If the Red Sox don't re-sign Stephen Drew, they'll likely go into the 2014 season with Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field and Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, and that will be a gamble, given their inexperience, WEEI.com's Alex Speier writes. To find a World Series-winning team that had rookies as their primary starters at center field and shortstop, one has to go all the way back to the 1959 Dodgers, with Don Demeter and Maury Wills. That doesn't prove much, of course. A few decades' worth of World Series-winning teams isn't a huge sample size, and as Speier points out, the Red Sox have recently blended in young up-the-middle players in Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie while still having very successful teams. But there may be value in having stability at tough defensive positions. Here are more notes from the East divisions.
- The Orioles still could look for a closer, starting pitcher and hitter, CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff writes. It's unclear whether the O's will go with Tommy Hunter at closer, or perhaps sign free agent Fernando Rodney. Plenty of free-agent starters who have been connected to the Orioles, including Bronson Arroyo and A.J. Burnett, are still on the market. Dubroff also says the Orioles are more likely to sign Kendrys Morales than Nelson Cruz to help their offense.
- If the Orioles want to acquire premium talent in a trade, they may have to give up a good pitching prospect or two, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun argues. That doesn't mean they should trade Eduardo Rodriguez for Ike Davis, however, as the Mets reportedly asked.
- The Mets could look for depth options in case anything goes wrong with their rotation, writes Michael Baron of MetsBlog. Baron speculates that Daisuke Matsuzaka or Aaron Harang, both of whom pitched for the Mets in 2013, might be possibilities. The Mets will also have several internal options available, including prospects Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard.