AL East Notes: Rays, Orioles, Markakis

The Blue Jays remain among the favorites to sign either Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez, despite their quiet offseason thus far, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  In fact, the Jays could be quite aggressive in the New Year.  Rosenthal writes that they could acquire as many as two starters before the offseason is over and they've also discussed trades for significant starters, including the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija.  More out of the AL East..

  • Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he is looking to add another bench player and remains on the lookout for another arm for the bullpen, writes Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Tribune.  Friedman also indicated that this year's payroll could be a record high, beating 2010's total of $72.8MM.  If that's the plan, it could be an indication that they plan to hang on to David Price.
  • Like the Blue Jays, it's been a pretty quiet offseason so far for the Orioles, but Roch Kubatko of fully expects the club to go out and get another starter based on the current makeup of the rotation.  For now, it looks like Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, and Bud Norris are in the rotation. The fifth spot is wide open, but left-hander Zach Britton is the likely favorite because he's out of options.
  • Nick Markakis potentially could be entering his last season with the Orioles in 2014, a year where he will be paid $15MM with a club option at $17.5MM.  While it would take an exceptional season for that to be triggered, the O's would happily settle for a return to the norm for Markakis in 2014 and worrying about 2015 later, writes Steve Melewski of

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