AL East Links: Anthopoulos, Betemit, Rays, Bard

It was on this day in 1914 that Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run.  Playing for the Providence Grays of the International League, Ruth went yard during a road game in Toronto, an occasion marked by a historical plaque at Hanlan's Point.  This was the only homer the Bambino would ever hit in the minors, as he spent the entire 1915 season with the Red Sox and never again visited the farm during his legendary career. 

Here are some notes from around the AL East…

  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos' job isn't in jeopardy, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm writes as part of a reader mailbag.  Anthopoulos "appears to have the full backing" of upper management and should continue to do so for at least the next couple of seasons, though obviously the Jays will be expected to contend at some point.  Earlier today, Anthopoulos discussed a number of topics in an interview on Sportsnet 590 radio.
  • Also from Chisholm, he predicts that if the Blue Jays don't extend a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson and he hits the open market, Johnson will likely sign a one-year contract with an NL team to try and re-establish his value for the 2015 free agent market.
  • Wilson Betemit's time with the Orioles is probably coming to an end, as Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes that the O's "likely won't pick up" the $3.2MM option on his contract for 2014.  Betemit has missed almost all of the season recovering from March knee surgery and the team already seems to have moved on, as Betemit has only nine plate appearances over five games since returning from the DL.
  • St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster criticized MLB in a memo updating his city council about the Rays' stadium issue, Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times reports.  Also in the piece, Puente notes that the Rays' ongoing search for a new ballpark could be an issue for Foster in November's mayoral election.
  • Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's history with Daniel Bard made it no surprise that the Cubs would acquire the struggling right-hander on a waiver claim from the Red Sox, manager John Farrell said.  Farrell told reporters, including MLB.com's Jason Mastrodonato, that his team didn't have the time or roster space to nurture Bard back to form but he thinks Bard can do it.  "I guess the most important thing is that we wish him well. We hope he gets back on track. There's still a good pitcher in there once he gets back on track," Farrell said.
  • From earlier today around the AL East, the Astros claimed Eric Thames off waivers from the Orioles, the Nationals claimed Mauro Gomez off waivers from the Blue Jays and the Red Sox aren't sure if they'll be willing to re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury if it will cost much beyond $100MM.

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