AL East Notes: Shields, Burnett, Ortiz, Blue Jays

As the Orioles continue to look for a new general manager, let's see what's happening elsewhere in the American League East…

  • The Rays "seem dead-set against trading James Shields," according to's Danny Knobler (Twitter link).  Knobler said Tampa Bay might be more inclined to deal Jeremy Hellickson than Shields, though he notes it's "very unlikely" that either pitcher is traded.  The Rays exercised Shields' $7.5MM option for 2012 on Monday.
  • Brian Cashman said the Yankees aren't looking to deal A.J. Burnett, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.  Cashman said yesterday that "if [Burnett] is with us, he’s in the rotation," but said today that he made "a bad choice of words."
  • David Ortiz tells's Rob Bradford that the Red Sox didn't make him an offer during the team's five-day exclusive negotiating window with the free agent slugger.  While no offer was made, GM Ben Cherington has spoken to Ortiz's representatives since the season ended.
  • In a conference call with reporters (including's Gregor Chisholm), Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said the team wasn't able to counter John McDonald's new two-year contract with the D'Backs due to the Jays' unclear situation at second base and with the utility spot.  McDonald, a long-time fan favorite in Toronto, was expected to rejoin the Jays after being traded to Arizona last summer, but Anthopoulos said there were no hard feelings about McDonald's decision.
  • Anthopoulos noted that the Jays staff gave Tony LaCava a standing ovation when the assistant GM returned to work yesterday.  LaCava turned down the Orioles' offer of their general manager's position in order to stay in Toronto.
  • If the Yankees re-sign Freddy Garcia, Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York thinks Brian Cashman may "call it a winter" in regards to acquiring starting pitching.

94 Responses to AL East Notes: Shields, Burnett, Ortiz, Blue Jays Leave a Reply

  1. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    Cherrington knows that the market value for Ortiz is not going to be what Ortiz wants to hear. 

    • John Bowman 4 years ago

      The Red Sox will obviously offer him arbitration, so losing a draft pick won’t help his vale any, either.

      • wickedkevin 4 years ago

        A one dimensional player, who will be 36, who costs two draft picks to sign, and has been inconsistent over the last three years.  Remember when Jermaine Dye was the same age and couldn’t get 4 million?

        • ARodinyourPujols 4 years ago

          I think that this years market will allow Ortiz to get an offer somewhere. There are teams out there that are targeting higher free agents and then could sign Ortiz with only giving up their 2nd rounder for him. Oh, and it only cost 1 pick for teams to sign him, not to nitpick but just pointing it out.

          • wickedkevin 4 years ago

            I appreciate you letting me know, TBH.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Who, though? I’ve been through this before trying to establish a worst case scenario (Because, well, I’m a Red Sox fan, it’s what we do) and there really isn’t much in the way of a realistic situation where someone would sign Ortiz AND a higher ranked free agent. There are only three free agents ranked higher than Ortiz: Pujols, Fielder and Wilson. We can throw the first two out the window as Ortiz is basically an older, less consistent Pujols/Fielder who can’t really play in the field full time, so he’d be redundant for anyone signing him.

            So that leaves us with Wilson as the only realistic option that could be signed with Ortiz AND is ranked higher than Ortiz. The only vaguely realistic team I could envision having interest in both Wilson and Ortiz is the Blue Jays, and I can’t imagine AA would give up his first AND second rounders to direct competition while in rebuild mode.

            The more realistic situation is that a team with a protected pick signs him. I could easily see either the A’s or Orioles making a move with Vlad (Apparently) being a free agent and the A’s having allegedly cooled off on retaining Matsui. Both have protected picks and both are realistic destinations for him. Personally, I’m betting on him returning to Boston because arbitration is really going to hurt his chances of getting a multiyear deal. If not Boston, Baltimore seems like the best bet to me.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          The signing team only gives up one pick (the other is a “free” pick in the supplemental round), but yeah, having to give up any draft picks hurts his value.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          Remember when Dye posted a .250/.340/.450 line the year he became a free agent? Ortiz should probably humble his demands, but he has posted two very good seasons with an avg OPS over .900

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Which honestly would be a win-win situation for the Sox. If they offer Ortiz arb and he rejects it then the Sox will get 2 picks if Ortiz signs elsewhere or it brings his market value down so the Sox can get him on a one year deal with an option. If they offer arb and Ortiz accepts then they get him on a one year deal.

        So yeah, I think it’s a good move to let the market decide Ortiz’s value… if he signs before the arb deadline, then oh well and take the draft picks.

  2. Dylan 4 years ago

    Oh boy, here comes the ridiculous Jeremy Hellickson proposals….damn you Knobler.

    • rjc 4 years ago

      No way they trade Hellickson.  More likely to see either Cobb, Davis, or Nieman go.  Would like to see an upgrade at catcher or shortstop in return.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      he didn’t even cite a basis for the claim, let alone a source, let alone a legitimate source. so awful

      • MB923 4 years ago

        Exactly. I agree they will probably not trade either but I have no idea how he thinks it makes more sense to trade Hellickson over Shields. 

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          they have six good-to-great starters in one of the weakest starting pitching markets in recent history and one of them (shields) is coming off a career year. i’d explore a shields trade, but second-guessing the rays is risky business

          • Dylan 4 years ago

            Very true, but if they could get a guy like Profar, Machado, or Franklin for Shields, I would think they would do it. I’m not saying any of those guys are available, but I think the Rangers may trade Profar because Andrus is going to be there for a long time, although Profar probably isn’t ready for another 3-4 years.

            They could also look to the Reds at Grandal and Alonso. I’m not that familiar with the Reds farm, but I would think Grandal, Alonso, and Hamilton would all interest the Rays.

            Any way we look at it, if they get the right deal, I think they would deal away Shields…but it would involve some big prospects because we know how that office works.

          • Profar will be ready in 2 years. The Rangers brought up Elvis at the age of 20. I don’t think the Rangers would want to trade Profar in a trade for Shields. He isn’t worth it. If they let Profar go it better be for the one of the best.

          •  LOL, James Shields isn’t one of the best?

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            That depends entirely upon your definition of “one of the best.” He’s turning thirty next month and while he’s very much been a great pitcher, he’s not what I’d call top tier. He put up a career year last year and multiple incredibly good seasons, but I’d call him top fifteen to twenty overall right now (He’s twenty-third in SP WAR in the last three years, my usual go-to sample size and it’s a sample size that includes both his best and worst season) and when I think “one of the best” I think top ten.

            In the AL East alone, I’d probably take Sabathia, Lester and Price over him in the AL East alone and it’d be a coin toss between him and Beckett for me.

          • No, he’s had one great year. Every other year he’s just been good. Sorry. Why do you think everyone is talking about selling high on him?

          • MB923 4 years ago

            O I C….I though it was the Yankees fans only who overvalue their prospects lol

            Jokes aside, where would the Rangers put Profar if he came up in 2 years?

          • It’s not like I said trade Profar straight up for Felix Hernandez like Yankees fans think should be done with Montero.
            I was saying to INCLUDE him in a trade.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i don’t mind when people have particular prospects they covet, no big deal there. just don’t take the unnecessary step of suggesting that the prospect isn’t worth 3 years of james shields. that’s crazyland

          • MB923 4 years ago

            No Yankee fan ever said Montero for Felix straight up. At least not the Knowledgeable ones.

          • slider32 4 years ago

            I like the Shields for Alonso and Grandel trade!

          • MooreGuerreriandcheese 4 years ago

            I don`t see Profar being an option with Beckam and Hak Ju Lee in their system.

  3. Yankeeboy11 4 years ago

    Pfft…Freddy Garcia is not ganna be the key to our rotation Cashman.

    • MB923 4 years ago


      I think Buerhle will go back to the White Sox but I think the Yankees should try to get him if they can.

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Please let the yanks take interest. The Red Sox and Rays are good against him and Buerhle is bad in yankee stadium.

        • MB923 4 years ago

          The Red Sox are not good, or bad, against him. Same for the Rays. 

          8-3 4.19 ERA vs the Rays

          6-6 4.49 ERA vs. the Red Sox

          However he is bad in Yankee Stadium (1-8, 6.38 ERA), except he won’t be playing against the Yankees.

          • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

            Eh good enough.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Those are “good” numbers? 

          • MB923 4 years ago

            I said they are not good nor are they bad which makes him average or so against them

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            It’s better than 3 runs in six innings. Not elite or anything, but that’d more than passable with an offense like New York’s behind him most nights.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Also in fairness and by comparrison, Sabathia’s ERA against the Sox is 4.14. Better, but not by much.

        • MB923 4 years ago

          But there’s still no question Buherle is a lot better than Burnett and Hughes and Garcia, plus the Red Sox do not even know the back end of their rotation yet. We know the Sox have their SP problems too so I’m sure the Sox can use someone like Buerhle as well.

        • cyberboo 4 years ago

          Everyone should take note that the Yankees and Red Sox aren’t going to get anyone they chose to sign.  There are twenty teams seeking starting pitching help for 2012, many fourth or fifth starters are on the market, but there aren’t any 1 or 2 starters.  Wilson, Buehrle, Oswalt, etc would be number 3’s on many rosters, not the ace.  If New York or Boston want anyone, they will have to either trade Montero, Banuelos, Betances, etc or settle for the Freddie Garcia’s, just as they have done the last two years.  They will also be forced to overpay in both years and salary to obtain any free agents, because like I said, there will be twenty teams trying to obtain the same pitchers for their own teams.

          • MB923 4 years ago

            I know this wasn’t in response to me, but why do you think I specifically put they should Try to get him. Of course there are other teams interested and he may just well go there, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees (and Red Sox for that matter) can’t take a push at them.

          • slider32 4 years ago

            All free agents are over paid and the Yanks have the profit to over pay.  Pitching can be very random, even if you get the player you want. 

        • slider32 4 years ago

          I don’t like Buerhle for the Yanks, but AJ Burnett was great agains’t the Yanks and Sox when he was in Toronto.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      Please note that wasn’t a statement from Cashman. 

      For the record, I think it’s incredibly stupid to overlook or cast away Colon. Ppl are acting like he had a complete implosion in the 2nd half, when in fact, there are plenty of reasonable factors that took place that might not apply to 2012.

      3.83 FIP…..3.57 xFIP for the season

      From 8/5 thru the end of the season he had his struggles but I think it was a combination of recovering from his hamstring injury as well as fatigue from throwing 150+ innings for the 1st time since 2005. Add on top of that the inning he threw in an intense winter ball season and spring training trying to earn a spot on the rotation and I can’t understand why that wasn’t an obvious issue.

      As long as his arm is healthy I would sign him to another 1 year deal with a $2 or $3 mil base + incentives and simply ask him to focus on fitness and not so much pitching in the offseason.   

    • Brendan Daly 4 years ago

      Yeah, WTF is Marchand thinking writing this? The Yankees lack of consistent starting pitching was a huge glaring weakness, why in God’s name would they just bring back two pitchers and “call it a winter.” Idiotic statement there. I still think it’s going to be Oswalt. That experience in big game situations is what the yankees are looking for, plus, he’s a lot healthier than everyone is giving him credit for. Oh and he has one of the best sliders in the game.

  4. MB923 4 years ago

    So originally, Cashman said they need “Pitching pitching pitching”. (And this was after Sabathia got the extension). So basically Freddy Garcia is their answer to their starting pitching problems? Sure it would be good to have him back, but if that’s the only guy they get back, they have to rely on an inconsistent AJ Burnett and inconsistent and possible injured Phil Hughes as 2 of their 5 slots.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      freddie’s not a small guy, but i can’t imagine there’s enough room left up there to fit another horseshoe. bring him back, but don’t expect much

      • MB923 4 years ago

        No I don’t expect much but I expect what a normal #4/#5 pitcher gives you, maybe even better. I do not see a 2011 repeat though but I still think he’ll give the quality starts more often than not.

    • slider32 4 years ago

      AJ has 2 more years and 33 million coming he won’t be moved this year. Next year he might be moved if the Yanks make a deal like the Braves did with Lowe and eat some of his 16 million next year. That’s why Cash changed his wording.

      • MB923 4 years ago

        Right. But what exactly does that have to do with what i said? My point is that it would take more than Garcia to fix the rotation. I said AJ was inconsistent. I never said he was going anywhere. although I really wished that would be the case lol

  5. Dylan 4 years ago

    I could see Jurrjens to the Yankees…but they may be pessmistic because the last time they traded with the Braves, that said starting pitcher did not fair very well.

  6. EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

    Price, Moore, Hellickson, and Shields. That’s a pretty good top four.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      they have quality with upside in niemann and davis, too. and approximately eleventy billion talented young arms behind them. shields had a career year: sell high and prosper

      • Coollet 4 years ago

        usually rays’s philosophy

      • slider32 4 years ago

        The Rays are loaded with pitching, Shields for Alonzo and Grandel would bring them too young players under control that could start at 1b and C. They need some young hitting to take the next step.

      • EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

        I agree that it’s time to sell high on Shields, but there doesn’t seem to be much optimism that it will happen. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from what I’ve read. Niemann and Davis are good options to round out the rotation, but Davis has a long-term deal in place so I imagine Niemann will be the one who goes if anyone is traded at all.

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          There’s not much optimism because Friedman is sneaky. He won’t shop him actively because giving the impression he wants him out due to his high salary hurts his position. While Friedman is obviously going to be fine paying Shields $7.5 million for his level of production, he’s obviously willing to listen on a big offer for him and in this pitching market (I.E. what pitching market?), someone’s probably willing to overpay for Shields.

  7. Bill Pressman 4 years ago

    Marchand of ESPN is a hack

  8. Guest 4 years ago

    Hellickson over Shields??? Thats like Gonzalez winning the silver slugger over Cabrera.

    Its just not going to happen

    • well…. just like Alex Gordon is a better LF than Brett Gardner?

      • ellisburks 4 years ago

        Or like last year when Jeter was a better short stop than the rest of the American League.

  9. diehardmets 4 years ago

    I think it’s definitely time to sell high on Shields and get an even better package than they did for Garza. Is he good? Hell yes. Is he that good? No.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      At what point do you value winning over collecting more prospects? They have a ton of prospects right now and just made a short run in the playoffs and while this may be a career year, why take that step backwards for 2012? 

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Because despite being a playoff team this year, their offense last year was thoroughly mediocre. They ranked thirteenth in the MLB in wOBA and seventh in the AL, practically right in the middle of the pack below non-competing teams like the Mets, Orioles and Royals. Yes, pitching generally beats offense, but getting bounced so unceremoniously from the playoffs reminds us that you still need to have SOME offense. And considering one of their best offensive players this season was Casey Kotchman running on a career high in BAbip, they’re probably going to need something more unless they’re content to rely on the Red Sox collapsing again to make the playoffs.

        If they can turn one of the MLB’s few legitimate pitching surpluses into a handful of guys who can bring that offense up to top ten (Which trading Shields would likely do), suddenly they’re looking like a WS capable team again. They don’t NEED to trade Shields, but if someone makes a good offer, pulling the trigger’s the right move.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          You completely missed my point. He said a nice package better than they got for Garza. I’m assuming he meant one largely based off of prospects, thus my asking how many more prospects do they need? If I were them I wouldn’t be as opposed to trading Shields IF it brought back an impact bat that I needed that’s already mlb proven. No sense in acquiring a bat that hasn’t been proven at the mlb level since they are currently a playoff contender. 

          Because Shields has a below market deal @ 3/$28 mil. They could probably acquire a significant bat such as Joey Votto (if the Rays added a prospect), Michael Morse, Nelson Cruz type in return. To trade Shields just for more prospects makes no sense to me.

  10. InvalidUserID 4 years ago

    Bad bad move by Cash if he calls it a winter if he resigns Freddy.

    Rotation is: CC, Nova, Burnett, Hughes, Garcia

    That is putting a lot of faith in Hughes being able to hold down a #4 spot. I like Nova but I’d rather he be counted on as a #3 but I don’t see Burnett as a #2. I do like Freddy and he’s a good #5 pitcher but I think the Yankees need one more solid pitcher as I don’t consider Nova or Hughes one right now. Nova is good, potentially very good, but sample size is too small.

  11. Coollet 4 years ago

    To McDnoald: Good bye my looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove

  12. slider32 4 years ago

    Both Hughes and Nova were on the Verducci list last year. I think Hughes will bounce back with a good year next year. Noesi is a sleeper. I agree, the Yanks will sign another starter to hold them over until next year and hope they can get a #2.

    • MB923 4 years ago

      I don’t see Noesi as a starter though, he doesn’t seem to be a guy who will go deep into ball games without tiring easily. Kind of like Alfredo Aceves. 

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Based on?

        • Yankees420 4 years ago


        • MB923 4 years ago

          Only has a few pitches. A good fastball but he loses velocity early. And his curve and change are only average at best

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            He throws a FB (56%/93 mph), Slider (20%), Curve (14%) and Change (10%). So that’s more than most pitchers that are starters. As for his loss in velocity, he only started two games so I’m not sure if that’s a) enough to go on b) he’s had enough consistant innings this year to build up his arm strength. I think he shoudl’ve been sent to AAA if he weren’t going to be used more often. They were probably trying to protect him but he would go 3-7 days in between 1 or 2 inning appearances. For a starter, that’s not enough to stay fresh and strong IMO. 

            Here’s a report from riverave.:

            Scouting Report
            Long and lanky at 6-foot-2 and 175 lbs., Noesi stands out for his command and a delivery that is both simple and fluid, two things that are not mutual exclusive. Although control is typically the last thing to come back following elbow surgery, Noesi has unintentionally walked just 51 batters in 326 innings since returning from TJ (1.41 uIBB/9), a testament to how well he can command the baseball. He has also been perfectly healthy since the elbow surgery, leading the farm system in innings pitched in 2010 and holding his velocity deep into games.Noesi’s best pitch is lively fastball with a little boring action in on righties, routinely sitting at 90-93 mph and touching as high as 96 the last few years. He backs that up with quality changeup, his second best offering, and he also throws both a slider and a curveball. Neither of the two breaking balls is even an average big league pitch right now, and Noesi doesn’t command any of his offspeed pitches as well as he does his fastball. He helps himself by fielding his position and holding runners well._______I like him, as I did Nova, as a good back end guy with potential to be a solid #3 sort of like a Gavin Floyd ceiling.

  13. joeybw 4 years ago

     Rays have 3 absolutley untouchable pitchers in Price, Hellickson and Moore and one that would take more than anyone will ever offer in Shields, that front 4 competes with the Phillies. All they need is Wade Davis/ Jeff Neimann/ Alex Cobb/ Alex Torres/ Chris Archer to be decent considering they are the #5 and good lord, that’s loaded. We really need a power bat.

    • Dylan 4 years ago

      That four does compete with the Phillies and for 10% of what the Phillies are paying. I mean obviously right now Philly has the best rotation, but in a couple years, we could be looking at one of the best “home grown” rotations assembled. Between Davis and Cobb, they should also have a very good 5th starter. They still need a young catcher (Reds Grandal stands out to me as a fit) and a young short stop (what ever happened to Tim Beckham?)

      They have a great future closer in McGee and Archer is yet another strong arm. They are loaded with arms but need bats. Maybe the Royals and Rays can hook each other up because the Royals need arms and have bats.

      • joeybw 4 years ago

        Actually Tim Beckham came back to having potential this year. He had looked lost since being drafted but this year, he did well in AA, won the futures game, got promoted to AAA where he found a power stroke that he has not lost at all in the AFL. I doubt he breaks camp but he will at least fight for the SS role in 2012. Rays need to go after Grandal, Reds got Meseroco and need pitching, seems like we have a definate fit.

        • Dylan 4 years ago

          Absolutely, I wonder if the Rays can package some of their young pitchers together and get Grandal and Alonso (1B). They are stacked with pitching and the Reds need pitching. There could be a definite match there and the Rays could have a very solid, young line-up to compliment that great, young rotation.

  14. ARodinyourPujols 4 years ago

    Does anyone else think that Gordon Beckham could be a target for AA and the Blue Jays? Jays need a guy at second and Beckham seems like the kind of guy AA targets. Just food for thought. 

  15. MB923 4 years ago

    Well if he wants Beckham for his okay defense then I suppose, but his bat has been absolutely terrible.

    Edit – This was in response to @ARodinyourPujols

  16. nestleraisinets 4 years ago

    yanks might as well bring posada back for a rerun of 2010

  17. Yankees should trade burnet he stinks he can’t pitch I could pitch better than him

  18. Dylan 4 years ago

    I wonder what the Mets do with Johann if he proves that he is healthy and can pitch again….that would be a great pickup in July if he 100% healthy. That contract may scare off even the Yanks however.

  19. MB923 4 years ago

    That’s not your fault, that’s all Disqus.

  20. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i wouldn’t say it’s “obvious” either. i’d say “barring nuclear holocaust, it’s absolutely certain”

  21. Dylan 4 years ago

    Davis has some value. He was once a top 20 prospect and put together a nice season last year while pitching in the best hitting division….I could see them getting a valuable piece for him.

  22. rsoxbob 4 years ago

    It was a very difficult decision to pick up Ortiz’ $12.5MM option last winter, and it wouldn’t have happened if ownership hadn’t forced the GM to do it. Offering arbitration could result in Ortiz getting a RAISE from that inflated level, so no, I would not offer him arbitration. $10MM 1-year deal plus fairly easy option at $8-10MM is well above market and should be the absolute maximum offer.

  23. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    You’re doin it wrong

  24. MaineSox 4 years ago

    They probably had a hard time deciding whether or not to pick up his option because they might have rather offered him arbitration.

    No way he accepts arbitration, and even if he does they only have him for one year, which is preferable anyway (he is likely to still be productive for one year, and they can deal with whatever his salary is for a single year).

  25. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    here, i’ll help

    ortiz’s 2009 .340 wOBA (comparables: carlos lee, edwin encarnacion)
    ortiz’s 2010: .380 wOBA (comparables: hunter pence, adrian beltre)
    ortiz’s 2011: .405 wOBA (comparables: adrian gonzalez, joey votto)

  26. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    If you would not offer him arbitration, enjoy watching him slug the crap out of us whenever we play the Blue Jays.

    I promise you, Type A status is the one and only think keeping AA from jumping on Ortiz. We have three options here:

    Over commit in dollars by offering him arbitration.
    Over commit in years to keep him out of Toronto.
    Let him go to Toronto.

  27. MB923 4 years ago

    Exactly right (unfortunately Disqus didn’t get my previous post in as a reply)

  28. MB923 4 years ago

     How are any of them better than Nova when they are not proven in the MLB yet. Plus Noesi has only started 1 or 2 games and I think went less than 4 innings in each. I’m sorry but Noesi doesn’t have great pitches to be a starter. I do hope I am wrong but I only see Long Relief for this guy. Which is still definitely valuable of course.

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