East Notes: Halladay, Loria, Rays, Ellsbury

"He's more like a [No.] 4 starter for me now," a scout said to ESPN's Jayson Stark after watching Roy Halladay's bizarre start for the Phillies last night, in which he allowed five earned runs, six hits, and three walks while striking out nine in 3 1/3 innings against the Braves.  It seems likely that Doc will slide down our 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, as he tries to reinvent himself with a less-effective fastball.  On to today's East links…

  • "It’s great baseball. It’s the beginning of a new era for us and it’s exciting," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told reporters including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post before last night's game.  The Marlins do have a pair of exciting players on the big league roster in Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, but they're also brimming with replacement-level guys.  Outside of Stanton and Fernandez, I'd say the Marlins have one of baseball's least-exciting teams to watch.
  • Roberto Hernandez's start today for the Rays ended a streak of 1,207 straight games without using a free agent starting pitcher, according to the team.  The last one was Hideo Nomo in July 2005, which predates the current front office by a few months.
  • "You have examples like CarGo, Weaver, Andrus, Varitek — there’s a ton of examples of guys that have signed before [free agency]," explained Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to WEEI's Alex Speier in the wake of Elvis Andrus' new contract. "[Agent Scott Boras] gives you advice, but it’s up to you to make your own decision."  Ellsbury may be the top available free agent position player in free agency, if Robinson Cano signs before then.
  • Earlier today, the Yankees released David Aardsma, the Orioles claimed Josh Stinson, and the Nationals signed Chris Young.

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