseball in highest payroll. Nonetheless, it does not come as a surprise by any means that the Yankees have made various changes over the 2014 off-season as they have signed four of the biggest names available in free agency. Key additions to the Yankees include former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, and veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran. As it currently appears on paper, the Yankees have substantially improved upon their starting outfield with the additions of former all-stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. Worth noting however, is the loss of 2nd baseman Robinson Cano as he has signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners. In addition, the Yankees will more than likely need to find a replacement third baseman as Alex Rodriguez is currently suspended due to alleged substance abuse allocations. The Yankees have addressed this issue however, with the signing of Kelly Johnson who will likely begin the season as the teams starting third baseman. Moreover, the Yankees have acquired second baseman Brian Roberts as well who will be taking over as the teams starting second baseman. In all, the Yankees have seemingly found answers to most of the teams major question marks leading into next season. On paper at least, the Yankees will be going into the 2014 regular season with a revamped hitting lineup as well as a solidified starting pitching rotation. In final analysis, look for the Yankees to rebound from last seasons woes and once again be in contention for the playoffs.
Now lets take a glance at the Boston Red Sox and what their outlook going into next season is looking like. The Red Sox will be entering next season as the leagues reigning world champions after going on to win the World Series in 2013. Unfortunately for the Red Sox , and fortunate for the rival Yankees, they have lost an abundance of key players this offseason who were pivotal to the teams success and road to winning the World Series last year. Key losses include: Jacoby Ellsbury, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, as well as pitchers Matt Thornton, Ryan Dempster, Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey. Conversely, key acquisitions for the Red Sox include: catcher A.J. Pierzynski, outfielder Grady Sizemore who will look to replace Jacoby Ellsbury in center field, and starting pitcher Chris Capuano will tee off on the mound.
All else considered, the Yankees have made a larger impact via free agency this offseason than of their rival counterpart, Red Sox. As we delve further into what can be expected from each team going forward, both teams feature talented rosters as they prepare for the regular season. On paper at least, the Yankees seem to have the edge over the Red Sox in regards to starting pitching and hitting talent. Despite which team is better entering 2014’s regular season however, it can be expected that come time when the New York Yankees tee off against the Boston Red Sox, the intensity will be flowing and the rivalry games should be all but boring.
Commentary by Robert Lucas
MLB Daily Dish