AL East Notes: Middlebrooks, Ichiro, Blue Jays

On this date in 1998, Cal Ripken Jr. took himself out of the Orioles' starting lineup and ended his consecutive games played streak at 2,632. The Orioles haven’t made the playoffs since, but this could be their year; they’re currently in playoff position. Here are today’s AL East links…

  • There are indications that the Red Sox won't pursue a long-term extension with Will Middlebrooks this offseason, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports. The team's front office executives aren't in a rush to make a long-term judgment about Middlebrooks. “Obviously it’s a possibility,” Middlebrooks said.
  • Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner are too similar to be the Yankees' corner outfielders in 2013, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes. The Yankees hope to have Gardner back at full health next year, so Ichiro might have to sign elsewhere as a free agent. Davidoff won't be surprised if Ichiro's still unsigned in January.
  • Blue Jays president Paul Beeston characterized the last few months as the "half season from hell," Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun reports. Beeston said "there is a feeling of emptiness" at not being able to deliver for fans and added that he’s “actually pissed off” that the A’s and Orioles are headed for the playoffs while the Blue Jays are not.

37 Responses to AL East Notes: Middlebrooks, Ichiro, Blue Jays Leave a Reply

  1. silly move by Red Sox.. Middlebrooks is for real.

    • If by “real” you mean he really can’t take a walk, I agree. (I do like Middlebrooks, but whether he’s the Red Sox’ long terms answer at 3B as opposed to Bogaerts, Cecchini, or some other prospect/FA remains to be seen).

      • Devern Hansack 3 years ago

        It doesn’t really matter if he is, though. If they lock him up to a team-friendly contract, they could always deal him if Bogaerts or Cecchini are on the verge of usurping the 3B role. With the 3B market being so barren, it’d give the Red Sox a solid trade chip at the very least.

        • rikersbeard 3 years ago

          team friendly depends on how good he actually is. Better to pay a little extra later and know what you have.

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          he’s already a solid trade chip, though – and they should sell high

          if you sign him to an extension and then trade him, you don’t look so good the next time you approach an extension with someone you really do want to keep

          • andrewyf 3 years ago

            Yeah, just look at Adrian Gonzalez…pretty sure the Red Sox’s reputation with players on extensions is already shot. They’re going to have to go back on their ‘no no-trade clauses’ if they want a shot at any extension in the future.

          • start_wearing_purple
            start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

            Yeah, because the Gonzalez trade is a total indication of the future. I expect they’ll sign Hamilton in the offseason because they’ll want to trade him at the all star break.

          • jb226 3 years ago

            Personally I would refuse to sign a team-friendly deal with the Red Sox ever since they sold Bronson Arroyo down the river.

      • bigpat 3 years ago

        walks > hits???

        • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

          OBP > AVG????

        • DunkinDonuts 3 years ago

          No, but walks > outs. Unless he plans on putting up a .350 batting average, he would be well-advised to sprinkle a few walks into his offensive repertoire.

    • dc21892 3 years ago

      Way too early to determine that.

    • Karkat 3 years ago

      He’s for real injured, that’s for sure.

  2. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    Or the yankees can move gardner to CF and Granderson to the corner.

  3. safari_punch 3 years ago


    Bring back Gillick.

    • You Know Who 3 years ago

      Can’t have him, Philly needs him when we run Amaro out of town.

      • safari_punch 3 years ago

        The thing is is that Gillick views the Blue Jays as his baby more than the Phillies. Gillick built the Blue Jays from the ground up and lived in Toronto for over 30 years.

  4. Bob Bunker 3 years ago

    why not give Will a deal like Clays that has very small salaries the first years then big club options. That way if he underperforms the next couple years you can decide not to pick up the options.

    • jb226 3 years ago

      I won’t speak for anybody else, but I wouldn’t sign a contract like that.

      You’re presenting him a contract where if he performs well he gets underpaid (relative to performance and more importantly relative to arbitration potential) yet if he doesn’t perform he gets nothing except the couple guaranteed years at the front with “very small salaries.” Typically the tradeoff is earnings potential versus guaranteed earnings, but you’re not presenting much of a guarantee. Might as well go year to year.

  5. Bob Bunker 3 years ago

    yankees should trade granderson, sign swisher, and move gardner to center.

    • jondogg2010 3 years ago

      Other than his power, I don’t see whats special about Granderson. But than again put him away from AL East and he’s a 25 HR/year player, not 35. I agree with that call but I’m hoping the Red Sox sign Swisher bec he’s the kind of player and clubhouse presence they need.

    • BitLocker 3 years ago

      Yankees want to get to 189M or under payroll. With Cano’s big contract looming, Nick Swisher has to walk. I agree that Gardner should be moved to center, and Ichiro should get a 1 year deal.

      LF: Granderson
      CF: Gardner
      RF: Ichiro

      • NYPOTENCE 3 years ago

        Don’t like that idea since it would mean having an overload of left-handed hitters. Would prefer to get a strong package for Grandy and resign both Swisher and Ichiro

  6. jondogg2010 3 years ago

    I’m a huge Middlebrooks fan and I think he is for real, but still too many players after 1 season are getting long contracts. I say wait until next offseason. Nothing wrong with him making league min for 2013.

  7. Rabbitov 3 years ago


    What do you think about people who hate to see others succeed?

  8. ultimate913 3 years ago

    Have to agree with Bob. Granderson’s contact rate is getting worse every year. Re-sign Swisher, trade Granderson, move Gardner to CF and Ichiro to LF.

    That OF will do until one of Tyler Austin and/or Slade Heathcott are ready.

  9. Let Swisher go…I like him, but he’s not doing much for the Yanks. Granderson, just move him to LF. Put Gardner in CF, resign Ichiro and put him in RF. We lose the contract of Ibanez & Jones, so just go get a decent DH (thats not too old). But either way, I think Ichiro should return.

    • BitLocker 3 years ago

      The Yankees won’t get a full time DH guy. That role is will be for our own old guys in A-Rod and Jeter; Cano and Texeira when Girardi feels like it.

    • Douglas Rau 3 years ago

      What have you seen out of Ichiro that makes you think he has anything left to contribute? Through 53 games, he’s hitting .317/.337/.439. Decent numbers but extremely unlikely to continue over the an entire season. He’s 38, 39 at the start of next season. Granted, in exceptional physical shape. He’s not Andruw Jones, who, like Ichiro, was blessed with exceptional natural gifts but, unlike Ichiro, did nothing to stay in shape and maintain that level of excellence. Still, all in all, there is a desperate need for this team to get younger and signing a 39 year old when you have a 29 year old with similar but obviously less diminished, due to age and wear and tear from years of playing, isn’t a smart move. There’s nothing wrong with Gardner’s legs, which are his most valuable asset. There’s no reason to suspect he won’t be a more than adequate replacement for Ichiro next season.

  10. Txhalofansince1991 3 years ago

    It’s called pitching, get some of it and you can contend too. The Blue Jays are the Rangers of the 90s.

  11. Good debate, I just want to throw in my .02…I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t keep both Gardner and Ichiro. I’d LOVE to keep Granderson, but only if financially feasible. IMO, Swisher, Jones, Ibanez and a few others (like Russell Martin perhaps), all have to take a hike…

  12. Joe Valenti 3 years ago

    As a Mets fan, I wouldn’t mind them signing Ichiro. I’m assuming he will be cheap and he has played in New York. When thinking of possible FA or trade possibilities for the Mets the first thing I look for is their mental makeup. The Mets have an unexplainable talent for absolutely ruining good ball players so it is important that they only sign guys with great mental makeups who would be extremely hard to screw up. I think Ichiro falls into this category. I would also like to see them take a look at Swisher just because, if they are going to sign Wright long term, they really need to justify it by putting some guys in the lineup around him that will help him produce and given Alderson’s (rightful) fear of big contracts, I think Swisher is a good bat that won’t cripple the Mets financially

  13. tiduss 3 years ago

    “Fun? In Toronto?” – Todd Ingram

  14. Shane McMahon 3 years ago

    Deal with it Beaston…..the Orioles and A’s did a better job this year than your team….period!

  15. Don’t the Sox own Middlebrooks for at least another few years?

  16. You Know Who 3 years ago

    Ichiro should be a Philly. Give him a 3 year deal around 12.5 a year with a full no trade clause like we gave raul. Amaro loves his old corner outfields and his 3 year contracts with ntc. Perfect fit.

    **Obvious sarcasm if you didn’t pick it up.**

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