Here's a look around the American League East, which figures (as usual) to be one of baseball's most interesting divisions over the summer.
- The Red Sox are doing everything they can to court 22nd-round high school outfielder Ryan Boldt, reports WEEI.com's Alex Speier, including a trip to venerable Fenway Park. While the presumption has been that Boston's free bonus money will be insufficient to draw Boldt away from the University of Nebraska, the Sox are still hoping to woo him with a $1MM-plus bonus offer.
- We just learned that the Red Sox are bringing up longtime minor leaguer Jonathan Diaz to fill in temporarily at third, but the club could have designs on a more permanent solution for the remainder of the year. George A. King III of the New York Post says that Boston could be in on Michael Young if the Phillies make him available, with one source saying that the Sox "want him badly."
- King further reports that the Yankees are also likely to be in on Young, as others have noted. Indeed, as CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman discussed yesterday, the Yanks seem to be a likely buyer at third. Alex Rodriguez is still a ways off from a return, and remains a major uncertainty. Other than Young, Heyman says that the top potential target — Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers — will likely be too expensive for New York's preferences. According to Heyman, the Bronx Bombers could consider White Sox utilityman Jeff Keppinger, and are still interested in bringing in free agent Ian Stewart on a minor league deal.
- As the Yankees look for bats, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger explores whether the club could do so by dealing inconsistent starter Phil Hughes. McCullough acknowledges that there are several reasons why this wouldn't make sense: for one, if Hughes performs well enough to net a good return and the Yankees remain in contention, it would be hard to part ways. For another, Hughes would seem to appeal mostly to other contenders given his pending free agency, limiting the potential for acquiring an impact bat from a cellar-dwelling trade partner. Finally, the possibility of making the still-youthful Hughes a qualifying offer remains an attractive (if complicated) option for New York.
- The Orioles have a complex roster management situation developing with the impending return of second baseman Brian Roberts, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. While the club has a 40-man spot open after removing Freddy Garcia, the O's will need to create a 25-man vacancy. Kubatko lists several roster moves, each of which has some drawbacks: the club could designate first baseman Travis Ishikawa or option one of infielder Danny Valencia or utilityman Ryan Flaherty. The decision is complicated by the fact that lefty Wei-Yin Chen promises to return from his own DL stint shortly.