AL East Notes: Red Sox, Rays, Jacoby Ellsbury

The Yankees enter the 2013 season with a sense of uncertainty surrounding its aging roster in a division that could see all five teams make a run at the playoffs. New York does have a handful of minor league pitchers that may be of service to the squad in the near future including Mark Montgomery, a hard-throwing right-hander viewed as a potential successor to Mariano Rivera, according to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News

  • A lack of continuity at the shortstop position has been an issue for the Red Sox ever since the team traded away Nomar Garciaparra during the summer of 2004, but that trend may be about to change, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Boston will count on Stephen Drew to start at shortstop for the 2013 season, but will look to eventually turn the job over to Jose Iglesias, Xander Bogaerts or Deven Marrero, its top prospects at the position.
  • The Rays will enter the 2013 season with a different look after the team made a series of trades and signings that impacted all aspects of the squad, says Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The moves allowed the Rays to keep their payroll in check as well as reload on young talent that will be able to help the team over the long haul. 
  • Jacoby Ellsbury's tenure with the Red Sox may come to an end next offseason as he is set to become a free agent along with the fact that Scott Boras is his agent, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “Ellsbury is a very talented player and we know what he can do on the field when he’s feeling good physically,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. “We’re obviously a better team when he’s on the field and we’d love for him to be a Red Sox for a long time."

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