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.

63 Responses to AL East Notes: Rays, Chamberlain, Lowrie, O’s Leave a Reply

  1. Slopeboy 4 years ago

    I’m hoping Lowrie can stay healthy this year. He’s looked the part of a good ballplayer ever since he’s come up. Scutaro has shown that he really wears down at the end of the season and a utility job is his forte more than starting.

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      Lowrie’s misfortune is that he can play every IF position, plus swing from both sides of the plate, making him the perfect utility guy. Not to mention everyone knows how much Francona loves going with established veterans over players yet to prove themselves.

      Hopefully the FO will force him to go with Lowrie regardless after ST. A guy who has equal range to Scuttaro, hits from both sides and has good power deserves the chance.

  2. zonis 4 years ago

    I would like to see the A’s try to get Lowrie. Wanted them to draft him at the time, and trade for him since. And right now would be a great time to go get him, with Cliff Pennington AND Adam Rosales recovering from surgery, and the odds of both of them being healthy to start the season being unlikely. Acquiring Lowrie would allow the A’s to have Lowrie compete for the starting SS job, while also serving as the backup infielder, and possible successor to Mark Ellis if Adrian Cardenas and Jemile Weeks either do not pan out or are not ready.

  3. iamsynecdoche 4 years ago

    Anyone else think they’ve been planning on making Lowrie SS all along and are just giving him a carrot to work extra hard this off-season?

    • bacon_bitz 4 years ago

      If they were smart I’d imagine they would be doing just that. Lowrie is a much better hitter than Scutaro when he’s healthy…the problem is he’s usually not healthy so its good to have Scutaro around anyway.

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Potentially better hitter yes. The real problem I tend to agree with the scouts that he’s a better second baseman. If he can be trained to play outfield he’d be a great fill in after the loss of Bill Hall.

    • No. Lowrie has been far too injury prone during his career for the Sox ever to make him a starter w/o a serious plan B & C. Moreover, Lowrie is better suited to come off the bench because he’s a switch hitter in a lefty heavy lineup &, unlike Scutaro, can play all 4 infield positions. Also, Lowrie is better suited to be a utility guy because that’d be his role moving forward — don’t forget Iglesias is all but guaranteed to be the Sox everyday SS in 2012.

      • Fangaffes 4 years ago

        How is Lowrie “injury prone”? He had a wrist injury … and …?

        • MaineSox 4 years ago


          • Fangaffes 4 years ago

            Not an injury. Anyone can get mono.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I know, I guess I should have thought about it not transferring through writing very well but that was supposed to be sarcasm. As far as I can tell the only concern we should have with this guy is bad luck.

          • Fangaffes 4 years ago

            Not an injury. Anyone can get mono.

        • Is that a serious reply? In what would be his 1st 2 full seasons in the majors (2009 & 2010), he played in 32 & 55 games respectively because of multiple wrist injuries and mono. In those 2 seasons he had 3 stints on the DL totalling 8 months of missed time. Don’t know about you, but I’d call that injury prone. Oh yeah, in 2008 he injured his wrist in Pawtucket before he got called up . . .

          • One wrist injury. Getting mono has nothing to do with being injury prone. Might mean that you’re a player (if you catch my drift), but certainly not injury prone!

      • Guest 4 years ago

        Why is it all but guarenteed Inglesias is the everyday SS next year? The guy cannot hit…. at all. He might be a defensive wizard but if Lowrie is average defensively and can hit for power on top of it…. I’m sticking with Lowrie. The guy had a wrist injury. Thats it.

        • BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

          What makes you think he can’t hit? His #’s actually aren’t that bad and he has been said to be improving. We never signed him for his bat anyways, we signed him for his ELITE defense. With the additions the Sox made to the lineup this year (and the hope that Salty will become better offensively as well) I think the idea is that Iglesias will hit 9th and any offense he provides is basically a bonus.

        • BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

          What makes you think he can’t hit? His #’s actually aren’t that bad and he has been said to be improving. We never signed him for his bat anyways, we signed him for his ELITE defense. With the additions the Sox made to the lineup this year (and the hope that Salty will become better offensively as well) I think the idea is that Iglesias will hit 9th and any offense he provides is basically a bonus.

      • BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

        I agree. Lowrie just makes too much sense as a super utility for the Sox to make him starting SS, barring an injury or serious underpeformance from Scutaro. If we didn’t have Iglesias slotted for 2012, it would be a different story. Of course, I’m sure we’d all love Lowrie to be the super util/backup IF in 2012 as well but by that point I have to imagine there is a strong chance that he have been traded..

  4. Why on earth would Boston want to trade Lowrie or Scutaro when they’re already in the market for another utility player? That would quite literally be the most counter-productive move they could make.

  5. the yankees do not want to make chamberlain a starter because they need an innings eater. He obviously is not as affective as a starter and will give you 4-5 innings if you’re lucky. putting Joba in the rotation is the wrong move.

    • Rawlsian 4 years ago

      That’s why you have Mitre on the roster…

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      Based off of what? In 2009 he avg’d about 5-6 IP on a short leash. His ERA dropped a full run each month from May to June to JUly and then he fell apart when they tinkered with his inning limited by having him pitch 3 inning games and giving him 6 to 8 days off in between starts. It was just silly how they handled him.

      • That was messed up. I feel bad for Joba. This coming from an Orioles fan. The Yankees have messed him up by repeatedly changing his role. You’ve got to let him commit to the pen or the rotation. At this point, the bullpen is probably his best bet. If he doesn’t reach his potential, I blame the Yankees.

    • Chris1G 4 years ago

      I live in Nebraska and I saw Chamberlin pitch in college, yeah i know college is different than the majors but in college the guy was a beast. If the Yankees would just let him pitch i think he would suprise a lot of people, he constantly went deep into games every outing the guy is a stud but he hasn’t really had the opportunity to prove it.

  6. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I think Brandon Morrow is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t give up on Joba.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      Most teams that would trade for Joba will convert him to a starter. Why won’t the yankees?

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        They should. It’s either their fear of being wrong about his talent or concern about his durability. I would rather see him pitch than any of the other slop that’s currently on the market.

      • cuz he got shelled to the tune of a 4.75 ERA in 2009 when he WAS a starter.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          Yeah… a 23 yo pitcher who was mishandled.

          Pitchers that had a ERA or FIP above 4.50 during their 2nd year who were under 24:

          Porcello, G. Floyd, E. Jackson, Annibal Sanchez, Brett Myers, WanRod, Johnny Cueto, etc…..I can go on and on about 23 yo pitchers that have struggled early in their careers.

          My arguement for Joba is about how great he is now but that based on what he has done so far and the great possibilities of what he can do with more experience. Yanks should put him back in the rotation in 2011. He’s better than almost every other option ppl are throwing around.

          • i agree. joba has more upside than mitre and the rest. nova and joba at the back end of the rotation to start the season at least, and let joba loose as far as pitch counts and innings. lets see what happens

          • I question if Joba can handle another change to the rotation. I mean, this time it better be concrete. Just let the guy pitch. To heck with inning limits.

    • Joba is not a starter though. Been there, done that. The yankees have really done everything in they’re power to let him achieve. Start, Relieve, Long Relief all with mixed results. I think Joba needs to stay in the Pen and leave the starting duties to Hughes who proved capable of holding down a rotation spot. The additions of Feliciano and Soriano have solidified the pen making Chamberlain expendable. Yankees could use 1 more quality starter, (joba chamberlain is not that guy) to make them a better team.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        The Yanks have never commited to him one way or the other and I IMPLORE you to look at the stats and not just what ppl say. I’m beating a dead horse about this issue though.

        In 2008-2009 as a starter he had a 4.27 FIP (4.18 ERA) over 200 + innings as a 22-23 year old starter. How does that scream “he’s not a starter”. I can rattle off other starters that didn’t have his stuff that had worse numbers than him in their first 200 innings and were sent to the pen at age 24. Shoot his 200 IP were better than E.Jackson, Dice-K, G.Floyd, and bunch of other #2’s, #3’s and #4’s bet 2008-2009. ANd his FIP in 2010 was 2.88.

        I just can’t get how “educated” stat heads who live and die on numbers can ignore his age, lack of minor lge seasoning and peripherals and say he can’t be a starter in the majors. I mean….freakin’ Jeff Francis and Gil Meche are collecting paychecks.

        With his value being low and there being slim pickings on the market the Yanks would be stupid not to let him compete for the 4th starter positions. I can live with CC-Aj-Hughes-Joba-Nova and Mitre shouldn’t even be an option.

        • Those just aren’t great stats my friend. We get it, you’re in love with chamberlain, problem is, you shouldn’t be.

          • no they are not great stats, but they arent terrible. he may not be doc gooden but i think he has a chance to be a #4 starter ,at least, for alot of other teams in the league. Because his value is low now and the pen should be squared away somewhat now is the perfect time to put him back into the rotation. mitre is a dime-a-dozen kind of guy, joba has the potential to be something more than that.

          • slider32 4 years ago

            The Sox traded Masterson and now they want him back, the same thing could happen with Chamberlain.

        • a 4.50 ERA in 6 IP means the yankees only gave up 3 runs going into the 7th. they are most likely winning that game. i agree that Jaba needs to go back into the rotation. he can only improve with time, experience, and confidence.

        • thedocjon 4 years ago

          Why cant they just put him down in AAA for 1 season as a starter and bring him during the year or something?

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      Morrow had serious health issues at the time from diabetes when he was struggling with Seattle. Anyone that is a diabetic will understand how that can sap your strength and cause a flood of other issues unless your medication is perfect and even then sometimes there are side issues. those problems were being mentioned way back during his time as a Mariner and imagine he has them somewhat under control now, but that does not mean they will not be back.

      Not sure, but don’t think Chamberlain was injured in his time as a starter, nor afflicted with a permanent debilitating health issue. There are probably several other good examples out there, but Morrow is probably only one of a very small handful active MLB players with Diabetes.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        JOba went on the DL for an elbow strain in 2008 for about a month. Other than that they overstated the whole innings limit.

        As for Morrow it was more an example of a guy who was relegated to the pen and overcame control issues and is starting to show his promise.

  7. I think the Yankees should try to trade for the Twins Kevin Slowey. When healthy, Slowey would be a great #4/#5 starter for the yankees. The Twins need bullpen help and a Chamberlain / Slowey swap would probably help both teams at the major league level. Thoughts??

  8. joeybw 4 years ago

    Yeah, I love the picks, I hate how we got them.

    We need to sign Vlad/Manny, Rauch/Fuentes and a guy who can at least play a decent 1B with a lot of pop….Branyan. Not crazy about the gold glove option of Kotchman.

  9. Slowey to New York for Joba lol!!

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Yes, you’ve made that comment before. No one cares, still.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      KevSlo is a step down from Joba IMO. His stuff wouldn’t play as well in NY or the AL East. He’s a soft tossing control pitcher who gives up a lot of flyballs and doesn’t strike out many. That could add up to a lot of HRS in AL East parks like Ny, Fenway, Baltimore, etc.

      • You don’t know what you are talking about. Keep thinking chamberlain is a great valuable pitcher, his stats say otherwise. 2009 ERA 4.75 (as a starter) — 2010 ERA 4.40 (out of the PEN!!) Geez I don’t know, you’d be lucky to get a guy like slowey, blanton, or any other team who’d want to take a chance on a failed pitcher who didn’t have enough seasoning in the minor leagues and is not paying the price. Slowey went 10-3 in 09 and 13-6 in 10. He’s a winner. Blanton 12-8 in 09 and 9-6 in 10. Yankees would be LUCKY to have either guy in their rotation especially if pettite hangs it up!

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          Oh wow…he’s using the Win-Loss card. So much for an intelligent conversation. So what Blanton was 9-6 last year. Joba was 9-6 in 2009.

          KevSlow’s stuff would not play well in the AL East. He’s a finess pitcher with an extreme flyball tendency. There’s nothing that suggest he would be a step above JOba and Blanton’s salary and likely regression in the AL East is cause for concern as well.

          • slider32 4 years ago

            I agree, I would start Joba over Slowey, but if I could get Carpenter, Jackson, or Rodriquez in that order I would take them.

  10. Victor Kipp 4 years ago

    You can’t struggle in the Bronx because the Yankees are a win now team. they don’t develop players they sign them. If they have to work hard to develop a player they do a horrible job. As a young player for the Yankees you better be ready to contribute and already be able to improve yourself or you will not succeed. The Yankees don’t have a track record of fixing problem players through development and they don’t do well in long-term development of young talent. If you aren’t Robby Cano or some other prodigy you will be traded.

  11. touchmymonkey 4 years ago

    Iwouldn’t mind cubs getting Joba – joba,wood,marmol is a nice 7-8-9. Plus can make him closer if marmol wants too much $$ next year as a FA. Would most likely cost cubs fair amount though… maybe Marshall, Gorzo and a prospect ( if there are any left ) for Joba and a prospect? Dempster for joba straight up?

  12. $6101468 4 years ago

    Scutaro had some shoulder injuries in 2010 so that may account for his less than stellar performance. Lowrie had a great offensive August and September and that caught the attention of management since a few years back he was looked at as a power prospect.

    Last I looked baseball did not have a designated fielder so Iggy will work his way up the food chain. So far he looks good with the bat. Might be at SS in 2013 or 2012.

  13. slider32 4 years ago

    The best move for the Yanks with Joba is to have him compete for the #5 starter in spring training. As of right now, Joba, Phelps, Noesi, and Brackman should get a shot. If Joba doesn’t win the job then he goes back to the pen or is traded.

  14. mikeclyne 4 years ago

    Joba and Montero + a prospect for Johan Santana?

    saves the Mets a ton of $ and gives them help in two areas they desperately need, BP and C…

    • Slopeboy 4 years ago

      Cashman will make that trade as after he discovers the cure for Cancer.

  15. I’d love the Braves to get Lowrie…problem is, the only thing Atlanta would be looking to give for him is probably starting pitching, of which Boston has plenty.

    But, if Dice-K is slow out of the gate this season, I could see them trying to shed his salary elsewhere and get another starter for the future. A Lowrie + prospect(s) for Jurrjens deal, if Jurrjens comes back strong from his injuries, wouldn’t be a big stretch.


  16. slider32 4 years ago

    With the Cards signing Pujols for a bundle, they may want to part ways with Chris Carpenter. They Yanks might check in on him with the Cards. Carpenter for Joba. Carpenter is a projected 4.2 War this year and could become a free agent next year at 37.

    • I am actually surprised that deal hasn’t happened yet. It makes complete sense for both teams. It’ll probably happen closer to the trading deadline. If they did it now, it would probably cost the Yankees Montero, and I assume they do not want to trade him.

  17. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Iglesias. He’s exciting because of a potential glove at the level of Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith. No one is expecting this guy to be the next great major league hitter but he’s considered a great defensive shortstop and if he turns into a legit #2 hitter then it’s just gravy.

    Why are Red Sox fans excited about him? Because after years of watching some awful defensive shortstops a potential gold glover is exhilarating.

  18. BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

    Scouts and others that have seen him play have described watching Iglesias take fileding practice as “baseball porn”

  19. slider32 4 years ago

    I saw Inglesias in AFL he has a good glove but looks to be a year away, his bat is not going to be good enough for the Sox. Lowrie is a better hitter, but he is more of a second basemen. The Sox should take the wizzird, Pedroia and try him at short and move Lowrie to second and see how that looks.

  20. BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

    Exactly. A year away. Which is why he is assumed to be the starting SS in 2012.

  21. Lowrie’s MLB DL Stints:
    4/12/09 till 7/18/09 (wrist)
    8/7/09 till 9/8/09 (forearm)
    3/26/10 till 7/21/10 (mono)

    I’m guessing you’re missing knowledge on the topic.

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