AL East Notes: Rays, Shields, Red Sox, Oliver

Last night we learned that the Rays discussed a deal with the Angels to send right-hander James Shields to Anaheim for Peter Bourjos, Hank Conger, and possibly Ervin Santana.  Here's more on the Rays and other items out of the AL East..

  • The Rays are telling teams Rays that they're getting encouraging reports on Evan Longoria and if he's back sooner than originally thought, they'll be less likely to move Shields and others, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney told Mut & Merloni of WEEI Radio that he doesn't expect the Red Sox to make a move before the deadline, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com.  Olney also said that rumors of Boston being interested in acquiring Hanley Ramirez were overstated, though reports suggested that their intent was to flip him to a third club.
  • A league source told Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com that the five most sought-after Red Sox are pitcher Matt Barnes, shortstop Jose Iglesias, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., infielder Xander Bogaerts, and catcher Ryan Lavarnway.  However, Boston hasn't internally discussed making any of them available, making their chances of landing an elite starter slim.
  • The Blue Jays hold a $3MM option on Darren Oliver for next season, but the soon-to-be 42-year-old hasn't thought about whether he wants to pitch in 2013, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.


48 Responses to AL East Notes: Rays, Shields, Red Sox, Oliver Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

    So, the 5 most sought after Red Sox prospects are basically the top 5 Red Sox prospects… I’m stunned.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      Sean McAdam, baseball writer, stater of obvious.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      The only one that was remotely interesting was Iglesias. I figured there would be a few more guys ahead of him.

      • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

        Iglesias still gets high marks for being a defensive wonder. However I get the impression with the drafting of Marrero that the Red Sox might be hedging their bets on “the shortstop of the future.”

        • John LeClair 3 years ago

          I was surprised also that Iglesias was mentioned. I feel him and Lavarnway are expandable. We should be fine moving forward with Salty as our catcher, and most people don’t have a real DH anyways so we could rotate players in the DH role in the future. If it takes trading Lavarnway to get a elite player packaged with maybe Iglesias cash, and lower tier guys, hell I’d pack their bags and drive them to the airport.

          • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

            I do agree. If a decent deal came along for either Iglesias or Larvarnway then I would be happy if Cherington pulled the trigger. I’d love to see Iglesias’s glove in the big leagues but Aviles is proven and an overall average shortstop. As for Lavarnway, it seems he simply never had his window of opportunity with the Sox. If the season started differently with Ortiz having injury issues, perhaps we’d all sing a different tune…

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shoppach moved before the deadline and Lavarnway come up and share time with Salty (kind of like Salty did with Varitek) to get him eased in with the major league team, and then take over more as an everyday guy next year.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Shoppach walks after this year, Salty after next.. Salty they can get more for via trade. Make sense to move Salty. A few PO teams in need of a backstop still there.

            I would rather Boston move Salty than play him by ear, then over spend and try to retain on one of those bloated catching deals that seem to be going around the league ATM.

          • Crucisnh 3 years ago

            Much as I do respect Salty, I’d rather trade Salty and keep Lavarnway because I think that he has more potential than Salty..

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          Definitely, there’s no question about his defense (and I personally still advocate playing him as the everyday SS), but I got the impression that his stock had fallen considerably (there are 4-5 other guys between him and those other guys mentioned on most top 100 lists at this point).

          • Crucisnh 3 years ago

            Blah! Yuck! I don’t want to see “Belanger” Iglesias on the big club as anything other than a defensive replacement, at least until he can hit better than Aviles.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Iglesias’ defense is supposed to be right up there with some of the all time greats; you can live with a pretty low level of offense when you’re getting that kind of defense (he’s not just great, he’s the best in the game right now, and one of the best all time). Also, Aviles himself is a terrible hitter; the only thing Iglesias wont do as well is hit for power (he’ll actually probably get on base more than Aviles).

          • Crucisnh 3 years ago

            I’m sorry, MaineSox, but no, I *cannot* live with a Belanger, all glove, no stick SS. These aren’t the old days pre-DH when that migtht fly. I don’t think that any seriouos contending AL team can afford to have a black hole in their lineup just for the sake of defense. From my perspective, he’s nothing more than a late inning defensive replacement.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            The point is, he’s only marginally worse than what we have now offensively, and worlds ahead of what we currently have defensively.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            LOL. Belanger was pretty important to quite a few orioles teams, then they had something know as SP that seems to be gone of late around Boston.

          • Crucisnh 3 years ago

            Those were pretty much pre-DH times, IIRC. The game was much different back then.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            I dunno.. Most of Weaver’s teams won with pitching and defense until he retired.

            Now.. That style of play could never fly at Fenway, or not at every position at least.I’d like to see Iglesias get at least half a season to try his skills out at the MLB level, even if they don’t move Aviles. Sox could retain him as a hedge and keep him around as a utility guy, get him to learn to play LF, just like they had him practicing RF earlier.

            To see Iglesias paired up with Pedroia would be a site on the defensive end and it’s not like it would be long term since they have so many others coming up behind him.

          • Crucisnh 3 years ago

            Sorry, JS, but I really hate_Iglesias. In my book, he’s a stiff because he can’t hit. I have doubts that he’d even ben able to hit over the Mendoza line in the majors, which would truly make him a Belanger clone. I want nothing to do with him on the Red Sox. The Sox should use him as a premium trading chip for some team that’s foolish enough to be suckered into his all glove, no stick schtick.

          • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

            The thing is with middle infielders a glove is more prized than his bat. Who is more valuable, a potentially defensively poor outfielder with a good bat or a great defensive shortstop with a poor bat?

            It of course depends on a team’s philosophy but it seems that good teams typically prefer their middle infielders to be defensively strong.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      Also somewhat interesting is that, according to Speier, Henry Owens is held on the same level as Matt Barnes within the Red Sox organization as far as untradability goes.

      • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

        I think I read the same article, but I thought it implied the Red Sox were reluctant to move Owens rather than they viewing him off limits like Barmes.

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          I didn’t actually read an article about it, I heard him talking about it on a podcast with Bradford (there may well have been an article about it too, I just didn’t read one). What he said on there is that those two may be the most immovable in the system (partially because of their major talent, and partially because of the need to develop pitching).

          I just listened to it again and his words were “I’ve had Red Sox officials tell me that he might be the best prospect, period, in their system,” and “I was told, for instance, for Henry Owens, Matt Garza’s not good enough.” So basically, if the Cubs came to them and said “We’ll trade you Garza for Owens” the Sox would apparently say no.

  2. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    darren oliver is more than welcome back next year, and frankly deserves a raise. he’s been unreal

    • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      Actually if he stays on next year he’ll be cheaper. The Jays hold a $3M team option on him for next season.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        yah I know but he could also just retire. I just meant that he deserves to be paid way more

  3. joeybw 3 years ago

    It was a good day to be a Rays fan. Evan finally on his way back, Matsui is gone and we finally had an easy victory. Keep Shields please.

  4. James S 3 years ago

    Who in their right mind wouldn’t want an infielder named ‘Xander Bogaerts’? It goes without saying!
    How about Jackie Rogers Jr? Is he sought after? Not a lot of albino ballplayers around.

  5. Red Sox you need to sell. Admit it already

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      The problem with selling for the Red Sox is that they are in a position to potentially sell specifically because tons of guys are under performing (which also means that their value is low, so you’d be selling low on everyone – taking 50 cents on the dollar).

      • Crucisnh 3 years ago

        Exactly, MS. Other than off-loading a soon-to-be free agent or soon-to-be expensive arbitration youngster, how often do you see teams trying to see good performers? Not often, I’d guess. So you’re usually selling because they’re under-performing, or perhaps there’s some personality conflict of some sort. Either way, you’re probably having to sell for less than what you think should be full value.

    • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      But who do you trade?
      Beckett is in a down year and the Sox would undoubtably eat salary which I doubt they’d be willing to do beyond this season. Trading Lester just sounds crazy without getting back more than he’s worth. Despite the down year he’s still a solid, young, somewhat cheap lefty starter. Nava won’t get much in return. Ells won’t be traded until an heir apparent is clearly ready. Ortiz also wouldn’t get much in return, plus it seem the Sox prefer to keep him. And then there’s Ross. My only guess on Ross is the reason his name hasn’t been circulated more is the Sox might be preparing to offer him a decent 3 year deal.

      • Crucisnh 3 years ago

        SWP, I pretty much agree with all of these points except perhaps on Ells. I could see the Sox trading Ells before next season even if they feel that JBJr isn’t fully ready. I could see them bridging the gap with someone like Sweeney or Kalish, just because they may want to maximize the value of the trade.

        Also, I suppose that either Shoppach or even Salty could be sellable chips.

        • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

          After only one season in the minors I doubt the Sox are willing to gamble JB Jr.’s first season isn’t a fluke. The kid seems solid, but still the Sox are typically conservative when it comes to prospects. They’ll start him in Portland again next year and only promote him to Boston before September if there are no major injuries.

          Sweeney is good defensively but he’s likel a 4th outfielder and Kalish, well he’s a future right fielder and possibly expendably if Ross is re-signed.

          • Crucisnh 3 years ago

            SWP, I’m not saying that if Ells were traded before next season, that the Sox would immediately give the CF job to JBJr. I’m thinking that they might presume that he’s certain to be ready for the job in a few months, maybe to start 2014 at worst, and just bridge the gap until he’s ready. Is that taking a risk? Yes. But the Sox may want to maximize the return on a Ellsbury trade, and feel that the risk is worth taking.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            I think I’m with Crucisnh on this one. Unless they really intend to extend Ellsbury, I could totally see them trading him this offseason and picking up a cheap replacement on a one year deal (or retaining Ross and mixing and matching Ross/Sweeney/Kalish in RF and CF). This offseason will be peak value for Ellsbury (because once the season starts the acquiring team wont be able to get draft compensation), and by most accounts JBJ should be major league ready by as early as the middle of next season.

            Ellsbury and Pedroia both made it to the majors in their second full season, and JBJ is putting up better numbers than Ells and comparable to Pedey, so I don’t see any reason he wont be up at some point next year (I’d say that the only reason Ellsbury didn’t come up before September is because they had Coco in CF; same with Pedey and Loretta – Tito was always partial to his veterans when it came to promoting rookies, and I don’t think Bobby is; Bobby wanted Iglesias over Aviles and Middlebrooks over Youkilis to start the year). The way he’s playing right now, I’d actually like to see him get a few ABs in AAA before the end of the year, a la Middlebrooks in 2011.

    • VermonterSteve 3 years ago

      Agree. Ortiz would be a valuable addition to any contending team in need of offense, and he CAN play first. As poor as Beckett has been, he’d be a solid starter for some playoff bound team. Sox would probably have to eat some salary, but better that than being stuck with him through the remainder of his contract. Cody Ross could help a team like his old Giants. Aceves might be moved to a team needing a closer or late inning help.

  6. Not all that sure why TB would be interested in Bourjos unless 1) they plan on him playing LF next year or 2) He’s a thrown in piece to that deal. Even with them likely letting BJ Upton walk in free agency at season’s end, the Rays will have Desmond Jennings manning CF for the forseeable future, or atleast one would think.

    • alexw2840 3 years ago

      That’s no problem at all, either Jennings stays in LF and put Bourjos in CF or the opposite. I don’t see it being an obstacle to get both on the field so I’m not sure what your point is.

  7. $4555515 3 years ago

    “The Rays are telling teams Rays that they’re getting encouraging reports on Evan Longoria”

    so the rays talk to themselves? im sorry i dont understand this sentence?

  8. Christian Hamby 3 years ago

    The Rays need to think about keeping Shields and trade B.J. Upton. Shields will have better value in the winter, and now is the time to trade Upton for prospects. Better to get something rather than nothing.

  9. VermonterSteve 3 years ago

    Red Sox would be stupid to trade any of their top prospects for a rental pitcher at this point. Better they trade off some of their ML lineup and bring in a few good prospects. If they do nothing it will mean they are committed to mediocrity for years to come.

  10. soxin10 3 years ago

    No single pitcher, Strasburg, Felix, and Cain included can help the red sox in 2012 as long as we lose every game Lester and Becket Start. No I am not suggesting one of these pitchers would be traded, just saying, We do better by subtracting problem areas and focusing on 2013.

    • Michael 3 years ago

      You can have Straburg, Cain, Koufax, Mathewson and Cy Young and the Sox will still lose because they can’t hit. This is the most lackluster, most boring Sox team since the 1993 Bob Zupcic-led squad led by Clell “Butch” Hobson.

  11. Runtime 3 years ago

    Jays need to sell high on Oliver. Arencibia breaking his hand was the final nail in the coffin and if Oliver isn’t sure if he wants to retire next year, then trade him in a package.

    I’ll be eating my words if Mathis and Gomes can impress me as platoon catchers… but I don’t see that happening.

  12. Jj Byrnes 3 years ago

    lol can we please stop this Jose iglesias trade talk. The guy is easily the single most over rated prospect in recent memory. He can’t hit. Hes a younger version of Ramiro Pena, which means hes nothing special.

  13. Fangaffes 3 years ago

    I’m beginning to think the best trade the Red Sox could make is Ben Cherrington, Larry Luchino, and Bob McClure to the Orioles for Dan Duquette.

  14. Fangaffes 3 years ago

    It dont?

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