Yankees, Red Sox reign in offseason

Originally Published: January 2, 2007
By Keith Law | Scouts Inc.
With the bulk of the offseason activity behind us -- save a Randy Johnson trade here and a Jeff Weaver signing there -- let's take a look at which teams did the most to help or hurt themselves and which contracts look like the best and worst deals of the winter.

Three teams that came out ahead

1. Yankees: In a winter when everyone else was eager to commit lots of dollars to older players, the Yankees managed to stick to short-term commitments, and even flipped Gary Sheffield for three minor league arms with upside. Andy Pettitte was one of the best starters available, and the Yankees got him for two years (one if he declines the player option). Mike Mussina was also one of the best starters available, and the Yankees retained him at what was clearly a below-market salary. And they even dumped Jaret Wright on Baltimore, getting back a useful back-of-the-pen arm in Chris Britton and saving a little cash there as well.

2. Red Sox: The Sox went into the offseason with five major needs and filled three of them. They needed another starter, preferably a No. 3 or better, and landed one in Daisuke Matsuzaka, the best starting pitcher available. They needed a shortstop and landed Julio Lugo, who was the only true everyday shortstop on the free-agent market. They needed a No. 5 hitter, and may have landed one in J.D. Drew, assuming that the issues around his contract and his physical can be worked out. While the Sox added relief pitchers like Brendan Donnelly and J.C. Romero, they still don't have a suitable closer. And another thing the Sox didn't address externally was second base, choosing to go with rookie Dustin Pedroia to try to save some money at one position this year.


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