Sixth in a series. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5)
When the Red Sox missed the playoffs in 2006, they went out the next offseason and reloaded: $100 million total to negotiate with and sign Daisuke Matsuzaka, $70 million for J.D. Drew, $36 million for Julio Lugo. Now, it was the Yankees' turn. After missing the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade, New York moved to address its starting pitching woes and the hole at first base created by decliningJason Giambi's option
First, they did some housecleaning: They signed Sergio Mitre for depth then cut ties with Carl Pavano and Giambi. They re-signed reliever Damaso Marte (who had come over with Xavier Nady in an '08 deadline deal) to a three-year deal and sold Darrell Rasner to Japan. The first significant move came in mid-November 2008, when the Yankees sent Wilson Betamit and prospects to Chicago for Nick Swisher.
A month later, New York signed CC Sabathia to a record-setting deal for a pitcher, then they turned around and signed fellow free agent starter A.J. Burnett. The pair's deals were made official on the same day. With the rotation solidified, the Yankees turned to the developing bidding war with Boston for the services of free agent Mark Teixeira. Setting aside the controversy over how that went down, Teixeira signed with the Yankees. It was widely known as the $450 million offseason.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, having lost out on Teixeira, stuck with Kevin Youkilis at first base and Mike Lowell at third. Their offseason, though not quiet, was certainly much quieter than New York's. With Jacoby Ellsbury turning in a solid rookie season in 2008, the Sox traded Coco Crisp to Kansas City for reliever Ramon Ramirez. They then locked up Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia and Youkilis to long-term contracts and signed Brad Penny and John Smoltz, two starters with past success but recovering from injuries, to one-year, incentive-laden deals. Likewise, the Sox inked Rocco Baldelli for the bench and Takashi Saito for the bullpen.
The clubs' respective moves seemed to obviously shift the balance of the division back to the Yankees, and SG's projections that March indicated that was the case. Once again, he used six systems, but this time he dropped the obviously inferior Diamond Mind projections and replaced them with Tom Tango's Marcel system.
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