AL East Notes: Red Sox, Tanaka, Yankees, Orioles

The Red Sox are pretty much the only big market team not heavily connected to Masahiro Tanaka, but a case could be made that they should be involved, writes John Tomase of the Boston Herald.  Boston already has six starters under contract with a rich minor league system that could deliver three or four more in the next two years and they're right against the $189MM tax threshold, but the 25-year-old is a special talent.  More out of the AL East..

  • For the Yankees rotation to go from a concern to a strength, the Bombers will need a lot to go right, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Sherman says the Yanks have to sign Tanaka, have Manuel Banuelos and Michael Pineda return to health and a high-level form, and see Ivan Nova be the pitcher he was upon returning full-time to the rotation last July.
  • Roch Kubatko of looks at the Orioles roster and finds that surprisingly few players were signed as major league free agents.
  • The Rays are excited about the defensive play that new catcher Ryan Hanigan will bring, writes Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.  Tampa Bay acquired the backstop from the Reds earlier this month in a three-team deal and promptly gave him a contract extension.

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