Payroll gambles, Manny and the Kennedys  

August, 29, 2009
The Angels' acquisition of Scott Kazmir discourages the Rangers, against whom he is 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA, and he changes the playoffs with his 2.53 lifetime ERA against the Yankees and his career of success against the Red Sox. Look, the Angels have gone through 13 previous starters who compiled a 5.00 ERA, and they can afford the $22.5 million Kazmir has coming with their payroll that ranks fourth in the American League behind the Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox.

The Phillies completely remade their postseason vision with the Cliff Lee trade; they could afford it, with the third-highest payroll in the National League and ownership's mandate to win, now.

The Red Sox have been a completely different team since they acquired Victor Martinez at the trade deadline. They were able to take on shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who has changed their infield defense. The cash they saved releasing John Smoltz and Brad Penny and their combined 6.24 ERA pays for Billy Wagner.