AL East Notes: Cruz, Capuano, Ortiz, Yankees

Nelson Cruz isn't a popular figure in some circles for his PED history, but Nick Markakis won't hold it against him.  "It doesn't change my opinion toward anything,'' the Orioles outfielder said, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. "I got to be a teammate, and no matter if you disagree or agree with your teammates, they are still your teammates. He’s going to be welcome here and we are going to play as one. That’s for sure."  More out of the AL East..

  • Chris Capuano was nearly traded to the Red Sox three years ago when they were desperate for someone to win a game in the final week of the regular season, writes John Tomase of the Boston Herald.  Ultimately, however, Boston couldn't reach a deal with the Mets.  “(The Mets) actually knew about it earlier, but kind of waited until the last minute to tell me so it wouldn’t be a distraction. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to think about it. It was just a couple-day conversation that didn’t end up happening, but I was excited at the prospect of pitching for the Red Sox," said the veteran.
  • David Ortiz has few precedents when looking at what an extension might look like, writes Alex Speier of  Speier looked at players who had ten or more seasons in an organization who signed deals that covered at least their age 39 seasons within a year of their free agency.  That short list includes Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, and Mariano Rivera.
  • The Yankees have questions but no major concerns heading into spring training, writes Barry Federovitch of the Star-Ledger.  Among the question marks, however, will be whether Masahiro Tanaka can make the transition to four or five days’ rest.
  • Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger spoke with Yankees reliever Matt Thornton, who inked a two-year, $7MM deal this offseason, about what he expects his role to be with his new team.