Since the trade deadline of this past season to now the Boston Red Sox have by far been the busiest team in the AL East. And they’ve made some pretty scary upgrades. In that time they’ve acquired Yoenis Cespedes, Joe Kelly, Allen Craig, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.
Needless to say, you can get a lot of talent in a short period of time if you really try it and see how it turns out.
The Toronto Blue Jays getting Russell Martin is cute until you remember the rest of the AL East is going to load up during the offseason too. It certainly improves the Blue Jays, but isn’t quite the splash that the Red Sox have made, nor does it rank up there with the position they have put themselves in to make more moves via trades.
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So with the Red Sox making so many new acquisitions I thought it would be fun to compare the Red Sox upgrades to what the Jays currently have at those positions.
First let’s get Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig out of the way.
Cespedes and Craig are both outfielders and Craig can also play 1st base but you’d have to imagine Napoli has that position on lock. Obviously the Jays don’t have anything in the outfield right now besides Bautista. Unless you count Dalton Pompey, Andy Dirks, Kevin Pillar and John Mayberry Jr. Let’s hope we don’t have to count them because call me crazy but I don’t think any of those guys quite stack up to the Red Sox outfield or any AL East outfield for that matter.
Joe Kelly is a young starting pitcher which of course the Jays have plenty of. The difference is he’ll be going into his 4th big league season but he only has 48 career big league starts.
And then there’s yesterdays signings.
If Hanley plays the left field as expected then read what I wrote above. Offensively, Ramirez is far superior at the plate than any of the Blue Jays’ incumbent candidates in left. However, defensively Hanley is a complete mystery in left field. The Red Sox are singing all of his praises with attitude and commitment to learn the position, but desire to play it and actually doing so in Fenway Park with no outfield experience are two vastly different things.
Brett Lawrie’s better defensively than Pablo Sandoval. Sandovals a superior hitter and also stays healthy more than Lawrie but who has obviously had his issues doing so.
On paper the Red Sox have gotten a lot better in a short period of time.
This is all a long way of saying the Jays need to upgrade as much as they can. Because despite what we saw in 2014 the AL East is always going to be a tough place to play and the Red Sox are doing a good job of reminding us of that.