AL East Notes: O’s Catching, Uehara, Rays, Tanaka, Pineda

Here’s the latest out of an AL East division that will be quite intriguing to watch over the coming days:

  • While noting that it is difficult to “transition” the club’s catchers more than one time in a season, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told Roch Kubatko of that the addition of another backstop is “something [the club is] taking a look at.” While he is happy with the way that Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley have handled the staff, Duquette acknowledged that their offensive production was lacking. Nevertheless, upgrading at the catching position is still third on the team’s priority list after a late-inning pen arm and starter, according to Kubatko.
  • The Red Sox have not engaged closer Koji Uehara in extension talks, reports’s Rob Bradford“So far, there have been no talks,” Uehara said through his translator. “I’ll leave it all up to my agent, but right now I haven’t heard anything.” Recent reports have indicated that Boston is disinclined to deal Uehara even if it does go into sell mode, in large part because the team hopes to bring back the 39-year-old pending free agent. But it remains unclear how it will pursue that outcome; as Bradford notes, Uehara could be extended a qualifying offer (with the expectation that he would probably accept). Or, in a more likely scenario, the club could offer him a deal at some point that includes a guaranteed second year or vesting option.
  • Rays GM Andrew Friedman has not yet ruled out the possibility of adding players at the deadline, he told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link via Bowden). Then again, Bowden notes, neither would Friedman say that ace David Price would not be dealt. It seems that the Tampa strategy will be to wait until the last point possible to make some key decisions. If the club decides to keep the band together and even add to it, Chris Cotillo of says the word is that the Rays could be interested in adding a reliever. The club just lost Joel Peralta to the DL and has obviously received disappointing results from closer Grant Balfour.
  • Two key Yankees arms remain in limbo, and the latest news was mixed. Michael Pineda has progressed to the point that he is set to toss 30 pitches over two simulated innings tomorrow, tweets’s Bryan Hoch. Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka is still feeling pain in his elbow, which is “not good … at this stage,” GM Brian Cashman told Michael Kay of ESPN New York 98.7 (quotes via Brendan Kuty of Though the New York GM said that the plan remains to watch Tanaka closely and “adjust accordingly,” his statements seem to shed some doubt on the hurler’s efforts to return this year (if not also to avoid Tommy John surgery).
  • Cashman explained yesterday that part of the motivation for acquiring Chase Headley was his improvement in some underlying metrics such as hit velocity (the speed of the ball off of the bat), as John Harper of the New York Daily News reports. Similar analysis led the club to add Brandon McCarthy and encourage him to go back to using his cutter more frequently.

10 Responses to AL East Notes: O’s Catching, Uehara, Rays, Tanaka, Pineda Leave a Reply

  1. 2/16 is fair for Uehara given his age and past performance.

    • NOLASoxFan 1 year ago

      Why would he sign for so little? The Sox are sure to offer him the qualifying offer worth something north of $14M. Yet another guy the Sox should have already locked up…

      • 14 million for one year is hardly a sure bet for a closer.

        • NOLASoxFan 1 year ago

          They’d be absolute fools to not offer it to Uehara. Half the teams in baseball would be happy to pay him $14M on a one year deal. 4/$56M would be insane. 1/$14M seems like a pretty good bet.

          • Chris Koch 1 year ago

            I’d agree in that teams would pay him 14mil to be their closer, but if he took a QO, Not a chance. 3/24mil deal maybe at that point is best I’d think he’d get. Losing your 1st rd pick for a Closer isn’t the brightest of ideas. When Washington did for Soriano it was a 3year deal on top of only giving up the very last pick in the 1st rd which 30th roughly is probably on a 35% chance of making the Majors.

          • basemonkey 1 year ago

            Do you know how many closers get 10M or more in 2014? Answer: 3. Jim Johnson at 10M. Rafael Soriano at 11M. And, Papelbon at 14M, which is considered an immovable albatross contract.

      • basemonkey 1 year ago

        Sorry but 14M is absurd for a closer.

        Do you know how many closers get 10M or more in 2014? Answer: 3. Jim Johnson at 10M. Rafael Soriano at 11M. And, Papelbon at 14M, which is considered an immovable albatross contract. The fact is you can find pretty solid performance nowadays, esp. with all the 95+ mph arms out there! for around the league minimum.

  2. Twins should really consider trading Kurt Suzuki to the O’s. Also, Cashman definitely has to be pretty creative which I do credit him for doing so on the 2 trades he’s already made.

  3. turn2 1 year ago

    Boston might as well trade Koji, because it’s unlikely he’ll be back there next season. The Red Sox were lucky to get him in the first place, because His preferred team, the Orioles, didn’t show serious interest when he left Texas.

    Uehara was crushed in the first place when the O’s traded him to the Rangers, because he loved Baltimore so much; so much, in fact, that he bought a house for his family in the Baltimore area.

    Although Boston was good to him, his heart of hearts is still with the O’s, who should be expected to get first crack at him this offseason. The Red Sox will be a back up option, but no more.

  4. BucknerRulz86 1 year ago

    Looks like Tanaka is headed to TJS.

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