AL East Links: Markakis, Sternberg, Blue Jays, Ortiz

For the last year or two, Nick Markakis has been vocal about how important it would be to spend his entire career with one organization, and the outfielder tells Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun how he hopes his contract year will help carry the Orioles to a championship and, potentially, convince the team to keep him in the fold.  "In a perfect world, I'd like to [stay here],'' Markakis said. "A lot of people play this game for the wrong reasons. A lot of people play it where the money is. I get a bigger satisfaction being with the same team your whole career….To be able to do that would be a pretty cool experience. It would be something special to me."  The O's have a $17.5MM option on Markakis for 2015 that seems a bit too expensive to exercise even if Markakis does rebound from his career-low numbers last season, though the two sides could work out another multiyear deal.

Here's more from around the AL East…

  • Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) that while he didn't plan on having a payroll in the $80MM range for the coming season, the opportunity was there for the Rays to sign Grant Balfour and re-sign James Loney.
  • Sternberg noted that extending a star like David Price is "more difficult now than it was in the past, given the numbersThere's been inflation.''  That said, Sternberg also "wouldn't say it's likely" that this is Price's last year in Tampa.  "You just can't make decisions like that this far in advance, and we're trying to give the team as big of a chance as we can this year without sacrificing our future as well," Sternberg said.  "There's the opportuniuty of other players, there's the expense that's involved in it, but we're…a little enamored with the possibilities of what we can do, and what he brings."
  • The Blue Jays haven't made many roster moves this winter but GM Alex Anthopoulos tells ESPN's Jayson Stark that he expects the Jays to improve simply by avoiding some of the injuries and misfortune that plagued the club last season.  “Sometimes you sit there and say, ‘We won 74 games, when everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong,’” Anthopoulos said. “So this year, what happens if we just have a little bit of luck?  I can understand the skepticism about our team, absolutely, coming off the year we’re coming off.  But I just don’t think it’s a stretch to expect improvement out of a lot of these guys this year, simply because the floor was so low.”
  • The Blue Jays' second base options project to generate only 0.4 WAR in 2014, Fangraphs' Mike Petriello notes, and he explores a few trade possibilities that could upgrade Toronto at the keystone position.
  • With the Red Sox enjoying huge revenues and big drops in payroll obligations in 2015 and 2016, ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes argues that the time is right to extend David Ortiz.  The slugger's contract negotiations have generated some bad publicity in recent years, so Edes suggests that Ortiz could receive a club option in perpetuity, a la Tim Wakefield's contract with the Sox.
  • Red Sox limited partner Michael Gordon isn't a well-known figure to most fans, but WEEI.com's Alex Speier profiles the man who has quietly become a more influential voice within the team's ownership group over the last few years.


21 Responses to AL East Links: Markakis, Sternberg, Blue Jays, Ortiz Leave a Reply

  1. Marcelo Hernandez 1 year ago

    I like the Tim Wakefield contract idea

  2. Rays goin to the Ship!!!

  3. JaysFan1996 1 year ago

    Blue Jays don’t have much to contend this year, no point to shell out top $$$ for Drew or Starting Pitching. Might as well play this year out and acutally try and be aggressive in next year FA to fill holes. Who knows what Goins can do

    • Matt 1 year ago

      So the Jays go from WS favorites to not having “much to contend?” And your biggest interest is Goins?

      • JaysFan1996 1 year ago

        Do you think they can contend, or even get to 81 games? There are serious DOUBTS but it’s not impossible. Who is your choice to play second base? Do you want to start Maicer Izturis at second base for 110 games?

  4. pft2 1 year ago

    Markakis has been a pretty huge disappointment since he signed his extension. Maybe he plays better in a contract year, but if I were the Orioles I let him fly

  5. brian310 1 year ago

    I could see a Beckham to Toronto deal happen at some point in June or July if Semien is hitting good in the minors

    • BrettLawriesnewesttattoo 1 year ago

      That ship has sailed IMO. They had interest in Beckham a couple years ago but now he’s older and barely above replacement level. I can’t see the Jays giving up anything of value to acquire a guy that might not be any better than a combination of Goins/izturis/Kawasaki/morel

    • Not saying that it will or will not happen, but I just wouldn’t understand it. They’ve got Goins, Izturis, Kawasaki, Morel and someone else that I can’t remember right now all kinda sorta there and battling for 2B/backup INF/AAA 2B spots, and the difference between them and Beckham is pretty minimal. Beckham is comparably valuable, costs way, way more, can be controlled for less time, and isn’t in the organization already, and would thus cost something to acquire.

      edit- What BL’sT said.

  6. MLB416 1 year ago

    In today’s era of baseball.Trades involving upper class proven talent are rare and generally come following down seasons or personality issues. If not come at huge costs in terms of top prospects as well as upcoming free agency. So there difficult to make. That said even though free agents come at steep prices when u have the needs to fill and protected picks u best take advantage of that. something to this point AA has not done. I hope for the Jays and his job he has an ace up his sleeve

  7. MLB416 1 year ago

    In today’s era of baseball.Trades involving upper class proven talent are rare and generally come following down seasons or personality issues. If not come at huge costs in terms of top prospects as well as upcoming free agency. So there difficult to make. That said even though free agents come at steep prices when u have the needs to fill and protected picks u best take advantage of that. something to this point AA has not done. I hope for the Jays and his job he has an ace up his sleeve

  8. Jefftown37 1 year ago

    Ackley has had very even platoon splits in his short career. He’d be a fine #9 hitter for the Jays. If they trade Gose for him, the downside might come in terms of losing Gose’s 2014 value, which is mainly as a late-inning defensive replacement for Cabrera or pinch runner. It would relegate Izturis to true backup (not a platoon split). I earlier liked the “buy low” / “bounce-back” quality of acquiring one year of Weeks; if the Jays ate most of his salary, they’d hardly have to give up anyone promising from the farm system. He had a low BABIP last year, but I’m also worried about his bat speed, per a recent Fangraphs article. One of my mantras these next few weeks is going to be, “Let’s see what happens in Dunedin”; I want to apply that to Goins.

  9. Dawson Carlson 1 year ago

    Ah so instead of making any moves , AA wants to depend on “luck”. Alright then.

  10. Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

    I wouldn’t mind extending Markakis. Maybe somewhere in the realm of 5 years 40 million. His power never developed but he’s been dependable at the plate and in the field.

    • malkusm 1 year ago

      It might take more like 10M AAV but I think that would still be a fair number. People get caught up on his power numbers but he’s a dependable guy (except for the freak injuries the last couple of years), a league average glove, and a plus contact hitter with good plate discipline. He’s about the only guy on the O’s who works the pitch count and draws walks consistently. Assuming he stays consistent he could get into the 2500+ career hits range by the end of that deal.

    • malkusm 1 year ago

      It might take more like 10M AAV but I think that would still be a fair number. People get caught up on his power numbers but he’s a dependable guy (except for the freak injuries the last couple of years), a league average glove, and a plus contact hitter with good plate discipline. He’s about the only guy on the O’s who works the pitch count and draws walks consistently. Assuming he stays consistent he could get into the 2500+ career hits range by the end of that deal.

  11. Dawson Carlson 1 year ago

    I’m in BC and not a Leafs fan but alright…

    Also I’m not pining for a Santana signing I’m just saying depending on luck is a pretty weak strategy/excuse for not doing anything.

  12. wallywhack 1 year ago

    The Jays built one of the best teams in the league during the 2012 off season. Luck has nothing to do with what it’s capable of. A return to health is the primary need here. The possibility of adding more talent by way of value for money moves will only compliment what’s already there. No need to blow the situation out of proportion.

  13. Dawson Carlson 1 year ago

    Did they really though ? Because the standings say that they finished last. “A return to health” IS in fact based on luck if you look at the players they are going to be counting on; Morrow, Lawrie, Bautista, Reyes, post tumor/PED Melky, Happ, even Edwin to a lesser extent. I’m not blowing the situation out of proportion , you’re just being condescending, rude, and closed-minded.

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