AL East Notes: Rays, Chamberlain, Lowrie, O’s

As the dust settles in the wake of the big Rafael Soriano signing, let's look around the AL East…

  • Rays fans discouraged by the loss of their closer should consider this tweet from Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.  Going by last year's slot recommendations, Tampa Bay's 12 picks within the first 88 selections of the 2011 amateur draft will cost "around $9.12MM" to sign.  Even with a bump in slot prices and yet another supplementary round pick if San Diego signs Chad Qualls, the Rays could sign all 13 draft picks for less than the $11.5MM that Soriano will earn from the Yankees next year.
  • We heard earlier today that the Yankees could be persuaded to trade Joba Chamberlain to obtain a "viable starter," but's Andrew Marchand wonders why the Bombers don't just put Chamberlain back into the rotation.  "Right now, Chamberlain's trade value is low," Marchand writes.  "The only way to increase that is to put him in a more important role. So not only could he solve your biggest problem, he could be used to address your next one."
  • Theo Epstein hinted that a strong spring from Jed Lowrie could win him the everyday shortstop's job, or at least give Terry Francona "a decision to make," writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.  A good start to the season from Lowrie could make either Marco Scutaro or perhaps Lowrie himself into trade bait, given the presence of shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias in Boston's system.
  • We've heard Baltimore is still in the market for a left-handed reliever, but Andy MacPhail is pretty pleased with how the Orioles' bullpen currently stacks up, writes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

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