AL East Notes: Valentine, Wilson, Howell, Johnson

Here are some notes from the AL East on the day the Red Sox officially introduced their new manager…

  • The Red Sox and manager Bobby Valentine agreed on a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter).  The Red Sox hold team options on Valentine for 2014 and 2015, tweets's Alex Speier.
  • Valentine reached out to David Cone about becoming the new Red Sox pitching coach, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link).  Cone isn't expected to take the job but was "flattered."
  • The Yankees turned down a request by C.J. Wilson's agent for a visit to Yankee Stadium, reports ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand.  That's not a good sign for Wilson's chances of signing with the Bombers, which Marchand believes are "less than five percent."
  • Erik Hahmann of the DRaysBay blog looks at the situation between the Rays and lefty J.P. Howell.  MLBTR's Tim Dierkes listed Howell as one of this winter's non-tender candidates.
  • The Blue Jays are still open to bringing back Kelly Johnson next year, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Also from Morosi, he thinks the Blue Jays could — and should — sign free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
  • Eric Chavez definitely wants to play in 2012 and a number of teams have strong interest in him, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). Some West Coast teams are interested in Chavez and the Yankees appear to be in the mix as well.
  • The Rays have some interest in Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, but probably can’t afford him, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
  • The Orioles hired former Phillies GM Lee Thomas as a special assistant, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Danny Knobler of first mentioned the possibility (on Twitter). It's worth noting that Scott Proefrock and Joe Jordan of the Phillies are former Orioles front office employees.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

72 Responses to AL East Notes: Valentine, Wilson, Howell, Johnson Leave a Reply

  1. Rangers4Life 4 years ago

    I’m so going to enjoy watching Valentine battle it out with the Boston media.

  2. tycobb 4 years ago

    I think Prince should sign with the Jays too !!! Man I should write for Fox.

  3. joeybw 4 years ago

    Yeah he would be an awesome pick up for the OF, then move to Joyce to DH. One issue of us not having half the money it would take to get him signed. We scouted him just like I’m sure we scouted Darvish but neither will be signed.

  4. LA 4 years ago

    Rogers is Billion dollar company, why not just spend 160 million for Prince, 40 million of Cespedes and 100 million for Darvish. Pocket change for them.

    But, Blue Jays have AA and is not that stupid to dish out over 280 million on three players.

  5. mike292929 4 years ago

    Pretty sure I read somewhere Prince won’t play for a team his father has played for. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      Maybe his dad ate up those teams entire food budget when he was there?

  6. Lee Thomas as a special assistant (Orioles)… now that is kicking it old school!

  7. Brad426 4 years ago

    I think the Jays are hoping Votto will be there 1B when his contract is up and don’t want to block him with a lengthy contract to Prince.

    Edit: Which Morosi addresses in his article… I KNOW I should read these before I comment, but sometimes I just can’t. Let he who is without premature comment-ation cast the first stone.

    • Christopher David 4 years ago

      That would be the move, and I suppose waiting 2 more seasons isn’t excruciatingly long. Bautista is already 31 though. I feel like if they’re going to maximize his value by adding a serious 1B bat, now is kind of the time.

      • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

        You can’t bank on signing another team’s player though (to reply to the poster above you)… look at the Yankees and Cliff Lee for example.

        While I don’t doubt the Blue Jays would love to have Votto, or any team for that matter, a lot of things can happen in two years that could prevent the Blue Jays from signing Votto: he could sign an extension, he could get hurt, he could get traded, etc.


        I agree with you, if they’re going to make a move it’s gotta be now to maximize their opportunity with Jose Bautista. Either trade for Votto now or sign Fielder.

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          I think AA is probably waiting it out. Being a Boras client, Fielder will take ages to sign and if I know it, so does AA. If I’m AA, I keep my nose in it as long as I can while hoping for a resolution on the second WC situation. If they add a second Wild Card for 2012, Fielder and an adequate closer is pretty much enough for the Jays to compete for a playoff spot this coming season.

  8. Christopher David 4 years ago

    I didn’t realize the Jays had that much room in payroll. Even if $50mm is a liberal estimate, the most Fielder could cost is what? $25mm a year?

    I actually hope that happens. I don’t think it will, but I’d love to see the Jays just blow everyone’s minds.

    • Adil 4 years ago

      the jays cannot sustain a 120-130 mil payroll. the can go play with the big boys for a season or 2 with the hope that baseball fever returns; but if not the current baseball fanbase can support a team in the 80-100 mil range.

      so the jays have to make a sound decision, any mistep with a big salary can hamper the team for years; they dont have the luxary of hiding a mistake.

      • i love when people sound so definitive when they have no clue

      • Christopher David 4 years ago

        Yeah, Morosi had something in the article to that effect. Essentially, they can make A big move, but they aren’t going to make it unless it is the 100% absolute right move.

        So on that note, and with Fielder being as plump as a Thanksgiving turkey, I can’t imagine the Jays will invest long-term in someone whose body is incredibly likely to give out within a few years.

      • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

        You don’t know what your talking about. The Blue Jays have immense TV ratings. You forget that their market is all of Canada.

        • Adil 4 years ago

          I know that, thats why i said they can sustain a payroll of close to 100 mil; anything above that they will need an attendance boost.

          • cyberboo 4 years ago

            I take it that the posters here are teenagers or early twenties.  The Blue Jays drew four million fans year after year for a reason.  You have 25,000 loyal fans that attend whether the team wins or loses.  You then have the 18,000 fans that are bandwagoners.  They only come if it is the hip thing to do.  If the Jays make a few moves this year, they will have a real shot at eliminating both New York and Boston.   The team has a strong following from British Columbia to the Maritimes, as Canada’s team, not a team representing a city, which is the case for most teams. 

            If they include Fielder and Johnson, the Jays suddenly have a murderer’s row of hitters that can hit 30 plus homers every season.  Nine guys could hit 30 – 50 every year. The only exception is Escobar and he averages 10 – 14 a year.  That lineup could break the 300 home runs barrier, puts a lot of runs on the board and instead of winning 12 – 15 games a year, the starters are then shooting at 18 – 20 wins a season through blowouts.  Add in a proven closer and the AL east will have a new sherriff in town.  That is why there is so much excitement now north of the border from coast-to-coast.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago


          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago


            you know your franchise is starting to turn the corner when you get pink hats

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            I thought I’d be clever and GIS “orioles pink hat,” but got nothing (A few Sox pink hats showed up, though, FML) to show for it. You win this round.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago


            1b?….Fielder….of course.
            2b?….Hill…….hmmmm…Hill…hit 6 last year…could rebound.
            3b……Lawrie….??????…a bit premature….TBD
            RF……Bautista…of course
            CF……Rasmus…14 in 500+….23 last year….???…possibly
            LF…….Thames or Snider….possibly…TBD at best.
            DH?….Lind….ok check.

            Murders row? 

          • cyberboo 4 years ago

            You don’t follow baseball much do you.  Hill plays for Arizona. lol.  You must be a Yankee fan and live inside your own little universe.  lol. 

          • BenchedMark 4 years ago

            you should stop writing on this site. you are embarrassing jays fans.


          • MB923 4 years ago

            And you must live in Canada ayy? I remember you thought CC has horrible numbers when the Yankees don’t score runs for him, and then you made up some stats saying he has 25 losses as a Yankee when they score under 3 runs for him, yet you fail to realize that he has 23 losses in his Yankee career.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            ” the Jays suddenly have a murderer’s row of hitters that can hit 30 plus homers every season.”

            Welcome to the late 70’s Red Sox and did them little good. Gotta still work on another piece or 2 in the rotation there and would think Farrell might be targeting that 1st?

  9. baseballdude 4 years ago

    I still think fielder will sign with the mariners

  10. I can’t decide if, as a Sox fan, I’d like it if Prince signed with the Jays. On one hand, we’d have to take the Jays seriously which would increase my stress level infinitely during the season. On the other hand, the AL East would become even more insane. It’s going to be entertaining with that extra playoff spot now… (At least coming from my perspective… maybe not so much for a mariners fan or something haha)

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      Especially with the Orioles getting Teagarden. 

    • Karkat 4 years ago

      I don’t think I can handle another viable team in the division. Thank god for the Orioles, at least.

  11. I’m hoping Fielder would take 5yr 140mill. Most would say not worth it but I rather have him on a 5yr deal then 7+ range.

    Blue Jays Lineup:

    1- Escobar SS
    2- Rasmus CF
    3- Bautista RF
    4- Fielder 1b
    5- Lind DH
    6- Lawrie 3b
    7- K.Johnson 2b
    8- E.Thames LF
    9- JP C

  12. EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

    Just watched the Valentine press conference if anything he seemed genuinely excited to be the Sox new manager. 

    • Onetimeaccount 4 years ago

      A manager who is new to a team that is almost guaranteed a WC play-in game to get into the post season and he’s excited?

  13. Jacob Viets 4 years ago

    The Blue Jays and Prince Fielder. I like it. As long as they can get some bullpen help they could be contenders. However I still think Prince should sign back with Milwaukee for 6 years and $140,000,000. Also, the Rays can’t sign someone because they’re too expensive…shocking.

  14. lol why were CJ and his agent the ones requesting a visit anyway? 

  15. LA 4 years ago

    Good Luck Redsox Nation.

  16. rjc 4 years ago

    Good god, I hope the Rays don’t resign JP Howell.  He blew so many important games last year and was just terrible.  I was at game 3 of the playoffs against Texas and watched the entire stadium groan when he was brought in against Josh Hamilton and then boo him off the field when he gave up what ended up being the game winning RBIs.  The Rays could sign any high school varsity pitcher and it would be an improvement over JP Howell.

  17. dc21892 4 years ago

    Can’t wait to see the staff Bobby V puts together.

  18. Guest 4 years ago

    Ha Ha. CJ Wilson. Told you so and the almost 25% of the voting pole that Wilson would sign with Yankees. Exactly as I said it then and as it is now. Less than a 5% chance. Goes to show how much people really know the Yankees these days and just how much better they are operating than times of the past. 

  19. NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

    I guess the Yanks will be going with some internal options. To tell you the truth unless they can grab Lincecum, Kershaw, or Felix I think it’s the right move. Noesi has tremendously improved his arsenal and is drawing raves down in the Dominican. You throw Nova out there with CC and the Chief and I think the Yankees will be ready to go.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      Strangely, Noesi has been throwing like Felix (joking, kinda) in winter ball. Not sure what that’s about. 

  20. Slopeboy 4 years ago

    David Cone a Red Sox pitching coach, Ha! The guy has yet to even coach Little Leaguers. Can you see him telling Beckett to speed up his delivery or what type of pitch selection he should use?

    He wouldn’t leave the YES network anyway. Much less for the Red Sox. It’s an easy gig, not much travel and the studio is close to home, when he’s not doing roadgames. He left the YES network after her retired to return to play for the Red Sox and old man Steinbrenner got really PO’d at him. It made him a persona non grata for a time, and it took a while for him to return to the good graces of the organization. That’s another reason he was ‘flattered’ by Valentines offer but declined.

  21. iheartyourfart 4 years ago

    “alright guys, you can have all the chicken, beer, and xbox you want after you throw a perfect game.”

    – david cone

  22. flickadave 4 years ago

    AA should sign Fielder to a long term deal and hope that Reagins gets a GM job by the time Prince starts to break down

  23. Brad426 4 years ago

    Apt screen name…

    There is a big difference between doing nothing and signing Fielder. Morosi’s article made sense, but would the Jays really be a worse team with Lind and Darvish as opposed to Fielder and a Wade Davis, for instance?

  24. HIS guy….you mean Farrell?  Seems enevitable and as a Jays fan, not a good thought.

  25. Ryan Caudle 4 years ago

    Unless they win, then they could consider those club options. Though since Valentine is approaching wheelchair age, I’m wondering if they threw those in as a *wink wink* “no really, you’re the guy” to make him feel as if he were Plan A all along.

    As a Yankees fan in Sox territory I find their situation intriguing. I tend to follow Sox news much more closely a lot of the time (since it is all I have access to outside of the internet) so I’m loving following the drama. I love to see them lose, but at the same time I want to see them put a good team and organization together, because I want my team grind out their rival, not just roll over them.And since I watch mostly Sox games (since it is what is available, and I love baseball) I want to see good games. 😛

  26. EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

    No…it was reported that a few days ago “Some have an interesting theory on Prince Fielder’s possible destination: That because of his well-known alienation from his father, Cecil, Fielder wouldn’t want to play on one of his dad’s former teams and expose himself to more comparisons. That would rule out the Tigers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Indians and Angels.”

  27. mike292929 4 years ago

    Some have an interesting theory on Fielder’s possible destination: That because of his well-known alienation from his father, Cecil, Fielder wouldn’t want to play on one of his dad’s former teams and expose himself to more comparisons. That would rule out the Tigers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Indians and Angels.
    -Tom Singer, MLB Writer

  28. As a Jays fan, I SERIOUSLY HOPE that that isn’t true.

  29. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Why would he rule out five teams? Three of which had the top ten payrolls in 2011. That’s just dumb. 

  30. mike292929 4 years ago

    Just think…. if someone offered you 140 million to go play baseball somewhere… would you say no?? 

    Money trumps everything.

  31. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    I dont think Lind brings back a top of the ro starter.

    2 pretty bad years. Jays have the prospects to get a starter. If they sign Fielder they can make Lind a dh/lf/1b

  32. ARodinyourPujols 4 years ago

    And that also takes away 2 of his biggest suitors in the Jays and Angels. It makes sense and I have heard it from other people to but I agree with you, money can always win out.

  33. cyberboo 4 years ago

    Sometimes I don’t understand the stupidity shown by some people here.  .260 average, 28 home runs and 93 RBI’s isn’t a bad year. That is better than the clean up hitter on over half the teams in the majors and he is only 5M a year, not 12 – 16M.   Probably another sabermetrics nerd that wouldn’t know real life if it bit him. Now Adam Dunn, he had a bad year. lol.

  34. Look a little deeper.  Bad couple years was the correct analysis.

  35. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    for a first baseman ya it is… and using his ba as a selling point means your the stupid one

  36. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    “I tend to follow Sox news much more closely a lot of the time (since it is all I have access to outside of the internet)”

    People still get news outside of the internet?

    I am entirely serious.

  37. gradylittle 4 years ago


  38. TheSpidersWhoAttackedGAHill 4 years ago

    For the Marlins it is.

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