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East Notes: Happ, Romero, Mets, Nationals

The Yankees will finish in last place, predicts Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Predicting the AL East is no easy task, that's for sure.  The latest from baseball's eastern division teams:

  • The Yankees need another Aaron Small-type hidden gem this year, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  The team is facing some derision for recent veteran pickups like Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay, but Sherman feels the front office has earned the benefit of the doubt given its success with these types of additions.
  • The Blue Jays and starter J.A. Happ first discussed an extension in the offseason when they were doing his arbitration case, GM Alex Anthopoulos told Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star.  The agreement was reached before Happ found out he'd made the Opening Day rotation, said the pitcher.  The Jays guaranteed Happ's final arbitration year in 2014 and also snagged a club option for '15.
  • Happ beat out Ricky Romero for the Jays' fifth starter job, even though Romero is owed $7.5MM this year.  Romero, who was optioned to High-A, told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca, "I don’t belong here to be honest with you. This is not for me."
  • The Mets are not yet convinced Ruben Tejada is their shortstop of the future, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  Gavin Cecchini is Baseball America's top-rated shortstop in the Mets' farm system, but he was drafted out of high school last summer.
  • The Nationals are a scouting-first organization, but GM Mike Rizzo is open-minded to suggestions from their two top analytics people, Adam Cromie and Samuel Mondry-Cohen, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  The team has its own formula to evaluate defense and its own version of wins above replacement.








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