AL East Notes: Epstein, Cherington, Encarnacion

It was on this day in 1996 that Cal Ripken Jr. became professional baseball's all-time iron man.  Though Ripken eclipsed Lou Gehrig's Major League record for consecutive games played in 1995, it took a while longer to surpass Japan's Sachio Kinugasa, who played in 2215 NPL straight games between 1970 and 1987.

Here's some news from both Ripken's Orioles and elsewhere around the AL East…

  • Theo Epstein spoke to media (including WEEI.com's Alex Speier) about his days as the Red Sox general manager, noting that he felt some of the club's free agent signings deviated from the franchise's long-term plan and were made due to the pressure of staying competitive.  It's a must-read piece for Red Sox fans, not to mention Cubs fans who could see what Epstein hopes to avoid during his tenure in Chicago.
  • We’re going to go see hundreds of players over the next few weeks,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. “We may end up just acquiring one of those or none of them. In this particular year, we do believe we’re going to get impact players just by getting healthy. Still, we have to come together. I think this team still will be very good.”
  • The Blue Jays could look to move Edwin Encarnacion, Kelly Johnson or "any bullpen piece" at the trade deadline if the team isn't in serious contention, opines FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi in a radio interview with the Brady & Lang show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan (Sportsnet.ca's Jeff Simmons has a partial transcript).
  • Encarnacion's breakout season could put him in line for a big free agent contract this winter but Morosi says "a lot of GMs are wary" about Encarnacion's ability to play first base on a regular basis. "If you're viewed as a DH, that will affect his valuation going forward," Morosi said.  "So we'll see how often he plays in the field and not having [Vladimir Guerrero] coming will certainly change how often he'll play first base."
  • The Orioles and Blue Jays have both been scouting the Cubs, reports Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago.  Levine specified that Baltimore was looking at the Cubs' starting pitchers and Alfonso Soriano.
  • For more AL East news, check out this batch of Yankees notes and the latest on the Kevin Youkilis trade rumors.


19 Responses to AL East Notes: Epstein, Cherington, Encarnacion Leave a Reply

  1. Devern Hansack 3 years ago

    As a Sox fan, I’d love it if the Orioles acquired Soriano.

    • As a cheap DH, Soriano isn’t really a bad option at all.

      • Double_Up 3 years ago

        You’re assuming the Cubs pick up most of his salary of course.

        • Hawkguy 3 years ago

          Aren’t they kind of forced to? Garza would be a solid trade to the Orioles for Machado and two lesser prospects.

  2. $17867741 3 years ago

    EE’s trade value will never be higher. Either sign him to a contract extension now or trade him. If EE is traded though, it would most certainly indicate the Blue Jays are ‘out’ for this season.

    KJ has the same problem, but unlike EE, no one else can play 2B. I don’t consider Hech to be ready for the majors.

    Maybe trade EE to the Giants?

    Perhaps EE + bullpen guy for Vogelsong & Joe Panik (2B/SS prospect).

    KJ ain’t the long term solution and Panik has good upside; also has a good K/BB ratio. Blue Jays also need better starting pitching, and Vogelsong would be better than Alvarez, Hutchinson and Drabek. I also don’t see any of the Blue Jays young prospects being ready for next year so Vogelsong shouldn’t really be blocking anyone. For the Giants, they get more offense; Belt isn’t ready to be the Giants starting 1B.

    Also, does anyone here think KJ is good enough to be offered the 12m/1yr contract for draft pick compensation?

    • johnsmith4 3 years ago

      I was asking the same question about KJ.  However, after looking at Jays projected 2013 payroll, it might be tough fitting KJ into their budget.

    • Umm…Vogelsong is 35 years old dude LOL, try again.

      • $17867741 3 years ago

        Vogelsong is still better than Alvarez, Drabek and Hutchinson. And I’m sure either one of the three guys can benefit from more time in the minors.

        Also, who is almost ready to ‘graduate’ from the minors? Syndergaard, Nicolino, Sanchez are still in high A ball. McGuire and Jenkins are struggling in AA.

        Maybe Cecil or Carreno. But Cecil needs to regain his fastball before he can be effective. Carreno is a maybe.

        Vogelsong can also provide veteran leadership and can actually teach some of the younger guys like Romero what it’s like to struggle, leave for Japan, and come back and succeed. It won’t hurt to have ONE guy on a pitching staff that is over 30 years old. His contract also provides flexibility; he is signed through 2013 with a club option for 2014. Not too bad for a #3 guy.

        Also who cares if Vogelsong is 35? Alfonso Soriano is 36 and people are talking about his trade value. The Cubs fail to trade Soriano, then it’s because of the massive contract, not because of age.

        • What you are failing to realize is, if the Jays sell off EE then it doesn’t matter if Vogelsong is better than anyone. Although even that claim is very questionable as being a 4th starter or worse in the NL Weat is a little different then pitching in the AL East. Vogelsong doesn’t have the “stuff” of these 3 guys that much is clear though. And if the Jays are selling getting these guys major league innings would be a plus for the experience.

          You’re right, the Jays top pitching prospects are in the lower minors. Doesn’t matter as they have enough guys at or close to the major league level good enough to make Vogelsong redundant….and 10+ years older.

          Bottomline, Vogelsong is not someone the Jays would be at all interested in if they were trading EE. If they were trading a prospect (middling prospect) then that would be a different story. The deal you are talking about makes no sense for either team.

  3. ThinkBlue10 3 years ago

    I’ll take Encarnacion all day.

  4. Double_Up 3 years ago

    I could see the O’s signing Soriano now, and trying to trade for Dempster/Garza.

    As far as Guerrero, no news means maybe his agent told him teams were interested in him, might as well see if the Jays are, and they weren’t, so his agents told him to opt out, they had another deal ready.

  5. Alex Havers 3 years ago

    I don’t know why the Jays would trade EE or anyone useful at this point, they are so close to contending they can taste it. They need more pitching yes but they’d also need a massive return for someone like EE

    • They are close in the near future. But this year, with the injuries to Morrow and Drabek, is now pretty much a write off. They don’t just need more pitching either. They need A LOT more pitching (coming but not close yet) and they have massive holes at first and in LF. All they can taste in that division is the burning of spinning wheels trying to stay out of the basement. 

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      I disagree, simply because this team is not built for the 162. Even if this team is healthy all season, I’d still think that they only have a fringe chance of entering the post-season.

      And if you decide to keep EE and KJ, then what are your plans for the off-season? Re-sign them as free agents? Should you offer the $12m/1yr contract for draft pick compensation?

      At that point, it becomes much more likely that the Blue Jays get nothing in return.

      It’s a tough decision, but don’t go thinking that the Blue Jays are real contenders.

      • Double_Up 3 years ago

        I’d say they are contenders this year because nobody is that good in the AL.  In a typical year they’d be 4th again.  But with NYY old and lacking pitching, Boston lacking commitment and consistency, Tampa hitting, and Baltimore pitching and defence.

        Now with 3 starters out and injuries at other places cropping up, their chances are fading.  Still, it’s a down year so no one is out already, even given that.

  6. $17867741 3 years ago

    As I was thinking about it, I did realize that the Giants would be giving up too much value.

    Last year’s deadline saw the acquisition of Beltran for *just* Wheeler (I use the word *just* quite loosely here). Panik isn’t as highly rated as Wheeler and EE isn’t as good as Beltran. Blue Jays would need to do more than just EE + bullpen.

  7. Too much value? Wheeler is a top 35 prospect. Panik? Not on the list at BA. As I already said, Vogelsong would be worthless in a deal like this. To suggest the Jays would be the team needing to put in more in ludicris. Giving EE away for nothing (Panik would probably not even get into the Jays top 10 prospect list) is not an option. 

  8. $17867741 3 years ago

     Very well. Those are fair arguments.

    But I would know, if you were the GM, what would you do with EE?

    1) Re-sign EE midseason

    2) Re-sign EE in the off-season when he’s a free agent? (specify if you will offer the qualifying $12m/1yr contract)

    3) Trade EE midseason

    I’m curious to see what others are thinking. And if you don’t mind, what are your thoughts for Kelly Johnson?

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