East Notes: Backman, Red Sox, Rays, Phillies

Here are a handful of items out of the AL and NL East …

  • MLB.com's Bill Ladson cites three different sources in reporting that Wally Backman, who currently manages in the Mets minor league system, was never offered a position with the Nationals' Major League club.
  • Backman told Ed Randall of New York's WFAN radio that he will remain in the organization rather than accepting a position on another team's Major League staff, according to MetsBlog. Backman interviewed for the Mets' managerial vacancy before it went to Terry Collins last year.
  • The Red Sox are not expected to interview former Diamondbacks skipper A.J. Hinch for their managerial vacancy, a source familiar with the situation tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Hinch is currently vice president of pro scouting for the Padres.
  • The Rays are unlikely to make quick decisions on whether to re-sign free agents Johnny Damon and first baseman Casey Kotchman, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. Tampa will look to improve its offense, according to Topkin, but that won't be easy without detracting from its deep well of pitching talent, which it won't want to do. Andrew Friedman will likely do most of his roster shuffling via trade, writes Topkin.
  • As their core position players are getting older and dealing with injuries, the Phillies' window of opportunity may be closing, opines Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. One talent evaluator told Brookover that the Phillies should let Jimmy Rollins walk in free agency. "It might be time to find out about a guy like Freddy Galvis," the scout said. "I saw him this year and he really is improving. I don't know if he's ready to be an everyday player in the big leagues, but I just think they need to get younger."
  • Former Yankees pitching prospect Brandon Weeden, now 28, has resurfaced as the starting quarterback of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, writes Tom Spousta of the New York Times (cap tip to Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues). Weeden was a second-round pick of the Yanks in 2002 (a compensatory selection for Tino Martinez signing with the Cardinals), but he washed out of baseball by 2007 due to injuries and ineffectiveness.

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