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.

14 Responses to AL East Notes: Upton, Escobar, Farrell, Red Sox Leave a Reply

  1. GasLampGuru 3 years ago

    Given that they are looking for a leadoff hitter who actually puts the ball in play AND a RF, I’d say Ichiro makes some sense in San Diego. He probably won’t be terribly expensive, his game is well suited to PetCo, and the Padres could use one more proven veteran in the everyday lineup. He’s also a name that would bring an entirely new fan base to the stadium. It would be a very good, cost effective move that makes both good baseball sense and make for an excellent marketing play.

    • BLB25 3 years ago

      Are Denorfia or Venable going somewhere? Denorfia signed an extension and while you could argue he’s better suited to a RHH platoon role, Venable is arbitration eligible and can be retained for fairly cheap still. Maybin and Quentin have CF and LF locked down leaving only RF for those two. Both have been quite a bit better than Ichiro this season and are much younger. Since Ichiro’s is so batting average dependent its fallen drastically the last few years and he’s no longer a very good leadoff option, in fact he’s now a pretty awful leadoff hitter in that he does not get on base nor see a lot of pitches.

      That leaves the defense and marketing as arguments for him coming to San Diego. I think he could probably still be a useful player in the right situation and Petco’s spacious OF means a corner OF who defends like Ichiro is more useful than he would be other places. I’m not sure the marketing argument is one based in reality, as I don’t think there’s really a huge new fan base that isn’t interested in the Padres, but would be if they signed a way past his prime Japanese player who was a phenom 10-15 years ago. Maybe there is, but I doubt it. But even if he does offer San Diego a great deal of value defensively and in the marketing department why would he not be better suited for San Francisco? They have an equal need for a defensively proficient RF and (if such a thing actually exists) an even bigger untapped Asian fan base. If he’d be useful in San Diego where they have better 4 OF likely to return next year, he’d be even more useful in SF where they’re likely to return arbitration eligible OFs Pence and Blanco, but have no other major league OF under team control. If he’d be marketable in SD he’d be far more marketable in the Bay Area with a much bigger Asian-American population. There’s probably not a fan city more similar to Seattle than SF and they’ll almost certainly be able to offer more money. I don’t see any scenario where he turns down SF to play in SD.

  2. Jaysfan724 3 years ago

    Hurt Farrell’s standing to become something he wasn’t going to become. No way the Jays are letting him go unless the Sox gave great compensation for him, which isn’t happening. I honestly cannot wait for the Sox to get a new manager so this Farrell talk can stop.

    • johnsmith4 3 years ago

      Noooo….Don’t let it stop. I am enjoying the Clay Buchholtz or Rubby Dela Rosa to Toronto for John Farrell talk.

      • dc21892 3 years ago

        Who hangs up first? Sox asking for Farrell or Jays asking or for de La Rosa or Buch? Probably Boston since you don’t trade away two bright spots to create more of a pitching issue on this team. They can go elsewhere. Farrell would be nice, but we have no need to pay compensation that high.

      • Howard 3 years ago

        It’s just all talk..nobody is going anywhere.

  3. drjayphd 3 years ago

    In case there was any doubt, this pretty much confirms “Gordon Edes” is a stage name for Nick Cafardo, right? Are we sure he’s not doing all of this because he’s trying to get a job on Farrell’s coaching staff next season?

  4. Mike Boyer 3 years ago

    Do you really think Ortiz and Ross sign with the Sox I just don’t see it happening. I think they try real hard to sign Ross but with Ortiz I think they say to him hey we will offer you 1 year deal with club option for the 2nd year with Ortiz signing elsewhere possibly with Baltimore or Tampa or Toronto…. With the Manager its not going to be a big name taking over I wouldn’t be surprised if they go back to thier second pick last season Gene Lamont or if they do go big name i see them pursuing Jim Leyland if he is let go by the Tigers or lure Tony Larussa out of retirement.

    • dc21892 3 years ago

      They have plenty of money to lure Ross and Ortiz back. I believe Cherington will surprise people this offseason. Not by making huge moves, but with his flexibility he’s able to go so many different ways. I’m not saying this is the best idea but for instance he can sign Hamilton to a big money contract for short years, and trade for a middle of the rotation innings eater. Or he could just focus on pitching and look for bargain deals to fill out the rest of the lineup. As long as Ellsbury, Pedroia, Ortiz, a healthy Middlebrooks who hopefully learns to not K as much, and Ross with Salty catching isn’t a bad lineup as it is. It’s not the same as having AGon in the middle of it, but they’ll be fine if they don’t get a Hamilton any other big time hitter. I wouldn’t mind them maybe pursuing a guy like Victorino on a two year deal for insurance if Ellsbury has another freak injury or leaves at seasons end. Or a guy like Melky Cabrera. I can’t see teams giving him more than one year. Can’t wait for this terrible season to be done and see what this team will look like heading into next season from the front office down to the last roster spot.

  5. hawkny1 3 years ago

    Speaking of Toronto…. how about swapping Yunel Escobar for Boston’s Mike Aviles, straight up…

    • BLB25 3 years ago

      Makes sense from a baseball standpoint as Escobar has far more upside, but I can’t see Boston dealing for a guy with a reputation as a bad clubhouse guy after the way the last two seasons have gone for them.

  6. Howard 3 years ago

    Escobar needs to be dealt this winter with other prospects/MLB players like Adam Lind just to land a starter…or Arencibia. Otherwise forget trying to acquire a starter via trade, it’ll have to come from a FA signing…

  7. LazerTown 3 years ago

    Ichiro is actually showing more power than ever before, and has 5 hr in less than 200 pa. Probably moves him up to Plan B or C if Swisher decides to leave. Hunter is also in that mix.

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