AL East Notes: Yanks, Stroman, Tanaka, Orioles

Last night, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington appeared on WEEI radio and discussed a number of topics, including Stephen Drew, Masahiro Tanaka and David Ortiz. That post has been updated this morning to include the full audio of Cherington's 18-minute interview. Elsewhere in the AL East…

  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the Yankees have a 40-man roster crunch right now, but Alex Rodriguez's likely suspension would clear one spot. The Yankees will still need to clear more via trades or DFA, as they've yet to officially announce the signings of Brian Roberts and Matt Thornton, despite agreeing to deals with that duo on Dec. 17. Signing Masahiro Tanaka would require further roster manipulation (Twitter links).
  • Blue Jays manager John Gibbons isn't ruling out the possibility of top prospect Marcus Stroman making the team out of Spring Training, though he did caution that it's a long shot, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
  • Nicholson-Smith also tweets that Gibbons says the Blue Jays are keeping tabs on Tanaka.
  • Wei-Yin Chen's recovery from surgery to remove bone spurs from his knee "hasn't been as seamless as some others have been," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said on WBAL Radio (via's Roch Kubatko). Though Showalter said he expects Chen to be fine, he did say his recovery has been slow and that the team is "keeping really close tabs" on Chen.
  • From that same piece, Showalter says Manny Machado "feels great." The manager added that his gut feeling is that Machado can be healthy by Opening Day, but the organization will not rush him. The O's will use Ryan Flaherty as their Opening Day third baseman if Machado isn't ready, writes Kubatko.

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