The Orioles made a surprising playoff run in 2012, but SB Nation's Rob Neyer can see why people question their ability to repeat. He argues that the Orioles were merely average in terms of runs scored and runs allowed in 2012, and expecting players like Brian Roberts and Nolan Reimold to perform better than they have in years is going to invite critics. Here's more out of the AL East…
- Shane Victorino inked a three-year, $39MM deal with the Red Sox this offseason, but he told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that he turned down a bigger offer from the Indians to join the Boston-New York rivalry. Victorino says that Cleveland offered $44MM over four years, but his previous experiences playing at Fenway Park and the intensity of the fans swayed him to leave some money on the table.
- Scott Boras was "blindsided" by Robinson Cano's decision to switch agents yesterday, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Cano, who still must pay Boras the commission on 2013's $15MM salary, had signed a representation agreement with Boras as recently as March 20. Brodie Van Wagenen, who will be Cano's primary baseball representative with CAA/Roc Nation Sports, said he wouldn't publicly discuss a new opening for Cano to sign a contract, but noted that Cano loves New York and would like to stay.
- There are still roadblocks to getting a new deal with the Yankees worked out for Cano and his new representatives, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman wonders about conflicts of interest surrounding Jay-Z — a lifelong Yankee fan who will perform at Yankee Stadium this year — negotiating against the team. He also wonders whether or not the Yanks will want to give another player that's on the wrong side of 30 a $200MM contract.