In an article with the latest on the David Price situation, the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin dismisses reports that the Rays are motivated to move the Cy Young winner by Dec. 31 to avoid having to pay $4MM in deferred money. "The payment isn't due until Oct. 1, and it is the Rays' obligation, so really a nonfactor, as including it would be the same as asking for cash in a deal and subject to MLB approval," Topkin writes. While the Mariners are often named as a likely suitor for Price, they "seem to talk more about what prospects they don't want to trade." Here's more from the AL and NL East:
- The Orioles could fill their closer and second base vacancies from within, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Fans have been frustrated by the club's quiet offseason thus far, but the O's seem likely to pluck their next second baseman from what they already have, and they won't spend lavishly on another ninth-inning option if Fernando Rodney doesn't drop his price.
- The Orioles' nullified deal with Grant Balfour could conceivably have ramifications for Baltimore, Kubatko writes. It's possible that the reliever could decide to file a grievance with the Players' Association or that some free agents down the road may be leery of agreeing to terms with the club.
- The Yankees could be back in on Balfour, along with the Tigers, Rockies, and Angels, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Earlier this week we heard that the Rays are also in the mix.
- The Braves won't force the issue in their search of bullpen depth, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
- The Marlins, meanwhile, are after a veteran presence to add to their pen, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
Zach Links contributed to this post.