Since the ending of the World Series on October 30th in which the Boston Red Sox won their 3rd title in 10 years, both New York baseball teams, the Yankees and Mets, have been busy working on their 2014 rosters. Even though there still four months left until the start of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, both teams have made many changes, in the hopes of improving their non-playoff teams from last season.
The Yankees signed Carlos Beltran, an outfielder, to a three-year, $45 million dollar contract. Beltran was with the Mets on their last playoff team, in 2006, and most recently played with the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees also agreed to terms with Jacoby Ellsbury, an outfielder from their main rival, the Red Sox, on a seven-year, $148 million dollar contract.
The Yankees are also expecting two of their injured players, captain and shortstop, Derek Jeter, and first baseman, Mark Texeira, to regain their prior positions. They also need a big bounce-back from their ace pitcher, C.C Sabathia, who had a sub-par season in 2013.
Unfortunately, the Yankees lost a great deal of power from last year’s team. Robinson Cano, their second baseman, was a free agent, meaning that he did not have a contact. Consequently, he signed with the Seattle Mariners. Curtis Granderson, the Yankees’s center fielder, was also a free agent and he signed to play with the Mets. Alex Rodriguez, their third baseman, was suspended for steroid use, but has appealed his suspension. A decision should be made by the end of January on whether or not he will play for the 2014 season.
The Mets, who have not had a winning season since 2008, had two major and one minor signings. They signed right-handed pitcher Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million dollar contract. In 2013, Colon pitched for the Oakland Athletics and had 18 wins, while finishing second in the American League in ERA (earned run average) and sixth in Cy Young (Best Pitcher) voting. The Mets have had problems with acquiring good, healthy pitchers in the past, so hopefully this move will be a smart one for the team.
The Mets signed outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. While Granderson was hurt for most of last season, he has hit 217 home runs during his career, including seasons of 41 and 43 homeruns with the Yankees. The Mets also signed outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million contract. He has 144 career homeruns over his eight seasons in the major leagues. These signings should help the Mets with their power hitting, a previous weakness with the team.
While the Mets did not lose any significant free agents from their 2013 team, their all-star pitcher, Matt Harvey, underwent surgery and is out for the year. They have not decided on a first base and shortstop, but expect their all-star third baseman, David Wright, and left-handed pitcher, Jon Niese to have productive seasons.
Many changes have been made to both of the New York teams that will hopefully greatly improve their chances of making the playoffs. However, even if this does not occur, I will still be at CitiField on March 31st eating Smoke Joint and rooting for the Mets.