It’s been a busy last couple of weekends for me, but the AL East Round-Up has returned and the offseason has started! Who’s excited? I know I am! Normally I look forward to the playoffs, but since the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t seen it in officially 20 years, well, the offseason is now how I get my jollies. Best part? No more having to post pictures of the Red Sox until March! LET’S DO THIS!
BOSTON RED SOX: The talk of the week on Boston radio station WEEI has been the qualifying offer that wasn’t given to C Jarrod Saltalamacchia. After breaking it down, the conclusion has become that Boston intends on being a big player in the Brian McCann sweepstakes. If Boston hauls in a guy like McCann, it would make the 2013 World Series Champions much more of a threat as a repeat. The thoughts among most in baseball was that this season was a bit “flukie” for the Sox and chances of repeating are considered to be unlikely.
The other topic has been to whom have the Red Sox been giving qualifying offers. Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli, and Stephen Drew. That’s $14.1M to each of those players. It sounds like most people in Boston are OK with the first two names, but there’s a lot of debate over $14.1M going to Drew. WEEI Insider, Rob Bradford, speculated that with Scott Boras as Drew’s and Ellsbury’s agent, there was no either player would accept it, mostly due to Boras’ pride as an agent. The prediction came true yesterday, as Drew declined the offer. In this writer’s humble opinion, if Boras thinks he can nab Drew a contract greater than $14.1M, he may have overvalued his client and cost Drew either his 2014 season or millions of dollars.
TAMPA BAY RAYS: Tampa Bay filled one slight need, sort of, by re-signing OF David DeJesus, whom they acquired from the Washington Nationals back in August. The major baseball talk in Tampa Bay has been will ACE, David Price, stay with the Rays or be traded away. Price tweeted out (has since been taken down) that he believed he would be traded this offseason. In the meantime, instead of thinking about it, he and Ricky Romero are having bubble blow battles, like this:
— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) October 13, 2013
Much like many Toronto fan sites, other team sites have come out with offseason blueprints of their own. You can find the Bleacher Reports’ Rays blueprint here. In it, Jamal Wilburg discusses re-signing Delmon Young and James Loney. He also jumps upon the “trade David Price” bandwagon.
The Orioles will have themselves an interesting offseason, but there also seems to be no consensus direction that the team will go. Perhaps a lot of that has to do with Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, who is eligible for arbitration this winter and after two explosive seasons in a row, is due for a hefty pay raise. MLB Trade Rumors recently broke down Davis’ case for more money, estimating that he’ll set a record a second-year eligible player. He looks to still be an affordable option, but one would imagine that the Orioles would look to lock him up long-term.
Elsewhere on the Orioles front, third baseman and uber-star Manny Machado received some good news this week. In addition to his Gold Glove award, Machado was also awarded the Rawlings Platinum Glove, presented to each league’s best defender, period. According to FanGraphs, Machado was worth an astounding 35 Defensive Runs Saved and a UZR/150 of 31.8, so the award was justified. Not bad for a kid playing his secondary position.
A lot has been made about the Yankees and their desire to get the team under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. However, Jon Heyman at CBSSports and any other fan with a grasp on the game knows that the Yankees are not going to sit back and watch this winter. The first order of business is Robinson Cano, and then Masahiro Tanaka to follow shortly afterwards. From there, the team will have a firmer understanding of what direction their winter will take them, but they will not sit idly by for another winter and watch everyone else get better just to save a few bucks.
Of course, there is one other decision hanging over the Yankees, but it is not their’s to make. The continued fight between Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball could hamper their moves this winter. If A-Rod returns, his $25 million salary does as well. However should he be suspended, that money gets freed up for a season or more. The only caveat, who do the Yankees tab to replace Rodriguez at third base should his suspension go through? The pool isn’t very deep in those regards.