Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has acknowledged teams are inquiring about their rotation depth, but the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman notes there's an element missing from the starters' equation: a potential ace in his mid-20s. Silverman believes it will be close to impossible to acquire such a pitcher through trade or free agency, so the best bet is an internal option. Henry Owens, the 36th overall selection in the 2011 amateur draft, tops Silverman's list of future homegrown aces, as the 21-year-old left-hander posted a 2.67 ERA, 11.3 K/9, and 4.5 BB/9 in 135 innings (26 starts) across Boston's Class A Advanced and Double-A levels. Here's more from the AL East:
- Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com wonders if the Orioles should make a play for free agent pitcher Bartolo Colon. On one hand, Colon pitched to a 2.65 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 30 starts and could possibly be signed for just one year. Of course, Colon will turn 41 early on in the 2014 season and missed a good chunk of 2012 thanks to having elevated testosterone levels.
- Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com looked back at ten moves by former GM Andy MacPhail that helped shape the Orioles. The list starts with MacPhail's signing of first-round pick Matt Wieters in 2007. The O's didn't have the best history with agent Scott Boras at that point, but MacPhail worked out a deal that included a $6MM signing bonus for the player who turned out to be the best catcher in club history.
- Shin-Soo Choo would bring more than just a solid on-base percentage to the Yankees or their crosstown rivals, writes David Lennon of Newsday. Lennon wonders if Choo's marketability overseas could give him extra value to one of the New York teams given that they have the second-largest Korean population in the U.S and offer more exposure than anyone else.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times runs down possible targets for the Rays this winter at their different areas of need. The list starts with Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who could be an interesting buy-low fit.
- The Rays were interested in Mark Lowe last offseason before he was scooped up by the Dodgers, Topkin writes. Tampa Bay signed the 30-year-old reliever to a minor league deal yesterday.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.