AL East Notes: Victorino, Price, Lester, Yanks, Johnson

The Red Sox announced tonight that outfielder Shane Victorino underwent a season-ending lumbar disectomy surgery. The 33-year-old appeared in just 30 games for the BoSox this season, slashing .268/.303/.382 with two homers and two steals. Clearly, the second year of his three-year, $39MM contract with the Red Sox didn’t pan out as well as the first — which was arguably the finest season of his entire career. Though his contract was widely panned at the time of the signing, Victorino silenced critics by batting .294/.351/.451 with 15 homers, 21 steals and elite outfield defense — all of which combined to total more than 5.5 wins above replacement.

Here’s more from the AL East…

  • David Lennon of Newsday tweets that the Red Sox and Rays both received permission from their owners to trade their left-handed aces to any team in baseball, with one exception: the Yankees.
  • The injury to David Phelps should push the Yankees back into the starting pitching market, writes Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues. As he notes, the case can be made that the Yankees’ five best starting options — Phelps, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda — are all on the disabled list at this time.
  • Allowing Matt Thornton to be claimed by the Nationals saved the Yankees about $1MM in 2014 salary and $3.5MM in 2015 salary, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Yankees could redirect some of those savings to add some pieces this month. New York is working on some potential additions already, says Rosenthal. GM Brian Cashman is “open to anything that makes [the Yankees] better,” he tells’s Jake Kring-Schreifels.
  • The Orioles had interest in adding former closer Jim Johnson on a minor league deal, writes Roch Kubatko of, but they felt they didn’t have room to add him to the big league squad until rosters expand in September. Manager Buck Showalter tells Kubatko that he expressed that point to Johnson in multiple phone conversations
  • Former Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski tells Sean McAdam of that while he assumes that many people will expect him to be bitter toward Boston, he has no hard feelings toward the organization or his former teammates (even those who have spoken against him since his departure). Pierzynski said he didn’t ask for a reason when he was DFAed, although he wasn’t exactly expecting the move. He also offers high praise for his brief time with the Cardinals and briefly discusses the difficulty of a catcher transitioning pitching staffs midseason.

21 Responses to AL East Notes: Victorino, Price, Lester, Yanks, Johnson Leave a Reply

  1. MB923 11 months ago

    ” David Lennon of Newsday tweets that the Red Sox and Rays both received permission from their owners to trade their left-handed aces to any team in baseball, with one exception: the Yankees”


    • Karkat 11 months ago

      No aces for you :V

      • MB923 11 months ago

        Hehe. Nope. Until Tanaka gets back.

        • robbyb 11 months ago

          2016 should be a great year…

          • Scott Berlin 11 months ago

            The Yankees could sign Lester. But lets see if Detroit keeps Scherzer and Price.

          • MB923 11 months ago

            Guess you haven’t heard about his rehab as of now being successful.

          • robbyb 11 months ago

            His 50 throws from 60 feet.. that is a successful rehab as of now… We can continue this conversation in SEP/ OCT timeframe.. or when he goes in for TJ..

          • MB923 11 months ago

            There’s a reason I wrote as of now

          • robbyb 11 months ago

            me too…

  2. Mike1L 11 months ago

    Victorino illustrates the other side of the Red Sox strategy of shorter term contracts. If you are going to sign someone to a three year deal, the cost of an injury year doesn’t have as much time to amortize. Net net, I think it works, especially when everything goes well for you at the same time, as it did for the Sox in 2013.

    • 108 stitches 11 months ago

      Ehh….he took care of his contract with 6+ WAR last year. At least close to it. Thank god he’s not signed through 2017.

  3. The Sox knew what they were getting themselves into with Victorino. He was hot when they needed him to be. This year is unfortunate, but we’ll remember the 2013 WS a lot longer than we’ll remember the 30 games he played this year.

    • Karkat 11 months ago

      We were more than just a healthy Victorino away from winning this year anyway (although it sure would’ve helped)

      • Very true. I dislike the notion that people will call the Victorino contract a failure, even though it was pretty much entirely validated by last year. You sign players to win rings. If they win rings, what they do in years where the team isn’t as good isn’t as important.

        • Karkat 11 months ago

          I mean, a six year deal where the player helps the team win in the first year and then injured/bad for the remaining years would still feel pretty bad. It all depends on how long an aging/declining player hurts your overall makeup, and in Victorino’s case, it can’t possibly end up too poorly, given 2013.

          • Right. It’s certainly contextual and the value of a WS win doesn’t have a direct translation to WAR or any other stat. But you sign players to win rings.

        • Mike1L 11 months ago

          i agree, but the strategy is useful only when it works–when you win, and you can afford the spend. It’s much harder for a team with lesser resources to take a $39M chance on a 30+ year old outfielder who relies on his legs.

          • Agreed. If we had no ring out of this, the contract would look pretty bad right about now.

        • Devern Hansack 11 months ago

          Even by a WAR standpoint, it’s still not a bad contract. The cost of a marginal win is about seven million dollars. He was worth 39.2 million last year alone. It’s not a lot of surplus value if he has injury problems moving forward, but breaking even and getting a title was well worth it.

    • NomarGarciaparra 11 months ago

      It doesn’t matter what Victorino did this year or next. What Victorino did last year was enough to cover his contract!

  4. dc21892 11 months ago

    On the bright side Victorinos surgery went well according to his Instagram. Now he just has to rehab like crazy and I’m sure he will bounce back and be an integral part in turning this ship in the right direction next season.

Leave a Reply