AL East Links: A-Rod, Jeter, Drew, Morales, Orioles

Perhaps the most intriguing "what if?" scenario in recent baseball history is what if Alex Rodriguez has joined the Red Sox (rather than the Yankees) prior to the 2004 season.  The Deal, the latest instalment of ESPN's "30 For 30 Shorts" series, explores the near-trade that would've sent Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez and Brandon McCarthy from the Rangers to the Red Sox in exchange for Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra and Jon Lester.  A-Rod even agreed to restructure his contract and take less money to make the deal work, though this was what eventually scuttled the trade, as the MLBPA wouldn't allow the agreement due to the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.  Only a few weeks later, Texas instead traded Rodriguez to the Yankees and the rest is history.

Here's the latest in a very newsworthy day from around the AL East… 

  • Derek Jeter's impending retirement underscores the Yankees' lack of shortstop depth, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch writes, as it seems that Jeter's eventual replacement isn't currently on New York's roster.  The Yankees could sign one of the quality shortstops available in next winter's free agent class, Hoch notes, or Stephen Drew exists as a current option that could be signed to play second or third for a year and then take over at short in 2015.
  • Scott Boras, Drew's agent, has recently been looking to get his client an opt-out clause after the first year of a new deal.  While some see Boras' demands as a longshot, Fangraphs' Mike Petriello notes that the opt-out could fit into the Yankees' plans, making Drew an even more obvious upgrade for the club's infield.
  • The Red Sox haven't offered Drew a contract for longer than one year, John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports (via Twitter).  Drew would like at least a one-year contract and an option, a source tells Tomase.
  • The Orioles continue to be in contact with Kendrys Morales' representatives and are still interested in the free agent slugger, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • It seems as if the Orioles prefer Ervin Santana to Ubaldo Jimenez, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes, as he has heard more tying the O's to the former free agent hurler than he has the latter.  "I know the Orioles have talked to his people, but I didn’t get a sense that he was atop their list," Connolly says.  There were whispers earlier this week that the O's were upping their pursuit of Santana or Jimenez.  In the same piece, Connolly answers a number of Orioles-related questions from fans on Twitter.


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