Most projections have the Red Sox and Yankees winning 95 or so games this season. Based on the moves the teams made during the winter, that seems reasonable.
Which leads to this question: What is one regular-season victory worth to those teams?
One victory could be the difference between home-field advantage in the playoffs. For teams that constructed rosters built to the dimensions of their respective parks, that is not insignificant. One victory could be the difference in being able to set up your rotation the way you want, as the Yankees were able to do last season. One extra victory might allow you to rest your ace a little more as the season ends.
Then take it a little further. What if that one extra victory helps lead to getting to the World Series or winning another championship? How much is that worth to the bottom line in terms of sponsorships, suite sales and advertising rates on NESN and YES?
I’m not smart enough to figure that out. But I would think for a team like the Red Sox, there could be a significant financial difference between winning 95 games or winning 96.
Which leads me to this: Why not sign Kiko Calero, Chan-Ho Park, Jermaine Dye or one of the other free agents still on the market? Given how close the Red Sox and Yankees seem to be, making the team one player stronger could be the difference between winning the East or playing Game 1 of the Division Series in Anaheim or Seattle.
Calero would provide an upgrade to the bullpen in Boston or New York. Dye, while not what he once was, did have 27 homers last season and an .894 OPS against lefthanders. David Ortiz hit .212 against lefties last season with a .716 OPS.
It is impossible to know what impact one player could have on the team. But given how close the Red Sox and Yankees appear to be, wouldn’t it be worth investing $2 million in one more player just to get that little edge? As we get closer to spring training, there could be some bargains out there that make a difference.
Just something to think about on a cold day largely devoid of baseball news. What is your take?
Who do you like in the Super Bowl? I’m rooting for the Saints, but given how Brett Favre carved up New Orleans two weeks ago, Peyton Manning could throw for 400 yards. Good luck with your squares and have a good weekend.