Drellich: Is this the Red Sox' last shot at Yanks?


NEW YORK -- The three-game series that opens Friday night at Yankee Stadium represents a final opportunity for the Red Sox: Get your licks in before the Yanks get better. Probably significantly better. 

Maybe even to the point that in a close race, you could call the Yanks favorites.

When the Sox and Yanks next meet -- for four games in August, right after the non-waiver deadline, then again for six games in the final in 12 of the year -- the Yanks should have an upgrade or two to show off. 


With no offense to Steve Pearce, we’re probably not talking about a guy like Steve Pearce. (Heck, the Yanks can just call up Brandon Drury -- a trade pick-up in the spring who is 10 years Pearce’s junior -- and they did call up Drury ahead of Friday’s game.)

Entering Friday, Baseball Prospectus had the first-place Red Sox with a 40.5 percent chance of winning the American League East. The Yanks? 59.5 percent.

The odds might look even worse in a couple weeks, and the division means a ton because it means avoiding a one-game Wild Card playoff. Unlike the Sox, the trade world is the Yankees' oyster. New York doesn’t have the payroll or farm-system burdens that the Sox do.

“Clearly starting pitching was always a concern,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters recently at a quarterly owners’ meeting. “It’s definitely one of the areas we’re going to be looking at.

“Purposely left a decent amount of money for just this,” he added. “If we decide to go get a pitcher and if a pitcher’s available, I think we definitely have the flexibility that would allow me to do just that.”

And beyond.

Dombrowski said on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni and Fauria on Thursday that he does have prospects to move if need be. Which, technically, is true. But the concern is attrition. Deal one kid for a vet here, another two there -- over and over and over, without any notable trades aimed at replenishment or youth, then mix in some lackluster draft results -- and you have the present day.


Dombrowski didn’t rule out adding payroll, but said the Sox prefer to stay under the $237 million threshold. Of course they do.

But the Yanks can add what they want. 

“I don’t think about whatever they have or don’t have,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the Globe’s Nick Cafardo about the Red Sox. “We feel we have a lot of players we’re excited about. Some will make it up here and some will be used as trade chips. Just because we’re viewed as having more than they do in certain areas, Dave Dombrowski is an expert trader. He’s made a number of deals that have put the Red Sox where they are.”

Which now, during trade season, is one of vulnerability.


Contact Us