The Rays shed about $28MM of payroll this winter between B.J. Upton, James Shields, Carlos Pena, Jeff Keppinger, J.P. Howell, and Wade Davis, but that's no problem for the confident organization, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. While the team will look different in several areas this season, they'll still have their typically strong pitching. The first four of the rotation are set with David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb with a competition between four strong candidates for the No. 5 spot. Here's more from today's column..
- Bronson Arroyo has been a consistent pitcher for the Reds, but the feeling from most people and the pitcher himself is that this could be his last year in Cincinnati. One major league source says the Cubs would be a perfect fit as a strong veteran presence in their rebuilding effort.
- Agent Alan Nero said he has taken Chien-Ming Wang off the market until he pitches for Taiwan in the World Baseball Classic. If he pitches well, the veteran should have a healthy market for a team in need of depth. The Yankees are keeping tabs on Wang despite already having six starters in the fold.
- While there’s more focus on where Alfonso Soriano might be dealt, David DeJesus could also be a nice midseason chip for the Cubs. The outfielder would be a solid fit for a few teams, including the Phillies, Orioles, and Red Sox.
- It looks like the Indians will hold on to Chris Perez for now, but the Dodgers had serious interest in him not too long ago. If Tribe gets off to a slow start, L.A's interest could be something to keep in mind.
- The Red Sox have discussed first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, who was designated for assignment last week by the Mariners, as a backup. There may not be room, however, as they are committed to Lyle Overbay. Overbay has asked the Red Sox if he could play some outfield as well this season.
- Roy Oswalt still hasn't officially retired and he could be leaving the door open to join a club during the season. Recently, we learned that the Mets tried to sell Oswalt on becoming their closer in 2013, but the veteran isn't interested in the bullpen.
- Teams will pay attention to out-of-options Red Sox reliever Clayton Mortensen in spring training. The 27-year-old looks to be the odd man out the way the Sox bullpen could be configured.