Here are a few items of note coming out of the American League East. The Red Sox own a one-game lead over the Yankees in that tightly contested division as we hit the Midsummer Classic …
- Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is hopeful that a contract extension will be agreed upon during the All-Star break, writes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Said Hardy: “I hope it gets done during the break. I don’t know if it will. Right now, the ball is kind of in their court. That’s where it’s at.”
- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will undergo right knee surgery and miss four-six weeks, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (via Twitter). For now, it appears the Yanks will go with Eduardo Nunez in A-Rod's stead, writes Chad Jennings of LoHud.com. As Tim Dierkes noted a couple weeks back, the trade market for third basemen is pretty bleak. The best sensible trade candidate is probably Aramis Ramirez, but he, along with his agent, has been consistent in maintaining that he won't waive his no-trade clause.
- Red Sox pitcher Kevin Millwood was not called up from Triple-A Pawtucket recently despite Boston having an opening in its rotation, likely because it's easier to return Kyle Weiland to the minors than Millwood, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Red Sox minor league director Mike Hazen said he expects Millwood to get his shot in Boston sometime later this season. Millwood chose not to opt out of his deal with Boston in June.