Sep 18, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays fans hold up asterisk signs as New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) comes off the field after flying out in the ninth inning at the Rogers Centre. New York defeated Toronto 4-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

AL East Round-Up


Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

With all the rumour and gossip going around about who’s in play on Japanese pitching wunderkind Masahiro Tanaka, it’s been a relatively quiet time in baseball… unless you include that other guy.  You know the one.  The one I had to reluctantly make the feature image of this article.  That also means I get to write about the team I try to avoid writing about.  You know the one.   Anyway… LET’S DO THIS

BOSTON RED SOX

R. De La Rosa (62). Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Incredibly, the Red Sox have made no moves so far in 2014.  This actually makes sense considering there is no sure bet individual on the market guaranteed to improve the team.  The Red Sox aren’t even major players in the Tanaka sweepstakes.  The only news this week involves C A.J. Pierzynski expecting a smooth transition playing in Boston.  Also in the news are a couple of stories on how this could be 100 MPH throwing righty Rubby De La Rosa‘s break out year (this story is compliments of the Boston Herald).

Honestly though, the Pierzynski talk has been going on since he signed with Boston a month ago, and De La Rosa’s break out chatter has been discussed going back to his Dodger days almost two years ago.  So if that stuff bores you, head over to BoSox Injection where the site is currently running its 25 players in 25 days, creatively called 25 In 25.  Jon Lester is currently the feature (just click on the Boston Red Sox link to go to BoSox Injection).

TAMPA BAY RAYS:

J. Loney (21)  Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

1B James Loney was re-signed this week by the Rays, officially, though it seemed like a deal was done for quite some time.   The Rays have been one of the more active clubs so far in 2014, striking minor league deals with Spring Training invites with SS Ray Olmedo, SS Jayson Nix, and LF James Darnell.  Tampa Bay also acquired LHP Pedro Figueroa off waivers from the Oakland Athletics.  The Rays may be loading up at SS going into Spring Training to find a solid back-up for former Jays annoyance, Yunel Escobar.  The current back-up, Tim Beckham, will be out 6-8 months while he recovering from knee surgery.

In other news, the Rays are still sorting out their closer issues.  Maybe they ought to give Kyra Sedgwick a call, because you know — The Closer– ha.. haha.. haaaa… ::crickets::.  Then there’s the DFA’ing and minor league appointment of 1B/OF Jerry Sands.  For more on him, I refer you to Jason Mast’s article over at Grading On A Curve, as I felt it was well written and worth the read.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES:

A. Casilla (12). Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The BOrioles major news this week was jaw dropping… mostly due to the fans yawning or saying “This is it?”  I know exactly how you feel Orioles fans.  I guess the good news is the Orioles are signing players rather than trading them away or turning them down after flawed physicals.  This week saw the signing of 2B Alexi Casillas and OF Quintin Berry.  Of the two, Berry is the most intriguing.  Once considered a future player in the Detroit Tigers outfield, he fell out of favour with the Tigers brass when his bat went south, like a bird! GET IT?  Cuz birds migrate — south– nevermind.  Anyway, the man can fly on the basepaths as well as in the outfield and if his bat does come around, he’s a solid addition for Team Orange and Black.  The Orioles have shown to fix players before (SEE: Chris Davis)

Over at Bleacher Report, Alex Snyder tried really hard to put together a 5-man rotation.  After Chris Tillman, it’s anybody’s guess.  I know the Orioles sure could use a closer new owner right about now.

NEW YORK YANKEES:

Unfortunately when you write about the AL East, you have to cover the biggest fraud in the game, and that man is A-Frod.  The steroid era happened, I’ve come to terms with it, but don’t be a liar about it.  Come clean, take your punishment, come back and play.  I’ve said this in previous posts and A-Roid never gets the message.

Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was suspended by MLB after an arbitrator upheld  77% of the suspension handed out to Rodriguez for multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.  In other words, if you didn’t already know, A$$-Rod is suspended for an entire season.

The Yankees are off the hook for most of the $25M owed to him this season, but still on the hook the remaining $61M owed to him over the next three seasons.  This does give the Yankees more payroll flexibility, but lets face it, the Yankees don’t care about payroll and will spend regardless, as long as it is smart money (SEE: Robinson Cano… counter-argument, SEE: Jacoby Ellsbury).

The Yankees now find themselves searching for a 3B replacement.  “Again?”  Yes, again.  According to Andrew Marchand over at ESPN New York, the Yankees are giving both Michael Young and Mark Reynolds a good look to fill the role of Rodriguez.  Speaking of roles, they should make a movie about Rodriguez.  Since the Yankees are heavily in on Tanaka, they should make it something Japanese related to appeal to the man.  The Yankees can get Ang Lee to direct it and call it “Growing Headsize, Shrinking Jockstrap.”

Also in the news was quiet signing of LHP set up man, Matt Thornton.  Then there’s this: Former Jays star Vernon Wells was DFA’d. It’s tough to imagine the 35 year old slugging righty being traded or claimed at this ponit.  The likely scenario is free agency or a minor league deal… or retirement.  The Angels are still paying for him, so he could essentially just sit at home and “GET PAID CUZ!”

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Tags: AL East Toronto Blue Jays