December 30, 2010

CAIRO Projections: Red Sox to win East, but Yankees fans need to relax

Likely due to major upgrades on offense, the Red Sox are going to win the AL East — by nine games over the Yankees — according to the early CAIRO projections. Nine!

The author repeatedly said the projections were too early to be taken seriously, but I’m not so sure I buy that.

All the elite free agents have been signed, and I don’t expect any other major trades at this point in the offseason. Also, what’s the point of calculating these projections too early? It only hurts the credibility of the projection system.

If Andy Pettitte returns to the Yankees then yes, I’d expect the AL East projections to change by a few games. But if the Yankees can’t acquire a star reliever, a strong starting pitcher and a great right-handed bat off the bench — I don’t think they will — then I expect the final projection to point to the Red Sox in the AL East.

But here’s something important to keep in mind about this projection: It obviously cannot predict what will happen at the trade deadline, and that’s what Brian Cashman seems to be banking on at this point. (He’s repeatedly said “Plan B is patience,” referring to the July trade deadline.)

So relax, Yankees fans, do you really think the New York Yankees — with a payroll of about $30 million less than it was last year — will settle for Sergio Mitre or Ivan Nova as their fourth starter down the stretch in 2011?

The Yankee U had a good post up today about who the Yankees might go after at the trade deadline based on the potential free agent starters next offseason. The three key starters mentioned: Mark Buehrle, Chris Carpenter and C.J. Wilson.

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