AL East Notes: Soriano, Werner, Guthrie, Orioles

Rays prospect Chris Archer will make his Major League debut on Wednesday against the Nationals, filling in while Jeremy Hellickson is on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder fatigue.  Archer was ranked as the 89th-best prospect in the game by Baseball America before the season, though that was down from a #27 ranking the year prior due to Archer's fairly unimpressive 2011 campaign at Double-A.  This season, Archer has a 4.81 ERA, a 10.6 K/9 rate and 90 strikeouts (against 45 walks) in 14 starts for Triple-A Durham.

Here's some other news from around the AL East…

  • Rafael Soriano's success as the Yankees' closer could lead to him opting out of his contract for 2013 and becoming a free agent, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Soriano is set to earn $14MM from the Yankees in 2013, but could opt out in search of a longer-term commitment and a full-time closer's job, as Soriano will again be Mariano Rivera's set-up man if he stays in New York.  Sherman argues that Soriano's experience in high-pressure AL East games could help him find the multiyear deal that eluded most closers last offseason.
  • Red Sox chairman Tom Werner (in an interview with WEEI's The Big Show, as partially recapped by WEEI.com's Paul Flannery) denied Theo Epstein's recent statements about ownership pressure contributing to free agency decisions during Epstein's tenure as the team's general manager.  "We don't dictate who Theo or Ben [Cherington] should sign," Werner said. "What we do is we try to give them the resources to be successful. There's a sense that non-baseball people are telling baseball people what to do, but what we do is we try to create the revenue streams for our baseball operations people to be successful."
  • The Blue Jays have "been most active" in trade negotiations for Rockies' right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.  We heard about Toronto's interest in Guthrie over the weekend but now that Guthrie has been moved to Colorado's bullpen, it will no doubt affect his trade value.
  • Former Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail deserves some of the credit for the team's early-season success, argues Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Orioles haven't made any progress with top two draft picks Kevin Gausman (4th overall) and Branden Kline (65th overall), tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.  Connolly "wouldn't be surprised if [negotiations] take a while" between the team and the two right-handers.

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