The Rays lost most of their bullpen and several regulars during the offseason, but they currently sit atop the AL East with a 23-17 record. It's a tight race, though, as the fifth-place Orioles are only 3.5 games out. A few links from around the division:
- Over the weekend Jorge Posada told GM Brian Cashman that he wanted out of the Yankees, not just out of the lineup, according to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News. However, a source close to Posada says his comments were simply said out of anger and frustration.
- Yankees management was "surprised and frustrated" that Derek Jeter told reporters Posada did nothing wrong and did not owe his teammates an apology, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Posada pulled himself from the lineup Saturday, partially because he'd been dropped to ninth and also because of "a long-running antagonism between him and manager Joe Girardi," in the words of Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman says the team was ready to move on after Posada's apology, but then executives including Hal Steinbrenner were miffed at Jeter's comments. At any rate, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that the Yankees spoke with Jeter, and "all is fine between them."
- Brett Lawrie's continued stay at Triple-A "doesn't seem to be a case of Super 2 concerns overriding baseball considerations," writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in regard to the Blue Jays' top prospect. Club officials tell Rosenthal Lawrie is playing well at third base, so you have to think his promotion is near.
- MLBTR's Steve Adams wrote yesterday that it would have been conceivable for Jose Bautista to try to top Carl Crawford's seven-year, $142MM deal in free agency. FanGraphs' Dave Cameron is thinking $158MM over seven years would have been possible, adding that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos "created something like $150 million in surplus value for his club this winter" given the dumping of Vernon Wells' contract as well. In another post, Cameron demonstrates just how amazing Bautista's season has been so far.