AL Notes: Rangers, Bailey, Carp, Jays, Smoak, Castro

Now that it's clear Nelson Cruz won't be back, it's unclear who the Rangers will use as their designated hitter against lefties, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. The Rangers still had interest in Cruz, Grant writes, noting that, in addition to the qualifying offer, they made at least one offer that exceeded the $8MM Cruz ended up taking from the Orioles. That leaves them with a variety of options to play DH against lefties, but none manager Ron Washington likes very much: Mitch Moreland is a lefty, Michael Choice doesn't have enough experience for Washington's taste, and Washington would prefer to keep the Rangers' spare catcher (Geovany Soto or J.P. Arencibia, depending on who isn't starting) available on the bench.

  • With Cruz off the market, Grant, in a separate article, believes now is the time for the Rangers to extend manager Ron Washington. Grant also opines players tagged with qualifying offers are going to think more seriously about accepting them in light of Cruz's surprisingly small contract. 
  • Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks new minor-league signee Andrew Bailey can help them in the late innings, but probably not until September, Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets. The former Athletics and Red Sox closer had labrum surgery last July. 
  • The Red Sox will try Mike Carp out at a new position this spring, Alex Speier of tweets. While Spring Training experiments like these aren't uncommon and often have little long-term impact, a bit of added versatility might change Carp's outlook with the Red Sox, particularly if he can play third, where the Red Sox are less settled than they are elsewhere. Carp hit .296/.362/.523 in 243 plate appearances last season, but the Red Sox already have plenty of talent at first base, left field and DH, which has led to speculation that Carp could be a trade candidate.
  • Scott Boras blames the Blue Jays' lack of activity in the free agent market on its ownership, Rogers Communications, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. "There is no one who has the asset base of Rogers," said Boras. "They’re a car with a huge engine that is impeded by a big corporate stop sign . . . a successful and committed ownership that needs to give their baseball people financial flexibility." GM Alex Anthopoulos denied Boras' assertion telling Rosenthal, "Our ownership has been outstanding and given us all the resources we need." The Blue Jays' payroll is expected to exceed $130MM this season.
  • Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon told reporters, including Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, Justin Smoak will be the team's first baseman as long he performs. This means McClendon expects new acquistions Logan Morrison and Corey Hart to man the corner outfield spots and DH. 
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow acknowledged internal discussions about a contract extension for catcher Jason Castro have taken place, reports the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich. No offer, however, has been discussed with Castro. 

Edward Creech contributed to this post.

44 Responses to AL Notes: Rangers, Bailey, Carp, Jays, Smoak, Castro Leave a Reply

  1. MaineBaseball 1 year ago

    “Carp hit .296/.362/.523 in 243 plate appearances this offseason”

    Dang, that’s a solid offseason haha

    • GD 1 year ago

      That was also in a selective Platoon role, which if BoSox continue platooning him he should continue producing those numbers. The second he becomes a full-time player those numbers are history!!!

  2. JaysFan1996 1 year ago

    Is deciding which designated hitter to us against lefties really a problem ?

  3. edwing 1 year ago

    I’m loving those Boras comments, though they’re probably off base.

  4. Sufferfortribe 1 year ago

    In light of Cruz’ surprisingly small contract? $8MM for a guy that can hit but can’t play defense? Seems like pretty good money to me. But as far as players maybe being more inclined to accept QO’s from now on—how many teams will just decide to say, based on this assumption, the heck with the draft compensation. And just let guys go instead of getting stuck with possibly overpaying for someone?

    • Opti-Mets-tic 1 year ago

      I personally love the fact that the dynamics will and have changed so much. So far Boras and his greed have been totally bitten by it. Next year it could be the clubs making a mistake and offering the wrong guys Q.O.’s. Its all very interesting, I hope the Union will leave it alone at least for a few years.

      • Sufferfortribe 1 year ago

        Agreed. Wondering now just how many players will end up dropping Boras as their agent.

        • johnsilver 1 year ago

          He’s got a long, long list already of AS ex clients.

          • harmony55 1 year ago

            And a longer list of players in line for his services.

    • GD 1 year ago

      People were saying that a year ago after Lohse and others, but all 13 offered QO’s denied them. Maybe next offseason will be different now. Ervin Santana is so upset about it that he’s now stating he’ll wait until after the draft to sign if he has too before he lowers his price.

      • lwayne 1 year ago

        Bottom line is most of these guys think they are worth more than they really are. Cruz is the prime example. It appears there was some **odd feelings** when he ducked out on a pennant run rather than the start of the next season. IMO the Rangers were tickled pink when he turned down the QO.

  5. Tony Matias 1 year ago

    Really great to see Carp flourishing at Boston. Who ever got rid of him must have really gotten a good deal in exchange… oh wait.

    • wadesawko 1 year ago

      Jason Bay I believe was the player that took his roster spot in SEA. Carp would have been in the 3 hole if he was kept in town. Always liked him. Struggled after Greg Halman passed away. Best if luck Carpe diem

  6. Goriax 1 year ago

    I’m sorry but AA is looking more and more useless. He has done nothing,, not one single thing this off season while the Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles have bolstered their rosters. The need going into this off season was pitching. Garza,, gone, Tanaka,, gone,, Jimenez,, gone. Santana remains… will he sign him? Probably not. Then after all that, I bet anything that AA will say “we just couldn’t find the right fit” or “we were very active but ultimately the right fit wasn’t there”.. or something else from the usual list of excuses.

    • Croagnut 1 year ago

      A year ago he was savvy and shrewd and it was all John Farrell’s fault. What happened?

      • ColoredPaper 1 year ago

        Nothing. This guy is probably one of those “fans” who bash their team when they do nothing and the first in line when the team does something great.

        As was stated in the article, the Jays are spending over $100million in salaries this year, and there’s no elite players that hit the market that would really put this team over the top, so why bother spending? Their biggest needs are in the rotation, but the top 3 guys, outside of Tanaka obviously, are more mid-rotation types than actual aces. The Jays already have enough of those.

        • LazerTown 1 year ago

          You are right. He was very enthused last winter how the Jays were the no doubt best team in the division.

          • Goriax 1 year ago

            Yup I sure was, and last I checked, Vegas had the Jays as favourites too so don’t sit there and make it look like I was delusional or something. Me personally, I really didn’t buy into that level of hype however I was confident on a playoff berth. Injuries and more injuries again ruined the season.

        • Goriax 1 year ago

          Nope, I am a realist. I support the TEAM all year round my friend. But when a GM tells people that they will be competitive and active in addressing their off season needs, you kind of expect him to do so,,, or even kind of do so,, or you know, sign someone either that a AAA utility player maybe? I like the addition of a solid hitting catcher, that’s great but can he pitch?

          Starting pitching was a glaring need going into the offseason. Everyone and their sister knew the jays needed to add at least one solid starting pitcher and that is still a glaring need.

          I don’t think they had many other needs apart from needing a healthy season from the players they have on the roster but a starting pitcher was and is still a need in order to compete in the East.

          There was 3 elite starters and a wildcard import that could have helped the rotation a lot and the prices outside of Tanaka were fairly reasonable. There’s still a few arms out there without teams that might be able to help out though so I guess we shall see.

          • wallywhack 1 year ago

            Please. The FA market for pitching this off season has been over priced and ugly. 4/40 for Jiminez? Santana? Garza? Why would you pay that while letting Johnson, a guy who is a statistically better pitcher, walk? Adding any of those arms makes sense for a reasonable price, but four years for questionable mediocrity? Why bother when you have guys who are totally capable of a breakout year in Hutchison and Drabek? Maybe even Sanchez or Stroman later in the season. The way I see it Alex did a fine job of sizing up the situation and responding in kind. I mean, we almost had Ian Kinzler and Brett Anderson, dude. To make this big a deal out of your heightened expectations is to confuse a serious need with the pure luxury of adding more talent.

          • Goriax 1 year ago

            IF the team is healthy and play up to expectations, they can be a contender but after the past two years or injury mayhem that ended up deflating my spirits and many others, I am sorry for having some doubts. I would like to see Drew brought in to play 2B though. He wants to be in Toronto, why not? And Morales to DH? Wouldn’t be a bad play but I would be happy with Drew at 2B with Goins as the utility middle/3B infielder.

            Pitching wise… if Morrow has another breakdown this year and hits the DL, they need to consider putting him in the pen. I love his stuff but he is one DL stay away from being McGowan 2.0. Sorry but I just don’t like the rotation as is man, I just don’t. Hutch is capable, Stroman and Sanchez aren’t far off, so my outlook could change but Drabek? That’s a name you shouldn’t have dropped. He is a failed prospect as of now and has a LOT of work to do to make things happen. I see him better off in the pen so he can throw gas and only worry about 1-2 other pitches but thats a pipe dream.

          • wallywhack 1 year ago

            You see, the thing is, I think far too many people are looking at the Jays rotation in some sort of bubble. Take a good look at the other rotations in the AL East and you’ll notice that they’re all comparable. The Red Sox rolled out the same rotation from 2012 to 2013 and it was like a tale of two totally different rotations. Health and luck and run support that wan’t there a year earlier gave that team their competitive edge. I’m fine with signing Drew, but realize that St. Louis won a World Weries with Skip Schumacher as their 2nd baseman. Not every position needs to be a +5 WAR player for a team to make it to October. Despite what Scott Boras might be on about, we have a very good team as is and I think Alex is diligently going about trying to find excellent value for money adds right now, not missing pieces. You may be right about Drabek, We’ll see how things play out over the next few months.

    • Matt 1 year ago

      AA doesn’t sign free agents it’s very obvious. His wish list coming into off season was C, 2B and two SP’s and to trade some of our out of option players. He managed to do one of those things, maybe one and a half if you count the Lincoln trade, now Canada is doomed for another disappointing blue jay season. Keep up the good work AA

  7. PXDX 1 year ago

    How can Michael Choice gain experience if Washington refuses to play him? The guy is more than ready. What a pretty lame reason to not give a guy a shot.

  8. mas419 1 year ago

    Rangers should just use Michael Choice, he’s going to be a stud. How much “experience” do you really need to be the right-handed half of a platoon at DH!

  9. LazerTown 1 year ago

    lol Boras.

    $130MM payroll is sufficient. Toronto should be able to handle more, but they also have a bottom line to consider. They should make profit on the team, but it’s not like they are cheaping it. Have more of a problem with the Astros.

    • Goriax 1 year ago

      It’s frustrating man, to have a super heavyweight financial backer and to have that backer reluctant to flex their muscles. You would think they could just say let’s do this big, let’s go get Tanaka or whoever because we absolutely can do that. 130 Million is not pinching pennies but it isn’t fitting in with the big boys in the East either. I wouldn’t want them to spend like the Dodgers because that’s just insane but when the GM and president are constantly talking about addressing needs and don’t, you get a little grouchy about it.

  10. Mike1L 1 year ago

    Boras is wrong. Baseball is a business, and ownership should work to make it a profitable one. There’s a balance. A team that bleeds the taxpayer dry and then pockets revenue sharing is the type of team that Boras should have a problem with. A team that tries to put on a product of sufficiently high quality to draw fans and ratings does not. No one is responsible for spending every last dollar.

    • Torontopoly 1 year ago

      What do taxpayers have to do with privately owned professional sports teams?

      • Mike1L 1 year ago

        Unfortunately too much. Most modern baseball stadiums are built with substantial contributions, subsidies, low interest rate loans, and infrastructure upgrades from the municipalities in which the stadiums are located in. These subsidies are in the hundreds of millions of dollars–per team.. The Miami Marlins are an egregious example of taking the money and then, a year later, purging their roster.

        • Torontopoly 1 year ago

          Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification, I didn’t realize this was such a widespread problem in the MLB. The Jays did essentially the same thing in purchasing the SkyDome for a fraction of the price of building it in the first place.

  11. John Cate 1 year ago

    If the Rangers had any sense, Prince Fielder would be their designated hitter against all pitchers.

  12. Jefftown37 1 year ago

    As Rosenthal mentions, Morales and Drew are not good fits for the Jays, unless in the off chance Drew is OK with playing in Canada and is OK with playing 2B. It’s hard for us fans to judge when we don’t know the backstory to where FAs want to go, or not go, and what offers were made.

  13. connfyoozed . 1 year ago

    The more people talk about lefty 1B possibilities for the Pirates to look into, and the more people (including me) tout a Smoak, Moreland, Lind, or Davis, the more I realize when I really think about it that Carp might be a better option to pursue than the rest. He can hit for average, he has some power, and unlike most of the other speculative candidates, he can at least adequately play positions other than first.

    • Nick Beahm 1 year ago

      As a Mariners fan, Carp is better than Smoak. I was pissed when they stuck with Smoak because he was the “superstar” we got for Cliff Lee. Carp was better than him at every step of the way and had more versatility in the field. And the Mariners, of course, traded Carp for cash and a ptbnl, which I couldn’t find who it was. Yeah, great trade Ms…

  14. Jason J. Shaw 1 year ago

    Boras just doesn’t like how the Jays aren’t into running up the prices.

    • Croagnut 1 year ago

      Thats why he loves the Yankees, they pay the most, and drive everyone else’s prices up.

  15. Baseball Realism 1 year ago

    Hey Boras, stop losing clients to Jay-Z and we may listen to some of your business seminars.

  16. Bradley Maravalli 1 year ago

    Well Ron Washington needs to get over what he doesn’t like and make something happen.

  17. burnboll 1 year ago

    Charlie, I think you’re overlooking that the DH spot increasingly is used to give guys rest from defense.

    If you give Beltre 10 games at DH, Fielder 20, Choo 10-15 Moreland 40 (against righties), JP 40, Soto 25, then there suddenly aren’t that many games to fill in.

    And injuries occur, players may need an unscheduled day off from the field.

  18. Gekabee 1 year ago

    Boras is just ticked that he miscalculated and had players decline qualifying offers who are now getting much less in the ensuing market. So he’s lashing out to save face. If he REALLY knows so much about running a team, he should buy one himself and show the world how it’s done. Lord knows he’s made enough money off players contracts over the years to be able to do that. Put up or shut up.

  19. Spencer Smith 1 year ago

    I think they should trade castro now before he loses value. I mean, if you traded Pence at his age (only 30 yo now) and Lyles (who has as much upside as anyone in the system) why not trade a catcher who’s OK offensively and has had knee surgeries? I bet after last year they could really get something for him.

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