AL East Notes: Bautista, Blue Jays, Rays, Yankees

Over the weekend we learned that the Blue Jays are looking to upgrade their rotation as the deal with a rash of injuries.  Toronto recently sent multiple scouts to at least two of Wandy Rodriguez’s starts and has also maintained contact with the Cubs about Matt Garza.  Here's more on the Blue Jays and the rest of the AL East..

  • Jose Bautista told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that he wants to see the club make a big push at the deadline.  "Let’s go for it,” Bautista said. “Hopefully, the change is made now. We’re in a position, in the middle of the season, to compete for a playoff spot. A lot of people maybe have forgotten about the extra wild card, but I certainly haven’t. There was a lot of talk about it in spring training, and I haven’t heard much since."
  • The Rays signed Dominican catcher Erick Maria for $300K, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.  Maria was known as Eric Otanez when he signed with Tampa Bay last year before the deal was declared ineligible thanks to an inaccurate birthdate.  Maria has developed into a better prospect than he was a year ago but he appears to have remained loyal to the Rays to honor his original deal.
  • No one realized exactly how important the Hiroki Kuroda signing would be for the Yankees this season, writes David Lennon of Newsday.  Kuroda, who signed a one-year, $10MM deal with the Bombers, has stepped up for the club in the wake of the ill-fated Michael Pineda trade.

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