AL East Links: Red Sox, Jays, Rays, Rivera, Martin

Who would have guessed that two AL teams would hand out $200MM+ contracts this winter, and neither of them would reside in the AL East? Here's the latest from the only division with three 90-win teams in 2011…

  • The Red Sox have checked in with Edwin Jackson and maintain interest in Roy Oswalt, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). They're also looking at some infielders.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm that he doesn't anticipate a move to upgrade the starting rotation before Spring Training (Twitter links). "I wouldn't expect us to do anything else. Maybe adding a reliever is probably the only thing I think we have a chance at doing," said the GM a few hours before signing Francisco Cordero.
  • In an interview with Jim Duquette and Jeff Joyce of MLB Network Radio, Anthopoulos said that Brandon Morrow's work ethic was one reason why the Blue Jays signed him to an extension. "I haven't been doing this very long … but the mistakes we have made, we haven't necessarily put as much stock into someone's character and the work ethic," he said.
  • Anthopoulos also acknowledged that the Blue Jays would be able to support a high payroll down the road, but they're "not there yet right now."
  • Rays president Matt Silverman told Marc Topkin of The Tampa Times that they haven't found a deal to trade one of their excess starters yet, but that doesn't mean they aren't still looking (Twitter link).
  • Yankees closer Mariano Rivera hinted at retirement during Jorge Posada's retirement press conference today, reports MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "[It's] the same thing; just knowing that it's time to go," Rivera said. "You just have to accept that. I mean, I love the game and I have the passion for the game, but when the time comes and you have to go, you have to go."
  • WEEI.com's Alex Speier wrote about the Red Sox in the wake of the Prince Fielder signing, saying they preferred trading for Adrian Gonzalez last offseason to waiting for this year's crop of free agent first baseman.
  • Prior to avoiding arbitration with a one-year deal, the Yankees and Russell Martin discussed a two-year contract according to WFAN's Sweeny Murti (on Twitter).

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