AL East Notes: Ichiro, Tigers, Cervelli, Blue Jays

A year ago, Jon Lester was coming off a poor season and his long-term future in Boston looked in doubt.  Now, as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes, Lester has rebuilt his career following a rebound season and another World Series ring, and it seems he's in position for a nine-figure contract from either the Red Sox or another club as a free agent next winter.  Lester and the Sox have discussed an extension, and Lauber notes that the Sox (for all their promising young arms on the farm) have nobody who can replace Lester's 200 innings in 2015, so the club needs their star southpaw back.

Here's the latest from around the AL East…

  • Yankees officials tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post that the Tigers haven't asked about Ichiro Suzuki in the wake of Andy Dirks' injury.  Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski tells Sherman that his team is "not actively seeking a big move," though they haven't decided if they'll use an internal or external player to platoon with Rajai Davis in left.
  • Ichiro, for his part, had "nothing to say about" the subject of whether or not he would want to play for another team that could offer him more regular playing time.  “But as far as being part of [trade rumors], when I first came to New York, I knew it was something that happens here," Suzuki said.  "You have to be emotionally ready and prepare yourself for it."
  • Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli seems somewhat torn between his desire for more playing time and his desire to remain with the Yankees.  "I’ve been here forever. I don’t have that answer right now because this is, I feel like, my house," Cervelli told reporters, including Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.  "But if somebody wants me to go over there, I’ve got to make the adjustment. I told you guys many times that my dream is to be a starting catcher. Right now, my role is a backup. That’s what I’m playing for. But I’m never going to stop because an opportunity is going to come again."  Cervelli has drawn interest from several teams (including the White Sox and Diamondbacks) as one of Yankees' backup catchers could be traded to bring infield help to the Bronx.
  • The Blue Jays' lack of success in obtaining starting pitching this offseason leads Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi to re-evaluate the team's decisions to not tender a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson and to pass on a potential trade for Brett Anderson due to medical concerns.
  • According to some Red Sox players, Stephen Drew regrets not accepting Boston's $14.1MM qualifying offer, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.  Drew has lingered on the free agent market in his search for a multiyear deal, and while the possibility of returning to the Sox as a veteran alternative for Xander Bogaerts or Will Middlebrooks seemed to have potential earlier this winter, the club seems to have moved on.  Red Sox veterans, Abraham writes, no longer feel the team needs to re-sign Drew after seeing how Middlebrooks has conducted himself during Spring Training.
  • No matter how well the Rays perform on the field or how much they spend on payroll, Cork Gaines of Rays Index notes that the team can't seem to top an average of 23,000 fans per game at Tropicana Field. Gaines speculates that even a World Series title could only bump the Rays over that 23K attendance threshold for a season or two, at most.


38 Responses to AL East Notes: Ichiro, Tigers, Cervelli, Blue Jays Leave a Reply

  1. Dave Pierce 1 year ago

    Josh Johnson wasn’t worth a tender then so why should it be worthy of a second guess now? He honestly wasn’t worth it, plus if the Blue Jays offered him say, $12M/1 year… I’m fairly certain he would have accepted.

    • Agreed. JJ was a poor fit in Toronto and he was never in to playing there anyways. You can’t blame not landing a starter on non-tendering one with a 6+ ERA. There’s no way of predicting Santana would rather play in the NL. The whole situation is wildly overblown (though, the Blue jays kind of kicked it.)

      • Charles Kime 1 year ago

        Another disappointing misfire by AA. Meanwhile, the Mets have Snydergaard and d’Arnaud, the Marlins have Marisnick, Alvarez, Hechavarria and Nicolino… the Jays have Dickey, Reyes, Buehrlem Drabek, and Gose. My guess is the Braves, Mets and Marlins are all closer to winning a World Series than Toronto, so how’d they end up with the players with more upside ?

  2. johnsilver 1 year ago

    “That said, they’re not a better team if Brandon Workman is in Triple A. He’s clearly one of their best 12 pitchers.”

    A point man Sox fans agree on and shook their heads in bewilderment when the team signed Capuano, who probably could helped many teams as a 5th SP, even a swingman, but not Boston. Workman could arguabley be the 5th SP on many teams right now. Drake Britton is also more than likely stuck back at Pawtucket and probably would be on many team staffs as a power lefty specialist.

    The team is going about adding arms when it is loaded, just like it did when it was barren. It’s hard to figure out where they are going to stick people, like Olmstead that they just resigned to a MiLB deal from the Brewers.

    • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

      I think we always look at it that way, and they always build for depth, and they always use a ton more pitchers than we could ever imagine. I scratched my head when they signed Capuano too, but chances are both he and Workman will get a handful of starts this year. Particularly if Buchholz continues to play so poorly. They typically have a quota for how many young guys they want to have on the team at any given moment, and I think we can see from yesterday’s loss that Bogaerts and Bradley mistakes had a big impact. They just want to go with the experienced guys and I can see why.

  3. start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

    Red Sox tend to sign their extensions in season rather than waiting. My bet is they reach some deal with Lester before April is finished.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Under the previous CBA they had to do that to avoid impact on the current seasons payroll. Under the new CBA as long as they have a deal for 2014, which they do with Lester any extension won’t impact 2014, so no need to wait till April.

      They probably want to see how he does in the first half though since last year he was not very good until the last 2 months, and they got burned by a Becket extension in early April

  4. Baseball Realism 1 year ago

    Shi Davidi “re-evaluating” his opinion on something. Who would have thought we would see the day.

    Please note, when reading this comment, please do so with a heavy sarcastic tone

  5. mmwatkin 1 year ago

    It pains me to say this, but with everything considered I would rather deal with two months of Don Kelly platooning in LF than trade for Ichiro.

  6. mmwatkin 1 year ago

    The Rays need to get out of Tropicana Field and out of St. Pete. to get the numbers up. They have little corporate support in their current position.

    I am sure the Rays will use the threat of relocation to another state to create a bidding war between Hillsborough and Pinellas County to see who can gift them a new stadium.

    They should just move to downtown Tampa near the Forum. Maybe it can help boost the joke that is Channelside and create an easier commute for the people who live in the Tampa suburbs.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      We drove thru Orlando yesterday on the way to Jacksonville. The sprawling buildup is amazing. Easy access from I-4 to everywhere both just east and west or Orlando off of I-4 with several communities and at least as many rabid sports fans, who have proven themselves able to support the NBA’s Magic just fine.

      orlando would be 10x better of a location than anywhere near Tampa.. Center of the state.. I-4 cuts right across the state.. 3-4 lanes. Many cities (some large) can attend without 2+ hour drive that don’t have to go all the way accross the state as they have to know (extreme end of the state where st Pete is)

      Fact is? The Rays are in a rotten location and stadium and that’s why they don’t draw.

      • LazerTown 1 year ago

        Isn’t Tampa area a bit bigger? Anyways, ST Pete is a terrible location.

      • LazerTown 1 year ago

        Isn’t Tampa area a bit bigger? Anyways, ST Pete is a terrible location.

      • Torontopoly 1 year ago

        Why they ever built a big ugly dome with astroturf in Florida is beyond me. Hell we’re going to be putting real grass in, in Canada in a few seasons. The fact the roof isn’t even retractable at Tropicana is baffling.

        • Crucisnh 1 year ago

          Just an FYI … Tropicana Field was built by the city of St Pete, not the Rays to try to entice an MLB team to the city.

          • Originally build for the Mariners franchise, if I remember correctly.

      • Crucisnh 1 year ago

        Very good observations, JS. Not to trash St Pete itself, but its location means that it’s not very centralized and makes it more difficult to attract people to come to the park. Even moving to a park in Tampa itself would be an improvement. And moving the team to Orlando might be even better.

        However, IIRC,, the team still has a lease with the city of St Pete for the Trop, and getting the state to help build a new park after having done so for the Marlins might be very difficult.

        Still, Orlando seems like it’d be a perfect location for the team if any team is going to have any chance of succeeding in central Florida.

      • Crucisnh 1 year ago

        Very good observations, JS. Not to trash St Pete itself, but its location means that it’s not very centralized and makes it more difficult to attract people to come to the park. Even moving to a park in Tampa itself would be an improvement. And moving the team to Orlando might be even better.

        However, IIRC,, the team still has a lease with the city of St Pete for the Trop, and getting the state to help build a new park after having done so for the Marlins might be very difficult.

        Still, Orlando seems like it’d be a perfect location for the team if any team is going to have any chance of succeeding in central Florida.

  7. DurhamHome 1 year ago

    When will the time come when everyone realizes that MLB baseball can’t prosper in Tampa Bay. They have been a consistant ball club that just can’t get public support. Baseball would be far better off with the AL East team moving to New Jersey or Conneticut. For outside the box thinking, consider the largest city in North America in Mexico City. I would bet all I could that they would draw better there then in Tampa / St. Pete (no matter where the franchise were located in those cities).

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Those 2 are hard. Connecticut is very Red Sox / Yankees split. And NJ has Phillies/Mets/Yankees. They have the people, but not sure if the answer with several teams so close. And I doubt those teams would give up territorial rights. Hartford couldn’t support the Whalers as it is.

    • If we’re going international, why not consider Montreal? Just because baseball failed there once, doesn’t mean it will again. Canadians will go to games. Especially if Quebec can further distance themselves from Ontario-West by switching allegiances.

    • DurhamHome 1 year ago

      Roy-Z. I live in Ontario. I have been to games in Montreal. Don’t believe the hype that a better stadium would make a difference there. There simply were not enough hard core baseball fans in that city. The Rays are following the Expo model because neither team could afford to keep their star players. If stadium concerns were the only problem in those two cities, TV revenue would be through the roof, as fans flock to the tube, since going to the game is not convenient. These fans did neither. I’ve seen games in Cuba, Puerto Rico and watched Latin fans in the WBC in Miami in ’13, Toronto in ’09, and SanJuan in ’06. Adding a Latin team or two would add passion American fans rarely see, plus aid in the development of future baseball players. Plus, if you think the fans won’t have the income to support an MLB team, remember, greater Mexico City population is 21.2 MILLION people. That is bigger than NewYork, LA, Chicago and Houston combined.

  8. goner 1 year ago

    “According to some Red Sox players, Stephen Drew regrets not accepting Boston’s $14.1MM qualifying offer”

    Good. Next offseason, perhaps free agent players (and their agents) won’t instinctively reject a qualifying offer, and every player that receives a QO will have a team by the start of Spring Training.

    • Depends on the situation. As a middle infielder, I would reject the QO. Drew will find work, and should start on many, if not most teams. It all depends on the market. Aaaaand draft pick compensation.

  9. Croagnut 1 year ago

    Definitely a lesson in there for Drew/Boras. 14.1 mil to play for the team that just won WS, is nothing to laugh at. He got greedy, plain and simple.

    • SumatranRatMonkey 1 year ago

      He didn’t get greedy. He’s an older player that wanted what probably would have been the last long term deal of his career. I know these millions of dollars are crazy amounts by our normal people standards, but if these guys can get more money or long term security why shouldn’t they go for that. They have families to provide for. If you had that chance you’d take it too. When people call players greedy it’s just a sad person taking a stab at someone they’re jealous of.

      • Croagnut 1 year ago

        “just a sad person taking a stab at someone they’re jealous of.”

        What do you think of someone who makes posts like that? Give me your expert freudian opinion.

      • pft2 1 year ago

        Older player? He is coming off his age 31 season, a season in which his 3.4 WAR is valued at 20.4 million based on 6 million per WAR we have seen this offseason. He had 1 signficant injury that cost him part of 2 years and every other season he has manged at least 500 PA.

        • SumatranRatMonkey 1 year ago

          Maybe I should have better explained that point. He’s not at the end of his career but he isn’t young either. I imagine he was hoping for a 3 or 4 year deal somewhere. If he got that he’d re-enter free agency at age 34 or 35. If he’s still playing then, chances are it’s in back up role on a one year deal, two if he’s lucky. So yeah, he wanted one last long term deal. Nothing wrong with that.

      • ed27 1 year ago

        I agree, decisions shouldn’t be classified as greedy–the better terminology would be “good” or “bad”, “wise” or “not wise”–things like that. Whether Drew’s rejection of $14.1 million turns out in his favor remains to be seen but he made a calculation that he would be better off testing the market. So far teams have calculations that he is not worth the money he is asking. At some point we will see if Drew was “right” in his decision and whether the team that signs him made the “correct” business call.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      A team that has its top prospect waiting to take over at SS. Red Sox offered it to him knowing he would not take it. If players do as you say, fewer players will get a QO.

      In the end. he will still make more than most everyone on this board makes in a lifetime. Who knows, people were saying Santana and Jiminez should have taken the QO and they made out all right, Drew may too

      • Croagnut 1 year ago

        He’s looking at a one year deal after April 1, to be free for next season (my guess). Which won’t net him 14mil. But, you could be right if a major injury happens akin to Medlin in Atl, then he may get the deal he wishes.

        The best strategy would’ve been to take QO and retry next off-season. Red Sox certainly would not have QOed him next year at 15+mil.

    • Crucisnh 1 year ago

      I think that the real lesson is going to be for the MLBPA to refuse to accept any language that will include anything like a qualifying offer, etc that lessens the ability of a player to get a contract.

      I don’t think that it’s “greedy” for a player to want a multi-year deal. Not at all. I think that you’re looking at it through the prism of the everyday joe who will never earn $14M in a lifetime and think that turning it down is “greedy”. I don’t know if Drew/Boras really thought that Drew was worth more than $14M/yr or if they just didn’t want a 1 year deal. And lacking that knowledge, calling Drew “greedy” is ignorant at best.

      • Croagnut 1 year ago

        You are treating the word “greedy” like I said “murder”. Being greedy in a capitalist society isn’t the worst thing in the world. Its a gamble, that didn’t payoff. Thats all I meant, not that he committed some sin.

        Example: A friend offers me a $200k job at a startup company, so I quit my $100k job. The job never materializes. I would say “I got greedy, and it didn’t pan out”. I wouldn’t be as bent out of shape as you are about the tag “greedy”.

  10. tune-in for baseball 1 year ago

    When DD says, “not actively seeking a big move,” does that mean Ichiro would be a “big move” or is he being coy by not exactly answering the question. I don’t see Ichiro as my first choice. Tigers do not have any other Major League ready options for the outfield if say, 39 year old Hunter goes on the DL, or Jackson pulls a hamstring sprinting into the gap. Kelly would be an acceptable replacement for spot starts, but they need another everyday or extended- play option. I like the rumor about Cub’s Nate Schierholtz as a possible option. Schierholtz would be a great fit. They will have plenty of time to sort out the pecking order when Dirks gets back in June. By getting Schierholtz now,they won’t have to rush Dirks back into service. They will also have a possible spare outfielder as a trade chip for the mid-season deadline. Or he could be re-signed for 2015 if Hunter retires.

  11. If worse comes to worse, rays should move to Montreal

  12. SocratesJohnson78 1 year ago

    Louisville gRays.

  13. Hopper15 1 year ago

    I thought drew was going to jump on the 14 mil qualifying offer. Bad decision.

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