AL East Notes: Rays, Drew, Pineda, Lester

Over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron provides an interesting look at team age, weighted for anticipated playing time. The unsurprising result is that the oldest current MLB roster belongs to the Yankees. With the Red Sox and Blue Jays also falling in the top five, and the Rays landing in the top half with what Cameron calls a "sneaky old" roster, the American League East would appear to be the most veteran-laden division in the game. 

  • The loss of pitchers Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, and Jeremy Hellickson has exposed the fact that the Rays are thin on pitching depth in their system, says Peter Gammons of (Twitter links). Gammons notes that, despite having five of the first 79 picks in the 2010 draft and a whopping ten of the first 60 choices in 2011, the only major leaguer to have emerged from those additions is infielder Derek Dietrich (who, of course, has since been dealt for fellow infielder Yunel Escobar).
  • Looking at the bigger picture for the Rays, the club is still looking for a location to target for a new ballpark, as the Associated Press (via reports. One possibility is to land in the city after which the club is named. "Tampa is obviously very, very attractive on the list," said club owner Stuart Sternberg, "and we expect to at some point, hopefully sooner, look there as well as some other parts of the region." The organization still needs to undertake "a full-out exploration" of possible sites in the area, including Tampa and St. Petersburg, Sternberg said. Tampa's current lease — at the St. Petersburg-located Tropicana Field — has often been noted as a significant hindrance for the team's spending capacity, and runs through the 2027 season.
  • Injuries to the middle infield have not changed the Yankees' stance on Stephen Drew, according to principal owner Hal Steinbrenner. As's Barry M. Bloom reports, Steinbrenner said that he is "pretty content with [the Yankees'] infield right now," especially given the early returns on some of the club's lower-profile offseason additions. "I'm happy with a couple of our Minor League free-agent signings — [Yangervis Solarte] and [Dean Anna]. Jeter has been healthy. So far, I'm pretty content with where we are, but I will always analyze options." (Anna was actually acquired via trade, though certainly he was the same type of addition.) 
  • The Yankees are also enjoying the excellent early showing from Michael Pineda, who was picked up in a rare swap of highly touted young talent. (Jesus Montero, of course, went to Seattle in that deal.) Continuing a strong Spring Training run, in 12 innings over two starts, Pineda has allowed just two earned runs and has struck out 12 batters while walking only two. As Tony Blengino of Fangraphs writes, a full return to form for Pineda would be "basically unprecedented in baseball history," with the one notable exception of another outstanding young pitcher who returned from an early-career shoulder injury to post a Hall-of-Fame career: Jim Palmer.
  • Red Sox hurler Jon Lester projects to be worthy of a six-year, $145MM deal in free agency, according to's Dan Szymborski. Other than sticking in Boston, Lester could draw interest from teams like the Cubs, Mariners, Giants, and Tigers, in Szymborski's estimation.

63 Responses to AL East Notes: Rays, Drew, Pineda, Lester Leave a Reply

  1. Jacob Viets 1 year ago

    Jon Lester is NOT worth almost $25,000,000 per year over the next 6 years. Keep dreaming, Szymborski.

    • Scott Thorn 1 year ago

      Agreed…and I’m a huge Red Sox and Lester fan. I don’t want the Sox to pay him that given the way his peripherals are trending and the crop of young, promising arms we have in the minors. That would tie up a good chunk of resources that could be better used elsewhere.

      Though I think “worthy” is the wrong word to use there. I think Szymborsky is talking about market forces driving up his price. Doesn’t necessarily mean he’s “worthy” of that contract, but I could see someone paying him that if he hits the market after another solid year this season.

      • Daniel Morairity 1 year ago

        And there is no way that lester is going to the ms or the cubs. The only team that he will go is the tigers

        • Stuart Brown 1 year ago

          If the Tigers are going to pay $25MM/yr for a pitcher it will likely be their own guy in Scherzer. But of those mentioned, I agree that the Tigers are the likeliest destination. The Mariners have a ton of good, young pitching, even though a few of them are injured at the moment. The Cubs have good pitching coming up, and likely aren’t going to spend heavily yet. The Giants have 4 starters locked into high value deals, and surely can find a cheap alternative for their fifth slot. And, while I won’t compare Lester to Zito, I’m sure the Giants will be wary when giving out large, lengthy deals to starting pitchers because of Zito.

        • GD 1 year ago

          Seattle has so much $$$ from buying ROOT Sports Network. The Cano signing was just the beginning. Look for them to splurge this offseason, but I’d put money on it that they are waiting for teams to fall out of contention to pickup players that way by this July.

          Don’t count the Mariners and Lester out. I can see the Mariners showing him the money that BoSox won’t!

          • Cyyoung 1 year ago

            Agree, Tanaka can get 22, Lester will get paid for sure.

    • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

      Yeah and if the Red Sox are smart they will offer him various deals starting with a 4 year deal going up to 6 with the AAV decreasing as the years increase and if he doesn’t take one before the beginning of FA this is what they do.

      Extend the qualifying offer to him AND Peavy. Lester will decline and if you can sign him at a good price around 19 million AAV you do that. Peavy will likely accept so you have to pay him 15 million but you now have Peavy, Clay, Lackey, and Doubront plus a lot of prospects for the 5th spot. If Peavy declines then his market will be destroyed so you can get him on a better deal or get another draft pick.

  2. Ross F 1 year ago

    Where are you getting your Pineda stats from? It’s 2 starts, 12 innings, 12 K’s, 2 BB.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

      accidentally grabbed his ST stats … they look so similar

  3. Bob Bunker 1 year ago

    If Lester wants or thinks he can get 6 145 I hope the Red Sox let him walk. He is not worth that kind of money rather offer a qualifying offer and get the draft pick.

  4. Pegasus 1 year ago

    Cashman is rubbing his hands towards Lester declining that offer from Boston. Gonna cook up that vintage 6 year deal 150 million with an option and some other perks Im sure.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      That is way too much money for Lester.

      • Pegasus 1 year ago

        I know, I dont even think we would need another starter. Phelps could be slotted in or maybe even Adam Warren next year at the rate hes pitching.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        7/150 was way too much for Ells, but they apparently blew everyone else’s offer away and made it. I could see them targeting Lester/Scherzer hard next winter, along with either of Hardy/Lowrie.

        • LazerTown 1 year ago

          I wouldn’t be surprised if they target more infield help. This year they needed lots of help, and threw offers out to many different free agents. They have Pineda/Nova/Tanaka/Sabathia locked up next year, if they struggle then I could see them making a move for a pitcher. If they are very good I could see them more willing to have it more open, and then look to work on the infield. They have arod coming back, who they may DH regularly, and Teix at 1B. Aside from that they have the entire infield open. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make many offers to the infielders. They have a few starters that could potentially help out down the line, but outside of Refsnyder they have no good infielders outside of A ball.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Agreed with the infield help. Jeter will be gone, Tex is injury prone now, I can’t picture A-Rod playing 3B anymore, and they also have no 2B next year

            Not sold on Solarte yet either. I think the only other infielder they have under contract is Brendan Ryan for next year as well.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Teix isn’t going anywhere, and they won’t replace him. I think they add at least 1 or 2 solids into the infield. That could be Drew, it could be Headley. I can see them doing the 2b/3b thing for 1 position, but hard to do that for 3 positions. Maybe they add 2 middle infielders, and have a KJ/Sizemore player as the backup to arod, an adequate player but not a star.

            I’m not sold on Solarte, but who is? I didn’t believe him out of ST, what he had done in the minors wasn’t impressive at all, but here he is. They have plenty of time to see what Solarte does though. We are only 10 games in, if he is still hitting like he is at the end then he can be in the plans, but if not, he can always be the utility guy.

          • johnsilver 1 year ago

            Good news is plenty to choose from in L/S IF help over the winter.

            Not sure a change of scenery will help Headley and he’s going to be 31 and just turned down 50m over 4y was it? or was it 5.

            Not sure Headley would be a good gamble if the bidding got even close to that amount with others out there who could fill other positions for NY and probably just as economical, or maybe cheaper in Drew, Hardy, Lowrie, even Cabrera.

  5. TheRealRyan 1 year ago

    The Rays losing 3 of their top 4 and 4 of their top 7 SP options, doesn’t prove they are thin at pitching depth. There aren’t many, if any, teams that could comfortably overcome that blow. They also still have 2 more top prospects at AAA that made MLB starts last year, so we’re still not even sure how thin they really are.

    The next 35-45 games will be tough, but I still think the Rays are one of the top teams in their division and have a good chance at the playoffs.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

      To be fair, his point is that the injuries have revealed a lack of system depth that was there whether or not the three guys went down. He’s not saying that the fact of the injuries proves anything.

      • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

        But I still don’t see where the Rays lack depth, especially on the pitching side. Coming into the season, their 6th and 7th SP options were both top 125 prospects who had success in AAA and during their limited MLB spot starts last season. Their 8th and 9th options are a ML long RP who has had a FIP under 4 the last 2 seasons and a veteran who was worth 1.4 fWAR last year. Their 10th and 11th options are both in AAA and top 10 org prospects, one a borderline top 100, who had successful seasons in AA and both made spot starts in MLB last season.

        Looking at their minor league system as a whole, the Rays don’t have the elite prospect this year, but they still have a large amount of prospects in the 75-150 range and a bunch of interesting low level guys. They also have an entire AAA rotation that could potentially be better than replacement. That doesn’t scream lack of depth to me.

  6. Robert Yankees Porubsky 1 year ago

    I can see the Yankees pursuing Lester

    • MB923 1 year ago

      I would say that depends on 2 factors

      1- If CC has another subpar season, and 2 – If Kuroda retires

      If both of these happen, I can certainly see the Yankees going after a top flight starter.

      • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

        A week ago, MB923 said “Lester is the last thing Yankees need . . .” Now there are two factors, only a week later. Stay tuned many more factors to be added, as season goes on.

        • MB923 1 year ago

          And I stand by both those comments sir. As of now the Yankees don’t need starting pitching. I can see them going for it though if they struggle, but As Of Now, it’s not their top priority

          I’m not sure what point you’re trying to prove.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            Whats your point? If everyone does well, they won’t need any help? Wow, profound. That can be said about any pitching staff.

            My point again, I said it last week, I’ll say it again. Everything doesn’t go as planned. Injuries, aging and prospects don’t pan out, far more often than an unknown Ace is found in the minors. Only a week after the ‘Everything is Awesome’ attitude, Kuroda is talking retirement and CC looks like Phil Hughes. AND THATS ONE WEEK. Lets see come Nov.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            I think his point is that most likely the Yankees won’t prioritize pitching because their rotation is pretty set for next year with CC, Tanaka, Pineda, Nova, and internal options but if worst case scenario happens (Pineda gets re injured, CC falls completely apart, no prospects advance) they might sign Lester. Doesn’t seem like his point changed from a week ago either.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            No that was My point. Apparently he’s trying to make it seem as if I never said such a thing and is just assuming I am saying the Yankees are going to be great this year without a doubt.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            Your point is, we assume everyone pitches well, or something happens and as Bob calls it “worst-case scenario”.

            I assume Kuroda retires, and at least one, or, more likely, two of the other options don’t pan out. That is a realistic scenario. So my point is your scenario of EVERYONE pitching good is unrealistic.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            I say they do prioritize pitching, because its not set. Its April and lots can/will happen between now and November. So assuming everyone stays healthy, prospects develop exactly as projected isn’t realistic. I remember Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain were can’t misses too. It happens its the nature of the beast, not accepting that anyone will fail isn’t discussing honestly.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Nobody is Assuming anything but you.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            Assumption (Def) The act of taking for granted – “If everyone pitches well” isn’t taking anything for granted?

            Let me try the power of this “if” word. . . IF I didn’t know better, I’d think your homer, who doesn’t look at anything realistically, and just spouts ‘Go Yankees’ rhetoric.

            Remember, I used the power of ‘if’ so I’m absolved.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Maybe you should check this definition of Assumption as well – “a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.”

            Now do me a favor and point to me where I said the Yankees pitching WILL do good. Actually don’t bother, because you’re probably only going to put half of a sentence that I put, like you did before.

            I’m not being a homer. It’s your anti-Yankee bias that is showing. Being a homer would say they are the best team in baseball and have the best pitching staff. 2 things I never said. And I also never said their pitching Is going to do well. I don’t know how well, or how poorly it will do.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            I never said you said those things???? Now it sounds like your putting words in my mouth. Also, I think there are more than 2 things that can make a person a homer.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Dude I don’t know what your problem is. First you come out with a completely false claim and say that I said “The Yankees don’t need Lester”, where you completely left out the latter part of what I wrote.

            Then you call me a homer because i said I don’t think the Yankees need Lester, which again, is something I did not say.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            I think they will prioritize their infield first in the offseason. We wait 6+ months and see. I don’t know about you, but I’m enjoying the 2014 regular season and not worried so much about what happens next offseason.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            Then you shouldn’t have chimed in on the discussion last week, in regards to whether or not the Yankees would be interested in Lester. It had nothing to do with ’14.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            I, like everyone, can chime into any discussion I want to. I really don’t know what your problem is man. Apparently you’re right and I’m wrong.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            Again your taking liberties with what I said. I never said you “can’t”. I said you “shouldn’t” if you don’t care. Big difference.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            And why shouldn’t I? Because we have a disagreement on whether or not the Yankees should pursue Lester (which again for the record I never said they should Or shouldn’t as of now)?

          • MB923 1 year ago

            I never said everything goes as planned and I never said they won’t sign Lester and I never said their pitching will do well

            Hence the Ifs.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            So why say anything, when you add “if” all the time, and don’t stand for anything you say? You see “if” in my comments?

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Because what happens this season will have a huge effect on the offseason, just like every offseason. I have to assume your profession is a Psychic and you know every future injury and every game result that is going to happen then.

        • MB923 1 year ago

          Also, way to only put half of a sentence from what I said.

          This was the exact quote I put a week agot:

          “Lester is the last thing the Yankees need if their pitching does well for the year (which it has outside today). What they need is infield depth. I think Detroit gets him if Scherzer leaves”

          Did you purposely leave out the very important part where I said “if their pitching does well for the year”?

    • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

      The Yankees would go after Scherzer before they go after Lester.

      • Scott Berlin 1 year ago

        Only if Scherzer hsd another CY YOung Caliber season. Lester can pitch in the AL East plus the Yankees will overpay to keep Lester away from Boston.

    • Cyyoung 1 year ago

      I can see that for sure, as a Sox fan it would make sense. Sox better be careful on this.

  7. bust0ff 1 year ago

    I am a Red Sox fan and I do not think Lester is worth 6/145. If there is a team that wants to pay Lester that much, he should take their offer and that other team can have him.

  8. Who would’ve thought that losing 3/5’s of your rotation might be detrimental to your depth? I’m glad Gammons is still around to give us hard hitting analysis like that.

    • Scott Berlin 1 year ago

      Well there are some who like to think the Rays have unlimited talent in the minors just waiting to burst on to the scene.

  9. Adam Brunelle 1 year ago

    Unprecedented? Didn’t Curt Schilling have the same injury as Pineda during his career? He came back and dominated. I’m not sure Jim Palmer is the only guy who has returned to form after that type of injury.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      From what I have heard, Schillings wasn’t torn nearly to the level that Pineda’s damage was.

  10. orangeoctober 1 year ago

    looking good for the Orioles, age wise in the AL East. young talent with jones, machado, gausman, bundy etc

    • orangeoctober 1 year ago

      and everyone else is old. maybe it’ll help.

    • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

      Problem with the Os is Davis, Hardy, Markakis, Cruz, and Weiters are all hitting free agency over the next two years and some valuable relief arms as well and they don’t have the money to retain half those guys but no major positional prospects to replace them either. Red Sox and Rays have slightly older teams this year but over the next few years have a good amount of talent replacing the older guys particularly the Red Sox.

      • orangeoctober 1 year ago

        they MIGHT be able to keep like one of davis/weiters. maybe like a 15% chance for davis, probably not for weiters. but you’re definitely right. they have a lot of young pitching prospects coming up but unfortunately not many position players. hardy is probably gone, but they could move manny to SS and sign a free agent 3B. still a loss though. i guess we’ll see.

  11. Scott Berlin 1 year ago

    Say bye bye to Lester Boston.

  12. Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

    If Pedroia’s injury worsens and he ends up heading to the DL, I can see Boston bringing Drew back, but only if he is willing to play second base which is unlikely

  13. Nick Cannon 1 year ago

    Plenty of room to build new Rays stadium right next to Raymond James Stadium and a parking garage for them to share.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      And unfortunately their lease runs another 13 years. They probably want funding too. Downtown Tampa does make more sense though. Is more centrally located, would also help if the stadium was actually nice inside.

  14. driftcat28 1 year ago

    Lester a Yankee? Maybe Ells can convince him.

    • MB923 1 year ago

      I hope the Yankees address their IF next year before their pitching.

  15. Robert Mango 1 year ago

    Yankees 2015 Rotation – Tanaka, CC, Nova, Pineda, and one of their prospects. I don’t see any fit in payroll for another SP when they have a few (Warren, Phelps, the other killer B) who could be starting next season. Too many holes in the INF to address to throw 15M+ at a SP. I’d love a Lester or Scherzer but I do’nt think that will be part of the budget.

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