AL East Notes: Murphy, Blue Jays, Price, Rays

Recently demoted Yankees catcher J.R. Murphy is garnering a lot of trade interest, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The 23-year-old Murphy batted .286/.308/.365 in 65 plate appearances for the Yanks this season and enjoyed a solid minor league season in 2013, hitting .269/.347/.426 between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wikes-Barre. However, the Yankees’ offseason signing of Brian McCann to a five-year deal makes it unlikely that he’ll have an everyday spot with the club in the long-term.

Here’s more from the AL East…

  • Though there’s been a great deal of focus on the the Blue Jays‘ search for pitching upgrades, GM Alex Anthopoulos tells Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker of 590 The Fan in Toronto that he has had active discussions to bring in an everyday infielder as well (via Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith). Anthopoulos spoke candidly about the fact that eliminating the current infield platoon would free up some bench flexibility. He added that carrying three catchers, as the club is currently doing, is far from an ideal scenario.
  • In his latest Fangraphs On FOX article, Dave Cameron examines the trade market for David Price and wonders if the Rays‘ ace might end up being traded twice in the next year. Cameron notes that a number of big-spending clubs aren’t ideal fits due to sharing a division with Tampa, a poor farm system or a poor rank within the standings. As such, he speculates that a lower budget team (listing the A’s as an example) could acquire Price to fuel their 2014 World Series chances, then look to flip him in the offseason to recoup some of the prospect value lost in acquiring Price and his likely $18-20MM salary in 2015.
  • ESPN’s Jim Bowden speculates on the five most likely teams to trade for Price, listing the Angels, Blue Jays, White Sox, Yankees and Braves. Bowden runs down trade scenarios for each team within his Insider-only piece. From my point of view, the Halos don’t have the prospects to land Price, while the White Sox are a long-shot because the required prospect package goes against GM Rick Hahn’s long-term plan for the team.
  • In attempting to paint an accurate picture of what next year’s Rays roster could look like, Cork Gaines of RaysIndex lists Price, Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce and Jeremy Hellickson as potential trade chips either at this summer’s deadline or in the offseason. Jennings will see his price tag go up in arbitration, Gaines explains, and the potential emergence of Kevin Kiermaier could make him expendable. Of course, that would likely only be the case were Kiermaier to prove himself over a larger sample than 74 big league PAs.

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