The Mets and Yankees both made the moves they needed to at the winter meetings. The Yanks signed CC Sabathia, the prize pony from this years free agent class. They also appear to be the front runner for AJ Burnett. Price tag: nearly a quarter of billion dollars. The Mets signed K-Rod, the single season saves leader. Then they traded for the nasty JJ Putz.
Which team legitimized themselves as a World Series contender?
My gut tells me the Mets. That line up is already potent, the have adequate starting pitchers and they have effectively shortened games to 7 innings.
The Yankees went from having problematic starting pitching to possibly the best staff in the league. CC is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Ding Dang Dong is in the upper echelon when that splitter / sinker / whatever you want to call it, it's nasty, is working. Burnett is the guy on between 15 and 20 major league teams. For the Yankees he'll be their number 3.
My gut tells me the Mets for a couple of reasons. The Yankees offense is just getting older. Yes they are good, but with all things being equal they did nothing to improve their offense. An already aging core just notched another year under their belts. Their system is bereft of position players. They also have problems in the pen. Does Joba go back to the pen now that they don't need him to start? Additionally, the Yankees still play in the toughest division in baseball. I'm a huge CC apologist and I would never wish bad things on the guy, but his lifetime numbers in New York are awful. Something in the range of 6.40 era. He won't have the mental and media problems A-Rod brings on himself, but I'm just saying. For some reason his numbers in the Big Apple aren't great.
If not for their problems at the back end of games the Mets would have run away with the NL East. The Braves still aren't the Braves. The Marlins are still young. The Nats are....well the Nats. It's a soft division. They'll compete with the Phils for the division title. I'm just hardpressed to believe that a team this talented misses out of the postseason for a third straight year. We all know that postseason baseball comes down to pitching. They now have two legit forces at the back end of of games.
Its a toss up, but no matter which side of the coin you're on it was a very very good week for New York baseball.