Both the Yankees and Red Sox made huge acquisitions in the offseason, and developed the players they already had. In this article I will be comparing the Yankees and Red Sox position by position giving grades and also showcasing each team’s top prospects.Starting Pitching:
Yankees Rotation (Prediction):
- Masahiro Tanaka
- Michael Pineda
- Luis Severino
- Nathan Eovaldi
- ? (Not Decided)
Red Sox Rotation (Prediction):
- David Price
- Clay Buchholz
- Eduardo Rodriguez
- Rick Porcello
- Joe Kelly
Explanation: Although the Red Sox did acquire arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball in the form of David Price they didn’t cover up they’re Starting Pitching problem. Last Year the Red Sox had maybe the worst starting staff in baseball as the offseason prior they went in with the mindset that they didn’t need an ace to win a championship, they had done it before, but this offseason they seem to have rectified their mistake as they have acquired David Price. With the Yankees on the other hand had many ups and downs in terms of starting pitching last year. Their supposed “ace” Masahiro Tanaka was not nearly as effective as fans hoped and Veteran lefty C.C. Sabathia was a complete disappointment. Although, in this offseason a few of those starters rectified problems they had found with themselves. As Masahiro Tanaka had surgery on his throwing arm for an injury that he had accumulated back in Japan and has recovered from it. Another renewed Yankee is C.C. Sabathia who had checked himself into a rehab center for alcoholics and will be ready for the New season. All in all, both pitching rotations are mediocre but the Yankees have a small edge on the Sox in this category, it will definitely be fun to watch these staffs battle.
-Aroldis Chapman (Suspended for 30 games)
Red Sox Bullpen:
-Robbie Ross Jr.
Explanation: The Yankees again take the prize in this category, but only slightly. Although both of these grades are somewhat high there are extreme downfalls that have potential to hurt these bullpens significantly. For the Red Sox, rookie arms and inexperience has a potential downfall looming, as guys such as Neil Ramirez and Roenis Elias have yet to show their highest potential in the MLB. Elias, who the Red Sox Acquired in the deal that gave Wade Miley to the Mariners is supposedly very good and has a huge potential in the MLB, but only time will tell how he does. On the other hand the Yankees main issue/future problem is Aroldis Chapman. During this past offseason Chapman was linked in a domestic abuse situation where there is a possibility of a ban from baseball, if he is banned this could postpone the Yankees from having one of the most dominant back end bullpens in baseball.Catchers:
Red Sox Catchers:
This category was awarded the same grade due to the overall value of each player. For the Red Sox, they have an up and coming guy in Blake Swihart that has the potential to be the best catcher in baseball if he can develop and grow from where he is now, although the Red Sox also have an older catcher in Ryan Hanigan who is not reliable if Blake goes down with an injury. So for the Red Sox, they have a young catcher who they can build off from, but if he goes down they take a big hits on the offensive and defensive sides. On the other hand we have the Yankees who have a veteran starter in Brian McCann, a lefty with enough power to hit it out in Yankee Stadium over 20 times. Although due to McCann’s age he has gotten a little more lackadaisical on the defensive side as he only stopped 36% of runners that attempted a stolen base on him, which gives Blake Swihart an edge overall, but the Yankees backup, Gary Sanchez who is ranked as the 20th projected catcher in 2020 which isn’t too bad and it’s better than Ryan Hanigan which brings up the Yankees overall catcher position rating to about equal with the Sox.First Baseman:
Explanation: Last year the Yankees had a legitimate chance of being dangerous playoff contenders if they had a healthy Mark Teixeira. Although, in early September, an aging Teixeira fell onto the DL for the rest of the season, and basically ruined the Yankees chances of a playoff run. Despite his old age he still has the potential to have a 30+ home run season this year. Teixeira who usually gets hurt, almost every year is no longer reliable to tough out a whole season, so last year Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM went out and traded for former No. 1 pick Dustin Ackley, Ackley was initially meant to be used as a Utility player and was for the remainder of the 2015 season. However, up and coming star 1st baseman, Greg Bird had surgery on his shoulder that will cost him his 2016 season and Cashman was put on the spot to find a backup for Teixeira as it was assumed he would get hurt. So logically Cashman turned to his utility player and gave him the backup job. For the Red Sox, their new starting 1st baseman, Hanley Ramirez was a huge disappointment last year as he was not reliable in the field or at the plate. This offseason he was given the role at first base, if we’ve learned anything from Hanley’s days back playing Shortstop or even last year while he was playing Left Field, HE CAN’T PLAY THE FIELD. Hanley is not a fielder and he’s made that clear. Hanley’s Backup Travis Shaw however isn’t the worst player the Red Sox had ever relied on, but he most definitely isn’t a superstar.2nd Baseman:
Explanation: The Yankees are easily beat by the Sox in this category due to the fact that the Red Sox have one of the best 2nd baseman coming back into the game after recovering from an injury and he seems better than ever. Also the Red Sox have All-Star backup, Brock Holt. Last year Holt batted .280 With 6 HRs and 45 RBIs, and last year while playing second base he had a .981 fielding percentage. He was a great replacement for Pedroia and will probably do a great job coming off the bench this year. On the other hand the Yankees acquired 3-Time All-star Starlin Castro from the Cubs this past offseason and a lot of fans seem to be happy, although, Castro didn’t have an all-star caliber year last year. He only posted a .265 batting average 11 HRs and 69 RBIs, now these numbers aren’t bad but the Yankees will want more production out of him than that.3rd Baseman:
-Travis Shaw/Brock Holt
Explanation: You really can’t argue that Pablo Sandoval, one of the most highly anticipated free agency signings had a terrible year. Sandoval only hit .245 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs he had a terrible year and it’s what we’ve been accustomed to seeing with huge name free agents signing with the Sox, examples? Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Julio Lugo, Edgar Renteria, A.J. Pierzynski, Jeremy Giambi, and many more as you go farther back. The Red Sox just don’t have good luck when it comes to free agency and it showed here. On the other side, Chase Headley was one of the worst starting third baseman in all of baseball last year, he only hit eleven home runs, when he was expected by fans and coaches for at least twenty. He was a disappointment.Shortstop:
-Starlin Castro/Rob Refsnyder
Explanation: After Derek Jeter retired in 2014 the Yankees needed a Shortstop, in that years’ offseason they made a three team trade with the D-Backs and Tigers in which they acquired the young Dutch Shortstop Didi Gregorius. Gregorius was named the team’s’ starting Shortstop by the time that the season had started and he wasn’t really what Yankee fans were used to after Jeter. Didi didn’t start out too hot but once they got into the middle months of July and August he started putting up great numbers, hitting .317 in July and .310 in August, all in all Didi didn’t disappoint in his role. On the other hand the Red sox have a player in Xander Bogaerts that has the potential to be a complete stud in Major League Baseball for years to come. The Aruba born Shortstop posted a .320 batting average with 7 homeruns and 80+ RBIs, Bogaerts also liked to flash the leather with a .984 fielding percentage last year.Outfield:
-Jackie Bradley Jr.
Explanation: The Red Sox have three potentially great players in their outfield, Rusney Castillo last year struggled mightily at the plate only hitting .253 with 7 home runs and 29 RBIs he had a fairly dismal year, but he had great potential going into that season and still does going into this one. In 2015 Jackie Bradley Jr. started out as a backup outfielder, but slowly forced his way into the starting lineup due to his power at the plate and speed on defense. Bradley had 10 home runs and 40+ RBIs that came fairly late in the year to help the team. Mookie Betts has been talked about heavily this offseason after he led the Red Sox as an unofficial captain, Mookie had 18 home runs and 77 RBIs and even has been talked about having a good chance at being 2016’s AL MVP after finishing 19th in voting last year. For the Yankees, the outfield is getting crowded and old. Many fans don’t want to see it but Gardner and Beltran have to go. Beltran has announced his retirement will take place at the end of this season but then the Yankees will still be stuck with the aging Brett Gardner, along with an injury prone Jacoby Ellsbury who will be in New York until 2020. The Yankees never ending problem of signing contracts that they know are too long and too expensive is once again being showcased. Although they did make a good move this offseason dealing J.R. Murphy away to the Minnesota Twins for 24 old outfielder, Aaron Hicks. Hicks will add to their outfield what they lost when Chris Young left for for the Red Sox.Top 5 Prospects (In no Specific Order):
(I didn’t put Eduardo Rodriguez because he’s already a full time MLB player)
No grades because they haven’t had enough playing time in the MLB and I didn’t want to seem biased.
Breakdown: This season could possibly be one of the best years of the Yankee vs Red Sox rivalry, both teams doing whatever they can to prepare before the season and they both look great. This season and seasons to come could quite possibly be remembered like the 2004 season is and how the 1999 season is remembered.