The Balance of Power shifts in the division...but which one?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Well, obviously there was a lot of news coming out of Major League Baseball today. Enough even to prevent SportsCenter to not mention Monday Night Football in the first 15 minutes of the show, which is almost unfathomable. Let's take a look at the deals:

John Lackey on June 15, 2006Image via Wikipedia

Roy <span class=Halladay" style="border: medium none ; display: block;" width="300" height="377">Image via Wikipedia

First, the deal that most directly affects the Yankees. John Lackey signs a five year contract worth more than the $82.5 million A.J. Burnett got from the Yanks last year. This doesn't really scare me that much. Yes, Lackey is a workhorse who has had success in the playoffs, but besides that what is he? He went 11-8 in 2009 and 12-5 in 2008 while missing time with injury. Boston's rotation, as of right now, is Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Clay Buchholz. I think the Yankees rotation matches up favorably to that, but I do have a biased opinion.

Now the big news: the Roy Halladay trade. The three team deal between the Phillies, Blue Jays and Mariners is still pending, and it is still unclear what prospects are headed where but the basics: the Phillies get Halladay, the Mariners get Cliff Lee, and the Blue Jays get prospects from both teams.

Now for the Phillies, they get the guy they've wanted for months now, but they have to give up Lee, who was their ace from this postseason. I literally just got off the phone with a friend of mine who is a Phillies fan who had just heard of the trade. He had only heard that the Phillies got Halladay and I was the one to break the news that they had to give up Lee in the deal. After assuring him that I was not trying to get back at him for the Giants-Eagles game last night by joking around, he was considerably less excited about the trade. Now, Halladay is an upgrade over Lee, but they Phillies would have been a lock for a World Series appearance next season if they had both.

But I think that the attention should be going to the Mariners. They added a front-line starter in an off-season where they already signed Chone Figgins and have been linked to players such as Matt Holliday and Jayson Bay to add to their lineup. They have taken advantage of the Angels losing some big names over the past few years (like Teixeira and Lackey) and have made an aggressive push to make themselves competitive. I think this deal affects the AL West more than the NL East or the AL East.

Well it's finals week, so there may not be too many posts, especially if no big news comes out of Yankee-land because, you know, priorities.


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