AL Notes: Balfour, Indians, Yankees, Pettitte, Lough

Now that Grant Balfour appears to be back on the market after the collapse of his deal with the Orioles, a variety of AL teams could be interested, MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette notes (on Twitter). The Mariners, White Sox, Yankees and Rays could all make sense, and Duquette also tweets that the Indians could be a possibility as well. He notes that the Indians tried to sign Joaquin Benoit along with the already-signed John Axford, so Balfour might be another possibility in Cleveland. Here's more from around the big leagues.

  • The Yankees have announced a series of hires in coaching and player development, including former Royals manager Trey Hillman and Cubs manager Mike Quade. Hillman will serve as the Yankees' special assistant, major and minor-league operations. Quade will be their roving outfield and baserunning instructor.
  • The Yankees still need pitching, but it doesn't appear they'll be getting it from Andy Pettitte. GM Brian Cashman says Pettitte has "shut it down for good," Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Pettitte returned to the Yankees in 2012 after retiring for the first time following the 2010 season, but it looks like the Yankees won't be able to depend on that again. At 41, Pettitte posted a solid final season in New York in 2013, with a 3.74 ERA, 6.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 185 1/3 innings.
  • Outfielder David Lough is "ecstatic" to be with the Orioles, he tells MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. The O's acquired Lough for Danny Valencia on Wednesday. Lough says that, after the Royals acquired Norichika Aoki, he knew it was a possiblility they would deal him. "[M]y agent got a hold of me and told me that some clubs were interested in me and to kind of sit back and just expect to go to spring training and do what I've always done," says Lough. 


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73 Comments on "AL Notes: Balfour, Indians, Yankees, Pettitte, Lough"


baseball52
1 year 8 months ago

Lough’s a nice player. If he could take a walk more than once a century, he’d be quite a get for the O’s.

beingewert
1 year 8 months ago

Quade teaching base running? Right, because the Cubs were so great at that when he was managing.

JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 8 months ago

Did the Cubs even have anyone that can get on base when he was there

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Difference between the Yankees and Orioles?

Orioles are pursuing their specific needs.

Yankees are pursuing signings that give them headlines.

The Orioles have a considerably better chance of being in the news after September 30.

Dynasty22
1 year 8 months ago

You have no idea what you are talking about.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

No? The Yankees have lost 5 pitchers this offseason, and signed 1. They had a full compliment of outfielders at the start of this offseason, 3 starting pitchers, no third baseman, and an ancient SS. Tell me what they’ve done to fix their problems. Signing two more OFs only displaced players that they didn’t have a desperate need to replace – at least not as desperate as the holes that remain. Instead of questioning my knowledge, make your argument.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

And the O’s got jemille weeks…

Dynasty22
1 year 8 months ago

They got McCann to upgrade catcher. They got Ellsbury to upgrade the outfield. They got Beltran to replace Granderson. They signed both Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts for second. They resigned Brendan Ryan to back up the infield. They signed Matt Thornton to replace Boone Logan. They resigned Kuroda for the rotation. It is only the middle of the offseason and eventually they will fill their needs.

Tko11
Tko11
1 year 8 months ago

Resigned Kuroda too

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

IDK Thornton and Johsnon seem like the type of moves team make to steal the back page.And now they are signing guys like quade? Can’t wait to see what his writeup will be.

Delia Enriquez
1 year 8 months ago

Oh don’t forget Brian Roberts. He’s a huge back page story!

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Thornton couldn’t make the Red Sox postseason roster. Johnson wasn’t wanted by the Blue Jays or Rays anymore.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Of course Johnson wasn’t wanted by the rays anymore. Otherwise he’d be on the team. It’s like i always say when the rays want someone they get him. The same can be said about the jays. Thornton is a better loogy than breslow. Though i really don’t care whether a loogy makes a teams postseason roster.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

And if he had value, the Rays would have kept him, like they did James Loney. And if Thornton is better than Breslow, the White Sox and Red Sox would have wanted him. He threw gas on fires his entire time with the Sox. And it’s hilarious that you don’t care if a guy makes a postseason roster or not. It means he was somebody else’s #7 bullpen choice, or worse, and you just spent $7 million on him. Enjoy.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

3.5 million, which is the price of a loogy. Mujica was so valuable to the cards he pitched 2 innings in the playoffs. So using your own logic the sox spent too much on him. And youre right the rays are known for retaining their players.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

The Sox didn’t even need him, because they retained their entire bullpen save for Thornton and Morales, neither of which figured in the Sox’s plans. You need to rebuild a staff, not refine it. And you let Logan go, who was paid a lot more than a loogy, as you put it. Down several pitchers, and signing loogys. Cool.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

So they sox just gave 9.5 million to a guy they didn’t need? pretty kind of them.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Laugh it up. We’re still polishing the trophy.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Wow that’s inefficient, should have been done months ago.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

When you win another one in three decades or so, you can improve the efficiency.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

How have you replaced (A) Cano (B) Pettitte (C) Rivera?

With the increasing likelihood that Tanaka isn’t being posted, and the Yankees showing no interest in any FA pitchers, and with no farm system or controllable players to offer in trade, it looks absolutely impossible that the Yankees staff will be as good as it was last year.

You MIGHT be as good as you were, but you don’t look better.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

Yankees staff was only 15 runs behind the red sox, and that was with the rs staff all having great years, and cc not being good.

You don’t have to replace Cano, and quite frankly the yankees can’t. I would venture to say that the trio of Roberts(or Johnson)/Beltran/McCann is a very significant upgrade over Ichiro/Cano/Stewart

Same thing with Pettitte/Hughes.

They both combined for 161 er over 331 innings for a 4.38 era. If they get Tanaka they are in very good shape, if not and they get someone else they should be in good shape. A 4.00 and a 4.76 era pitchers in equal innings will get you the same result.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

And the Sox returned ALL of those guys. You’ve lost Pettitte, Rivera and Logan, and thus far replaced him with Thornton.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

You lack a general understanding of how baseball works. They don’t have to replace pettitte. They have to replace pettitte and hughes, even that’s not fully needed, who’s combined performance isn’t hard to do. Also Garza’s numbers were pretty much the same. No single option replaced pujols either…

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

I do? Is that why the final four teams in the playoffs were knee deep in pitching? I guess the teams that were spending October playing baseball don’t have a general understanding of baseball too. You should try watching the game sometime.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

The sox were knee deep in pitching? That’s news to me. DO i really have to show you the stats again?

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Did you WATCH the playoffs? And have you looked at their staff?

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Ya, the playoffs aren’t a more meaningful sample than an entire season. Boston had an average staff. And Boston still has an average staff.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

The average staff was one that helped the Sox to the best record in the AL. There’s no universe in MLB in which you lead the league in wins without a good staff. Duh.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Fine the sox staffed performance all season suggests that boston had the the third best staff in the division, but they clearly had the best pitching in baseball.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Never said they had the best staff in baseball. But then again, the regular season and playoffs both proved they were the best team in baseball.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

You said there staff was good, the stats suggest that was a lie.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Watching them outduel (A) The Rays (B) The Tigers and (C) The Cardinals, in succession, suggest otherwise.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

Winning the playoffs does not equal best team over long stretches.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Did you also read the words “Regular season”?

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

5 teams in the AL allowed fewer runs last year. That means decent staff, but by no means electric.

Kevin Siver
1 year 8 months ago

The teams have an understanding of the game, that does not default you into that category of knowledge. The Yanks have improved in nearly every area that they needed to, yes they spent big and made their typical media splashes, but they DID get better. Could they tank? Sure, this is baseball and that happens, but why not wait until the season starts before you troll. Case in point, they definitely made a concerted effort to avoid being sunk and it won’t be for a lack of effort if their season does somehow fall through. I’m not a Yanks fan and never will be, but denying that they made good choices is just pathetic and a little sad.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

To say “The Yanks have improved in nearly every area they needed to” really defaults you into a hilariously inept position. Clearly, you haven’t noticed that they still have fewer starting pitchers than they did in 2013, a weakened bullpen, have surrendered their best hitter, are trying to get their third baseman suspended for the season while there is virtually no replacement or any FAs left, are relying on a combination of a 39 year old legend with no ankles left and a slick fielder who hits below the Mendoza line at SS…..and you say they’ve addressed their needs? Pathetic and a little sad…lol. It would hurt if someone who knows at least a tiny bit about the game said it.

Kevin Siver
1 year 8 months ago

I did say “nearly”. Though you did get me there, I did err in the way of an oxy-moron. Still, you continually place yourself in an inept position by dancing around the fact that the offseason is not over. Free agency might be cleared out, but there is this trading thing that teams do sometimes, might work. Of course, you knew that though, seeing as you know so much.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Exactly who, in the Yankees deep stable of players, is trade bait? Or in their talent-rich farm system?

2013 was but a harbinger of their trade potential, because their injuries necessitated trades and fringe signings that showed lack of depth. Wells/Hafner/Overbay scared nobody; if the Yankees had something of value to trade, they would have done it at the start of last season to get through the year. They didn’t. They still don’t. And this follow-up post only enhances my belief of your knowledge of the game.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Stop arguing with him there’s really no point. Some people just can’t look past their own team. Good luck to your white sox, i just need the season to start already. Also he is the type of person that uses rings to argue a players value.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Lol you still remember that. Rings are hardly the only value, as I stated repeatedly earlier, but it’s funny how, until a decade ago, “count the rings” was the favorite derision of a Yankee fan to a Red Sox fan.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

“Lol you still remember that.” It’s funny that i can remember things that happened less than a week ago? Interesting, no wonder you think the sox had a good staff last yr.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Results speak.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Okay and the results were a season of mediocre pitching. O ya “stats are for losers”…

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

I could whine about our injuries, but that’s bad form after winning a championship. And then again, I can see why a Yankee fan would feel the playoffs aren’t a good indicator of real quality. You must love A-Rod then.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Arod is top 50 in postseason wpa…

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Which is why Girardi benched him in the 2012 playoffs. All that success.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

No that was a torn hip.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

What were the excuses in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011? And the sweet little slap that killed their last rally in the 2004 ALCS?

Tricky li’l hip he’s got there.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

“”count the rings” was the favorite derision of a Yankee fan to a Red Sox fan.” Then wouldn’t that still be relevant, you know since boston hasn’t exactly caught up…

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Ahh, there it is at last. Glad to see you’re still living in the 20th Century. You should try living in the current one. Your owners and management would be well served to do the same.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

There what is i was pointing out how hypocritical you were being….

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

You mean, like telling another poster to “Stop arguing with him there’s really no point.”

And yet, who’s still arguing with me?

Although, it’s quite fun. It’s like playing with a toy from the island of misfit toys.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Losing arguments must be real fun…

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

I wouldn’t know, but I’m interested. Are you having a good time yet?

Dynasty22
1 year 8 months ago

What part of the offseason isn’t over yet don’t you understand? The Yankees won 85 games with a bunch of AAAA guys playing for the majority of the season. Even as the offseason is incomplete, they look better now than they did last year. You are really misinformed.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Explain a SINGLE option that could come close to replacing Cano. A SINGLE option that can replace Pettitte if Tanaka’s not posted. A SINGLE option that replaces Mo. I’m hardly misinformed. You have no idea what reality looks like, even as it’s bearing down on you.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

Like I said above, they don’t need to replace cano exactly. They just need to find the parts that equal him.

Ichiro/Stewart/Cano < Beltran/McCann/Roberts.

Even at this point Roberts is still slightly better offensively than Ichiro.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

Roberts hasn’t played half his team’s games in 4 years, and Suzuki’s missed 13 games in the same time.

It won’t matter if you’re slightly better offensively if your pitching is worse, which it is.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

Was just highlighting the fact that the worst hitter in that trio is better than the middle hitter in the other trio.

Kevin Siver
1 year 8 months ago

The reality is this, the season has not started yet.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

And that is where you overlook it. You don’t need a single option to replace Cano.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

With injuries as an issue to the 2013 squad it’s interesting that they signed Ellsbury, who’s missed 260 games the last 4 years, and McCann, who’s missed 135 games the last 3 years.

1 year 8 months ago

Balfour to the Rays now right?? I’d do it, then tell the Orioles to kiss it every time Balfour shuts them down.

Kevin Siver
1 year 8 months ago

I’d be quite pleased if the ChiSox brought Grant aboard. As long as they don’t break the bank to do so. He’d be another veteran presence for the youth movement. However, we do still need a backstop and I’d definitely recommend that Rick tries exploring what it would take to pry Nick Franklin from the M’s as an additional pursuit.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

While I certainly disagree with your posts regarding the Yankees, the White Sox have greatly impressed me dating back to the trade deadline of last year. It can be risky to add young talent that has little MLB experience, but the potential exists for a very dynamic young group of players in Garcia, Eaton, Davidson, Abreu….and with a quality ace already in place, the most important elements are there. There is still work to do, but I commend Hahn for making gutsy moves.

Kevin Siver
1 year 8 months ago

On the other topic I was a bit harsh, many pardons for that. Agree to disagree would have been the better route. That aside, I’m very excited for this coming season. I am a lifelong Sox fan, but I love the game in general.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

I do as well. I was an Expo fan before a Sox fan as I’m a born and bred Montrealer – went to the HOF to see Andre Dawson inducted in 2010. I am now a Sox fan and I do sometimes come down hard on a Yankee fan or two, lol. But usually it’s because it does start with my own view…hopefully, as a baseball fan first.

chris german
1 year 8 months ago

Great signings by the Yankees. Good to have Trey back again. He was also Nippon Ham’s manager back when they won the Japan Series, so he should have some good insight on NPB players. Yankees minor leagues have been really disappointing lately, so anything they can do to improve in that area is a plus IMO.

Dan Bean
1 year 8 months ago

It bugs me that the yankees haven’t handed the closer reigns over to Robertson. If Mo was his mentor last year why not turn him loose? Balfour is a career relief guy who had a decent year at closer.. Why bother?

Scott H
1 year 8 months ago

I wouldn’t mind Balfour on the Yanks. If starters are going to be iffy, might as well strengthen the bullpen. Robertson, Thornton, and Balfour would be pretty formidable.

John Murray
1 year 8 months ago

This thread is hysterical. At least on other boards, the Yankee fans know the game. I would have left an hour ago if it wasn’t so comical.