AL East Notes: Lester, Blue Jays, Rays

The Red Sox want relief help, but they aren't likely to pursue high-priced acquisitions, reports's Rob Bradford. That means no moves like last year's trade for Joel Hanrahan, and it also means they won't be in the market for players like Joe Nathan or Grant Balfour. Still, GM Ben Cherington hopes to acquire relievers who might end up pitching in key spots. "We want as many guys as possible that we think have the potential and the stuff to pitch in high-leverage situations," he says. Here's more news from the AL East.

  • The Red Sox have not begun discussing an extension with starting pitcher Jon Lester, but they appear likely to do so near the start of spring training, Bradford writes. If the Red Sox do sign Lester to an extension, they will likely wait until after Opening Day to complete it, since his current contract only counts $9.4MM per season against the 2014 luxury tax. The average annual value of an extension would likely be far greater.
  • The Blue Jays may need to add two starters this winter, writes's Shi Davidi. They have R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle, and also Brandon Morrow, who's recovering from a forearm injury. After that, they'll be leaning on players like J.A. Happ, Esmil Rogers, and Todd Redmond, plus youngsters Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison and Sean Nolin. That group isn't the greatest bet to provide top-quality innings, at least not in 2014.
  • The Rays are interested in finding a first baseman, catcher and late-inning reliever this offseason, the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin tweets. The reliever may not be a proven-closer type, which is no surprise given the Rays' budgetary constraints. They'll also look for bench help.

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