The New York Yankees, fresh off of a late non-waiver trading deadline Thursday, invade what most experts believe to be the winners or the runners-up to the winners of the deadline deals. The Boston Red Sox officially waved the white flag on their 2014 World Series title defense, and started planning for 2015 and beyond. Gone are ace Jon Lester, John Lackey, Felix Doubront, Stephen Drew, and the mouth of Beantown, Jonny Gomes. In, comes Yankee killer Yoenis Cespedis, Joe Kelly, Allen Craig, a competitive balance draft pick, and some financial relief.
The Yankees made a little bit of noise of their own, dealing slugging prospect Peter O’Brien to Arizona for versatile utilityman Martin Prado. Prior to that deal, a rarity in sports occurred: the Yankees and Red Sox made a deal. Kelly Johnson didn’t last one season in the Bronx, while Stephen Drew will now man second base for the Yankees, as Brian Roberts was shown the door as well, being DFA’d shortly after the Drew-Johnson trade was announced. Finally, the first move the Yankees made on Thursday, was a bullpen depth move, adding Esmil Rogers, and releasing minor league infielder Scott Sizemore.
For the first time in quite awhile, the battle between a wannabe contender, and a cellar dweller could bring some fresh fireworks to a rivalry that has gone stagnant over the past few seasons. The Yankees and their reloaded lineup, need a big series win in Boston, preferably a sweep, but a series win nonetheless to keep pace with division-leading Baltimore, and second wild card-leading Toronto.