AL East Notes: Rays, Buck Showalter, Alex Rodriguez

It'll be interesting to see how the Rays look to improve this winter given their limited financial flexibility, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  The Rays, who were last in the majors in attendance, will save more than $22.5MM with Carlos Peña, B.J. Upton, Luke Scott, and Kyle Farnsworth off the books.  However, built-in and projected arbitration increases will cost them around $50MM to keep 17 players.  After opening the season with a higher-than-planned $64MM payroll, the club is expected to try and scale back the payroll this year, leaving them with limited room.  Here's more out of the AL East..

  • Yankees President Randy Levine appeared on ESPN 98.7 FM's Sunday Morning with Ian O'Connor (partial transcript courtesy of's Matt Ehalt) and did not commit to Alex Rodriguez remaining in pinstripes for the duration of his contract through the 2017 season. "That's like one of those questions: Where's the stock market going to be in 2017, who's going to be president on Nov. 15?" Levine said. "If I had crystal ball to predict all of that stuff, I'd be a lot smarter than I am. I'm not going to go there. That's stuff for people to speculate on your show and elsewhere, but it's irresponsible for me to do so."
  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter says that he isn't ready to start thinking about a contract extension despite the fact that he enjoys being in Baltimore.  Roch Kubatko of wonders aloud if the skipper has his eye on becoming a General Manager somewhere.  Showalter was interested in running the O's front office before Dan Duquette was brought in as executive vice president.
  • The Yankees should have passed on giving Alex Rodriguez a ten-year, $275MM contract following the 2007 season, opines Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News.  Lupica notes that the Cardinals made a shrewd business decision by letting Albert Pujols sign a $200MM+ contract elsewhere last winter and now find themselves in the championship hunt.
  • With Curtis Granderson struggling, the trade that sent Austin Jackson to Detroit for him no longer seems like a smart move, writes Bill Madden of the New York Daily News.  Last year it seemed like both the Tigers and the Yanks came out as winners in that trade, but Madden believes that the W now goes squarely in the Tigers' column.
  • The Orioles will likely be forced to make a decision between Nate McLouth and Nolan Reimold as to which ballplayer will be called upon to man left field next season, writes's Steve Melewski. While Reimold got off to a strong start to the season before succumbing to injury, McLouth proved to be a valuable asset for Baltimore towards the end of the year and playoffs.

Edward Creech and Daniel Seco contributed to this post.

66 Responses to AL East Notes: Rays, Buck Showalter, Alex Rodriguez Leave a Reply

  1. Seriously? Granderson struggles a bit after playing incredibly well (he’s had pretty solid OPS and Power numbers the past two years) basically since the trade happened and now the trade’s not a win for the Yankees? NY Media is crazy.

    • I don’t know how I feel about Granderson these days to be honest. Ok, he hits 40 home runs a year, which is admittedly ridiculous. That being said, he has essentially given up on his running game, his batting average is in the gutter, his strike out numbers are through the roof and he has an inability to hit in the clutch (although that seems to be plaguing all Yankees since 2009). If you want a power hitter, he’s fine, but he seems a ‘bit’ home run or bust this season. Also, his 2012 OBP is the 2nd worst of his entire career.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      Alot of people want the yankees to trade him this offseason too, which is a terrible idea. It is hard to replace the offense of 43 hr out of your cf slot.

      • Rabbitov 3 years ago

        Same way NY fans bashed Swisher despite his high 3s OBP every year. Best just to ignore it.

      • jwsox 3 years ago

        look around the league, 40 home run hittin center fielders dont exist any more outside of grandy

  2. Ausome7 3 years ago

    Not to mention the tigers also got Scherzer Coke and Schlereth

  3. Howard VA 3 years ago

    I’m not a Yankees fan, but still how can you ignore the fact that Granderson hit 43 home runs…..that’s not chump change. 43 home runs!

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Mark Reynolds averaged 37 from ’09-11, yet Baltimore was literally BEGGING someone to take his contract (only 8m) off of their hands..

      Point? Whole lot more to the game than hitting a few HR, especially when your OBP is in the .320-330 range… Granderson’s .319 OBP this past season isn’t exactly awe inspiring.. 43 HR or not.

      • rikersbeard 3 years ago

        True, but 43 HR out of CF is pretty huge. It is a lot easier to find 30 HR power at 1B, then it is up the middle.

        • np2392 3 years ago

          If you never get on base and always make outs then hitting a bunch of homeruns doesn’t really make up for it. Of course there is value in hitting 40+ homeruns but it is only one part of the game, this is not the homerun derby. Adam Dunn also had 40+ homeruns but he hit a startling .202. Can we really say that is acceptable as long as he hit a bunch of homeruns? I would much rather see that BA go up and have less homeruns.

          • Rabbitov 3 years ago

            Preposterous to be complaining about Granderson.

          • jwsox 3 years ago

            Don’t talk about Adam Dunn and his 40+ hrs like its a bad thing he also got on base at a .350+ clip pretty darn good

      • davbee 3 years ago

        Austin Jackson had a 130 OPS+ and 5.2 WAR in 2012, while Granderson was 116 OPS+ and 2.7 WAR. Yes, Granderson had the gaudy home run totals, but by any statistical measure, Jackson was the FAR superior player, and for a fraction of the cost ($500,00 vs. $10,000,000).

      • $22264602 3 years ago

        His BABIP was .45 points below his career rate , It’s his surprisingly bad UZR that has killed his value.

        • rikersbeard 3 years ago

          I am not sure why they insist on playing him in CF and Gardner in left (before Gardner was injured).

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        Sure, there is more to the game, but there is still a tremendous value from those 43 hr. .319 obp isn’t great, but at the same time they get a cf with that type of power. At same time though player like bj upton has a .298 obp with less power, and “experts” are predicting he will get $14M aav.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          I hear ya on that Lazertown.. Those same “experts” aren’t the same ones stuck paying Upton when he hotdogs a couple of balls in CF after he miss plays them before 40k fans for a change at say.. Washington? Then the fans get all over him from then on and it’s “all she wrote” and he REALLY tanks it for awhile then.. Have seen it before at Tampa, but they don’t draw, nor Is Johnson Joe Maddon either and understand/know how to handle Upton either..

          Upton is IMO the biggest bust waiting to happen of the upcoming FA lot and it’s not due to talent.. The guy has massive amounts of it, just a rotten attitude some times that comes out and whoever ends up with him is going to find out after they watch him a few months..

          The guy can look like the all world talent he could be for awhile, then just blow up.. he will make a blunder on the field it seems as the key to trigger it, then it’s like he goes into “I don’t care mode” for awhile.. Running out balls, sometimes in the field.. Maddon could get him under control somewhat when he had these lapses.. Sometimes eventually benching him a few games was required, but he could handle him.. A new team had better be ready and get maddon on speed dial..

      • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
        Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

        Begging then and now the media (Baltimore) thinks he is wonderful. I got 12 dislikes last time I looked because I typed what I felt was thr truth about Mark Reynolds. Anyway, wasn’t Reynolds a Sholwater pick? Now, Showalters maybe wants to be come GM somewhere after the 2013? I say let him, if that is what he wants to do. However, for now the Orioles need a hitting coach or for at least Presley to re-sign. He had only a 2 year deal. I would welcome him re-signing.

      • Rabbitov 3 years ago

        Orioles were begging people to take Reynolds the Third Baseman, not Reynolds the First Baseman. Defense was the biggest issue.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          Correct. Was why referenced his numbers from ’09-11. His defense at 3b left much to be desired as O’s fans especially know and as they also especially know.. He has actually evolved into a fair defensive 1b quickly.

    • Lagal 3 years ago

      43 Homeruns, and out of those 29 were solo HR. Granderson just produces with homeruns, that’s why his value is so low, he can’t hit with men on base, and won’t produce with hits w/men on base.

  4. Colin Christopher 3 years ago

    Lupica seems a little late to the party on his assessment of the A-Rod signing. I remember almost every baseball fan I know, including Yankee fans, saying that deal was not a good idea at the time. Heck, even Brian Cashman had to be forced into it by the Steinbrenners. I have no idea how the Yankees will escape the ramifications of this one…another five years of A-Rod at $114MM. Yikes.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Wait until he hits another 13 HR and all those escalators start kicking in.. Double yikes..

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        It is ridiculous the contract he got. Pujols only got $240M, whereas arod got a likely almost $300M. When they signed though they would be roughly equals in actual production

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          Tomase at the herald has a really nice piece written regarding Rodriquez today and how NY couldn’t give him away in no way, shape nor form.

          Shame that article isn’t linked here.. One of the more on target articles written about how useless Rodriquez has become and how much over paid he is, not to mention vastly over paid from the moment the ink dried on that new deal nobody else was even going approach within 100m of that have seen thus far.

          Imagine as he continues to hit the skids even more than has, even the NY writers will be forced to admit how awful he has become and the NY fans will pile onto him even more than they have been and the love-hate relationship they had with him with lose the “love” part…

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            I’m a Yankees fan and I think alot of the flak he has gotten is unfair. Sure he hasn’t been producing this postseason, but he has outproduced Swish, Cano, etc.
            He was still on pace for 25 hr, .350 obp before his hand got broken by Felix pitch. He isn’t what he once was, but he can still be a solid bat, not spectacular, but solid.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            To be fair. The NYY have been involved pretty much in pitching spectacular series so far. Nobody really hit for either the Orioles or NYY in that series and thru the 1st 2 games (so far and 8IP G2) nobody is hitting much in the Det-NYY series either and probably not going to change with Verlander vs Sabathia going H2H in game 3.

          • GasLampGuru 3 years ago

            Hard to say the criticism ARod is getting is unfair. He can’t hit RHP. That’s not an exaggeration, he flat out can’t hit them. If you can get the ball to 91MPH and spot it reasonably well, he can’t catch up. He looks lost and defeated before at bats even start. He’s overcompensating by swinging at EVERYTHING. He’s earned all the criticism and then some.

          • jwsox 3 years ago

            i agree he is always going to be over paid, 99.9999% of all baseball players are but he still fields well and when healthy(he was hurt off and on all year) he is still a productive bat, a #3? probably not anymore but there are a lot worse guys to have hitting 5th. Money cant be counted into the discussion with arod because even if healthy he is/was/ and will be over paid.

        • jwsox 3 years ago

          Well to be fair he does play a more demanding position, is one of the best all time fielders at that position, and was and probably still is on pace to break the home run record. Not justifing it but he only got 35 million more(not counting incentives)

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            And Pujols’ career obp is .030 higher .384 vs .414. Thats significant, and pujols also plays a pretty good 1B.
            I think as far as comparisons go at the time they would be pretty comparable at the time that they signed their contract, although I would much rather have that high obp. Arod is ahead in career hr, but that doesn’t affect production, and his time as a shortstop probably is wearing him down prematurely. Playing 1B is alot easier on Pujols, and should help him in the long run.

    • As bad as ARod has been, Yanks don’t win in 2009 with out him.

      • n0s 3 years ago

        Came here with the intention of saying this exact thing. He came up clutch night after night in the 2009 playoffs, not a chance we win it without him.

        That one World Series made the entire contract worth it and I don’t care what anyone says.

    • Slopeboy 3 years ago

      Looks like the Daily News writers all got caught up in last night’s game and had nothing written for Sunday. Reeks of lazy journalism. Your assessment on Lupica’s take is 100% accurate. He had no story for today, so he dragged out an old piece and submitted it.

      Bill Madden is just as poor today. He revisits a trade that’s three years old and changes his take from an article he wrote two years ago, when he viewed it favorably for NY. That was a good trade for ALL three teams involved, all parties got what they wanted and it worked for everyone.

      This time around,Madden omits the fact that the Tigers wanted to shed Granderson because they wanted to get younger and clear payroll for the signing of V-Mart, how convenient!
      I can’t wait until the end of 2013 for another revision of the trade.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Interesting is going to be what comes out of the Detroit and Anaheim/LA press in 4-5 years when both Fielder and especially Pujols start tumbling, but both have 5 full seasons left at well north of 20m annually due.

        Detroit next year has another issue… *where/what* are they going to play/do* with VMart? he can’t catch everyday, couldn’t before they even signed him, was why Boston let him walk 2 years ago and he was a below average defensive 1b. Does Detroit have a rotating DH with him an Fielder and the other playing 1b? They try and trade someone coming off an ACL tear and as dearth as the C market is, him owed 25m the next 2 seasons and it’s a salary move with them getting nothing back and even then? probably having to pay some.

        They have some things to ponder over the winter after the PO.

        • Pawsdeep 3 years ago

          Last I checked, Detroit will have a need for a DH with the obvious assumption Delmon won’t be back. The infield defense for Detroit was bad, but became serviceable once infante came to help out the right side.

          Mug is fine at third. Prince is fine at first. And vmart Will fall right into the DH

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Short term thinking either of Cabrera, or Fielder is fine at a corner defensive spot. VMart even is better at 1b than Fielder and that’s not saying much.

            Agreed Infante helped a ton at2b, watched him most of the season with the Fish and he’s pretty slick with the glove, but it’s hard to field an IF with 1 person in the bunch who has any range at all on defense.

            Young would hope leaves also, even if he has a strong post season and Detroit does not feel pressured to bring him back. His earlier off the field episodes, poor defense and generally can replace his output for much less should force him out. Would think even Boesch is his equal.

            BTW: Congrats on the Detroit win tonight. It was a well played game and a joy to see Anibal Sanchez (another ex Marlin) finally get a chance to shine in the National spotlight.

          • Pawsdeep 3 years ago

            vmart is under contract for 2 years after this is over. Short term is really all we need with mig and prince at the corners.

    • Rabbitov 3 years ago

      I can hardly stand 10 seconds with the guy, let alone 10 years.

    • jwsox 3 years ago

      what ramifications? they are the yankees they make $100 million in 3 weeks worth of ticket, merch, advertising, and concession sales. Im not a yankees fan at all but money really means nothing to that orginization. They are one of the few truly Global brands in sports right there with the dodgers, cubs, cowboys, Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, AC Millian, Madrid, Manchestire United…money means nothing to these clubs, some more than others but when your brand has just as much power as your players 100 million is nothing to them

  5. Wow. Grandy has back to back 40 bomb seasons and the Yankees lost the trade??? Unless Jackson ends up in the Hall, that just doesn’t make a single ounce of sense.

    • np2392 3 years ago

      Using your logic the Jose Reyes signing for Miami went terribly since he only hit 11 home runs.

      There are other stats, try looking at Granderson’s impressive .232 BA

  6. Michael 3 years ago

    Ever since his talk with George Costanza about cotton uniforms, Showalter has had his eyes on the prize. Could make a decent GM.

    • $6592481 3 years ago

      It only took him being fired by the Yankees before their playoff run, and from the Diamondbacks just before they won the world series. Glad to see Buck and the fighting Showalters do so well this year.

      • GasLampGuru 3 years ago

        Buck is notorious for building contenders, but not for closing the deal. Kind of like Marty Schottenheimer in football – always in the hunt, but never winning. It’s worse for Buck, his teams generally win it all within a year or two of his leaving.

  7. j6takish 3 years ago

    The trade was a win now for the Yankees and a Win later for the Tigers, it took A-Jax 3 seasons to become an elite player. Lets not forget the trade looked like a “WTF?” for the D-backs when it happened, but flipping Scherzer for E-jax then to Daniel Hudson is looking pretty good now

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      Didn’t turn out to be a very good win now trade for the yankees. .247/.324/.468 vs .293/.345/.400 in 2010 (Jackson one with higher obp)

      • Lagal 3 years ago

        Plus AJax batted at or above 0.300 AVG until he fell off 0.300 11 games before the season ended and his OBP was in the 0.360’s up until the middle of April, and for a rookie the Yankees deemed “too green to play in the big leagues” because he wasn’t “ready”, is pretty pretty good.

  8. LazerTown 3 years ago

    “….A-Rod a contract that could have earned him as much as $300 million over 10 years if he broke the all-time home run record — something he will never do — in a Yankee uniform.”
    That is very premature. I highly doubt that he will be traded. He also only needs 115 hr to get to the record. That is very doable in 5 years left on his contract.

    • not_brooks 3 years ago

      A-Rod’s a 37-year-old former steroid user.

      To hit 115 home runs over the next five seasons, he would have to average 23 per season in his 38 through 42-year-old seasons.

      He’s averaged just 124 games per year since 2008 and hasn’t hit more than 20 home runs since 2010.

      Just sayin’…

      • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

        25 HRs per year for ARod is not impossible. He’s currently going through a horrible slump, and an uncharacteristic power drought. I’m guessing the Felix pitch to the hand has something to do with that. I can’t see him being THIS bad for the rest of his career. At least not this soon. If he can just stay healthy for the majority of a season, he should be able to put up 25 bombs going forward.

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          Yep, he was on pace for 25 hr with a .350 obp before his hand got broken by a pitch. It’s not guaranteed, but it is certainly possible.

        • not_brooks 3 years ago

          Considering the fact that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy for the majority of a season for the past two years, and that he missed at least 20 games from 2008 through 2010, what makes you think that he’ll be able to stay healthy for the majority of a season when he’s another year older?

          Anyway, I never said that 25 home runs per year for A-Rod is impossible. I just implied that it’s highly unlikely.

          Let’s put it this way: As LazerTown pointed out, A-Rod needs 115 home runs to tie Bonds’ home run record, 116 to break it. Without wasting too much time, here are the guys I could find who hit at least 116 home runs between their age-38 and age-42 seasons:

          Barry Bonds: 149
          Darrell Evans: 136

          Hank Aaron: 116

          So one of them did it on steroids, one of them was arguably the best home run hitter of all time and one of them was Darrell Evans.

          So yeah, it’s not impossible, but it’s ridiculously unlikely.

          • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

            Oh, I understood what you meant. I’ll change what I said from “it’s not impossible” to “it’s not that unlikely.” I can see him going 25, 25, 25, 20, 20. He may strike out a lot, but once his wrist is fully healed, his power should return. I’m not saying his OBP will be super high or he’ll lead the league in steals, but HRs should be there once he fixes his swing in the off season.

      • Robb Logan 3 years ago

        I hate the Yanks. But on A-Rod and what you say think on this. Look at his power numbers before the hand injury this year. He was on pace for 25-30 dingers. Chances are very good he can get back to that next season. His swing right now looks like a swing of a guy who still is having some lingering issues, like he tried to come back way to soon. I hope he does not break the record personally but if I were a betting man I would say he can and will.With his power average the last 5 seasons for what he needs, this includes decline to due to age, it is far more likely he is still a 25-30 HR guy.

        • lefty177 3 years ago

          Ok, so I’m not the only one rooting against him

  9. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    I am beyond happy the Tigers did the trade, however comparing Jackson and granderson just doesnt make much sense. Granderson was our leadoff hitter for whatever reason and never bat over .300, also his power was not nearly what it was with the yankees and he could NOT hit lefties. Jackson was projected to be another brett gardner, so its like we already have gardner how many do we need? Yankees changed granderson into a more power hitter to drive in all those guys that get on base and the Tigers got a hopefully good leadoff hitter for years to come. Now when you throw in scherzer it is a win for the tigers but still the whole jackson/granderson thing worked out for both sides imo.

  10. cole3244 3 years ago

    lupica as usual second guesses, i was outraged when the nyy gave arod another shot after he opted out during the 2007 ws, just the way he did would have made me let him walk, and if i was going to re up him it would have been for a fraction of the original contract, you don’t have to be a genius to figure this out but lupica thinks he is one, calm down mike you’re just another bottom feeder trying to look important.

  11. $6592481 3 years ago

    It is really shame that the Rays cannot draw a fan base. They compete year and year on a budget amongst the lowest in the game. Andrew Friedman is arguably the best GM in the game. The fans down in Tampa/St. Pete really need to get out there and support them. There are plenty of other teams who are not ran as well as the Rays, who do not win or play as well as the Rays and their fans of dying for a winner. The Rays are that team, the small market Goliaths, but cannot get people to see them. It’s sad. MLB really needs to look into getting them relocated, if they can’t find a way to turn the fan base around in Tampa/St. Pete.

    • petrie000 3 years ago

      i live in the tampa area and there’s no ‘buzz’ even when they’re good. Everybody in the area either moved here from someplace else and are already loyal to another team, or were raised yankees fans since they’re had spring training in the area forever.

      Putting a team in St. Pete was a bad idea from that start and i’d lay money they’ll move by the end of this decade.

  12. Karkat 3 years ago

    Uhhh, pretty sure Obama’s still gonna be president on November 15th regardless of how things go, Randy.

    • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

      hahaha that is true. President isn’t inaugurated the week after the election lol

      • Slopeboy 3 years ago

        @EastCoastBias:disqus, @Karkat:disqus as well
        ” If I had crystal ball to predict all of that stuff, I’d be a lot smarter than I am…”

        I doubt that, this is the guy that voted with George to sign Kei Igawa over Cashman’s reservations. This is the same guy who encouraged Hal and Hank to re-sign A-Rod after he opted out of the original contract, with a raise, even though Cashman objected. And this is the same guy who gave Soriano a 3 yr contract with multiple opt outs and a $1.5 MM buy out, over Cashman’s objections.If he had a crystal ball he wouldn’t be any smarter, more than likely he’d drop the ball once again.

  13. $5822868 3 years ago

    The reason McLouth was succesful in Baltimore was because he had to keep it up for only 6 weeks. Over the long season his limitations are exposed. Just ask the Braves or Pirates.

  14. FS54 3 years ago

    I think you have to take it case-by-case. Granderson with 43 HRs in a Yankee lineup that has other significant producers (or at least supposed to have that can absorb a low average hitter) is different than Reynolds with 40 HRs in an Orioles lineup which does not feature as much talent. I don’t think their comparison is correct.

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