AL East Notes: Rays, Iglesias, Crawford, Yankees

The American League East may be the toughest division in baseball, so the Yankees, Rays, Red Sox and Blue Jays likely welcomed the news that MLB will expand its playoffs in 2012. In theory, three teams from one division could play in the postseason under the new arrangement. Here are the latest links from the AL East…

  • Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told Peter Gammons of MLB.com that he gets “tired of hearing the Red Sox are underdogs." As Gammons explains, the Rays could be better in 2012 than they were in ’11.
  • Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said he's "pretty certain" the Tampa Bay market can support the team long-term, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Sternberg said he's had encouraging talks with city officials and business leaders about the club. 
  • After a challenging winter, Sternberg is projecting a "very, very good team this year," Topkin writes. Sternberg approved a payroll increase of approximately 50% for 2012.
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington joined WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show and said the decision of whether Jose Iglesias breaks camp with the team will be up to manager Bobby Valentine. "In a perfect world, [Iglesias] would probably get some more time in Triple-A," the GM said (via Jerry Spar). 
  • Cherington said on WEEI that he isn't worried about Carl Crawford, who will be looking to increase his production after a disappointing 2011. 
  • Right-handed reliever Chris Carpenter, acquired from the Cubs for Theo Epstein, isn't a lock to make the team, Cherington said. The Red Sox may option him to Triple-A and call him up when a spot opens up.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues discusses some Yankees who fell short of expectations in 2011 and could make up for it in 2012.


28 Responses to AL East Notes: Rays, Iglesias, Crawford, Yankees Leave a Reply

  1. Price, Shields, Hellickson, Moore, Upton on a walk year, full year of Longoria and Jennings, Zobrist, Pena back….yeah I like the Rays more in 2012

    • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

      Bringing in Luke Scott was a nice under-the-radar move too, and knowing the Rays, he’l pop 35 homers this season. Also, that front 4 in the rotation isn’t even fair…

      • MB923 3 years ago

        Luke Scott with 35 homers? At the pitcher friendly Trop? His career high is 27 in hitter friendly Oriole Park.

        • I get what hes saying. Guys that have had their best days behind them go to Tampa and have great years. Or guys that were just average suddenly become above average.

        • JunKim 3 years ago

          Trop is a neutral park, ts HR factor has been middling in last a decade.

        • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

          Dude…it’s the Rays. It’s just going to happen.

        • imachainsaw 3 years ago

           the Trop is by no means ‘pitcher friendly’. the rays’ pitchers just make it look that way.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Well its not hitter friendly. I guess JunKim put it best that its neutral. But Oriole Park is much much more hitter friendly

          • imachainsaw 3 years ago

            yeah we can agree on that. and I do think there’s no way he exceeds 27 HRs, since I doubt he’ll even be playing every day.

      • Scott Brewer 3 years ago

        Angels can match the front four

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        I’m not convinced that the Ray will even have the best pitching in their division this year.  Obviously there is tons of talent there, but there’s a pretty good chance Shields regresses back to something close to what he was before last year, and Hellickson and Moore are far from certain to be great this year (Hellickson had a great ERA but his FIP, xFIP, SIERA, and tERA were all 4.40 or worse, only struck out 5.5/9 and walked 3.5/9 and had most of his success on the back of a .223 BABIP; and who knows how Moore does as a rookie).  That’s not to say that they wont be great (they certainly have the talent to be great), but people are talking about it like it’s a foregone conclusions while it’s anything but.

  2. rainyperez 3 years ago

    If your payroll is where its at and you’re paying huge dollars for your players your team should never be considered an underdog. 

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      agreed, but that is assuming you spend your money correctly.  20 aav on crawford, 15 Lackey  I could have told you that both wouldn’t be worth their contracts at the time of signing.

      I like what the rays do, just let the players go when they get older and get the draft picks.

      • No big contract is worth it. But I really wouldnt be surprised if Crawford is an All-Star again this year. 

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          wouldn’t surprise me either.  But lets be honest here, he is making 20 aav, anyone making that much should be a mvp canidate.  I don’t doubt that he is a good player, but .333 career obp + career high in hr is 19 = not 20 aav; more like 14

          especially when you already got ellsbury/ pedroia at top, it is better to spend money on power hitters. Prince fielder could be had for that value ( wouldnt fit in boston but example)

        • Fangaffes 3 years ago

          It would surprise me greatly.  Hitters don’t fully come back from wrist surgery for a couple of years.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            It completely depends on the type and location of the wrist injury.  The biggest impact from wrist injuries is a player’s power, and power has never been a big part of Crawford’s game anyway.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      So you wouldn’t call the Mets, Cubs, White Sox or Dodgers underdogs in their divisions?

      • rainyperez 3 years ago

        No I’m responding specifically to the Red Sox. The expectations for that team is championship or disappointment. As in the case with the Cubs its simple…they are cursed. Mets are in finical disarray as are the Dodgers. White Sox GM is Kenny Williams and yeah he’s Kenny Williams. 

        No one is expecting those teams to be championship contenders.

      • rainyperez 3 years ago

        Sorry tired its late I do not know what I was saying at the end lol after my 2nd sentence.  

  3. MCMLXXVII 3 years ago

    Rays have been good every year since 08.

  4. I get tired hearing about how the Rays are the underdog so go figure.

    • imachainsaw 3 years ago

      never been picked as the ‘team to beat’ by anyone, ever, kinda tells me that they are.

  5. Quizicat 3 years ago

    Gee I wonder why they didn’t include the  O’s in that list?

  6. Fangaffes 3 years ago

    I get tired of the Rays whining about the Red Sox.

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