AL East Notes: Upton, Escobar, Farrell, Red Sox

As the Orioles host the Blue Jays and the Rays play at Fenway Park, here's the latest from the AL East…

  • It seems as if B.J. Upton is entering his final days with the Rays, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
  • It shouldn't be seen as a foregone conclusion that the Blue Jays will part ways with Yunel Escobar, opines's Gregor Chisholm in a series of tweets.  The Jays aren't in the habit of selling low on players, plus Chisholm argues that Escobar is still an asset given his team-friendly contract and the Jays' need for a second baseman.
  • Also from Chisholm, the Jays were never "actively" looking to deal Escobar before the trade deadline and trade rumors about the shortstop were "drastically overblown." 
  • The Escobar controversy and the Blue Jays' poor record may hurt John Farrell's standing as the perceived favorite to become the next Red Sox manager, an unnamed baseball executive tells ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes.  The executive also suggests that Boston should hire a new manager quickly and make it clear that he is the consensus choice, as opposed to the feeling last winter that team ownership hired Bobby Valentine over GM Ben Cherington's objections.
  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe makes a few predictions and thoughts about what the Red Sox need to do this offseason.  Abraham guesses Farrell, Tim Bogar or Torey Lovullo will manage the Sox next year, David Ortiz and Cody Ross will re-sign and the Sox will hire a "director of pitching" to oversee pitchers throughout the organization.
  • Ichiro Suzuki's recent performance has spurred the Yankees and changed the conversation about his playing future, says Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.  "Two weeks ago, the big talk about Ichiro was that his most likely destination next season was Japan. Now, you hear talk that the San Francisco Giants could represent a likely landing spot," writes Baker.  Though the Giants have a history of signing veteran free agents and their outfield will be in flux this winter, I'm not sure they're a good fit for Ichiro given his age and demands for playing time.
  • MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith compiled another set of AL East notes earlier today.

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