AL East Links: Orioles, Ellsbury, Ross, Iglesias

We've already had one batch of AL East Notes on MLBTR today, but here are some more items on a busy day around the division…

  • The Orioles have had a quiet offseason while their division rivals have been spending, writes Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun.  While the O's didn't make any major signings en route to a playoff appearance last year and face a payroll increase due to several arbitration-eligible players, Schmuck thinks spending on a big free agent like Adam LaRoche would help the team contend again.
  • A Dodgers official flatly denied that the Dodgers and Red Sox could make an Andre Ethier/Jacoby Ellsbury swap, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  Ethier's name has come up in recent rumors but L.A. isn't shopping the outfielder and doesn't appear eager to move him.
  • Also from Cafardo, he hears from an AL general manager that the Red Sox may be trying to deal Ellsbury so they can shift Shane Victorino to center field and then sign Cody Ross.  Several teams are interested in Ross but none have yet met his desired price of a three-year, $21-$31MM contract.

Earlier updates:

  • Jose Iglesias has "always been available, but nobody has knocked down [Boston's] door," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe about the Red Sox prospect's trade value.  Given that Stephen Drew was signed to just a one-year contract, it's too early to say that the Sox have given up on Iglesias as a long-term solution at shortstop. 
  • Also from Cafardo's piece, he thinks that Rafael Soriano and Matt Garza could both still be targets for the Red Sox.
  • Right-hander Daniel McCutchen has received multiple offers to play in Japan, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes has learned.  McCutchen’s minor league deal with the Orioles permits him to accept an offer from a Japanese team. The 30-year-old appeared in one game for the Pirates this past season, but he spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.98 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 63 1/3 innings.
  • The Blue Jays were picked as the 2013 AL East champions by 13 of 20 scouts and executives polled by FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi.  In that same poll, the Orioles were picked to finish last by 10 voters, while the Red Sox received six last-place votes and were the only team that didn't get at least one pick as division winners.  Morosi himself picks Toronto for first place and Boston for last.
  • From earlier today, the Rays signed Roberto Hernandez, the Red Sox finalized the signing of Koji Uehara and I compiled some Yankees-related notes.

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post


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