David Lough Rumors

AL East Notes: Blue Jays, Orioles, Breslow

The Blue Jays only have about $9MM left to spend this offseason, Richard Griffin of TheStar.com writes. The team’s top priority is upgrading the bullpen, which means the Jays aren’t likely to spend most of that money on a second baseman or an additional bat. (Griffin notes on Twitter that the Blue Jays’ apparent lack of funds likely means they won’t get Stephen Drew, who has reportedly been asking for around $9MM.) Griffin suggests that GM Alex Anthopoulos might prefer to add a younger pitcher, which could limit the Jays’ interest in older free agent options like Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano or former team closer Casey Janssen. Instead, he could pursue trade options like Tyler Clippard, Tommy Hunter (although, as a reader points out, it does not seem likely that the Orioles would trade Hunter within the division), Tanner Scheppers, or one of any number of Athletics relievers. Here are more notes from the AL East.

  • The Orioles have recently been connected to Colby Rasmus, and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks at the repercussions for other Orioles outfielders, and especially David Lough, if the O’s were to acquire another left-handed outfielder. The main reason for keeping Lough was his ability to play center field, but Rasmus has played center throughout his career. Separately, Kubatko notes that the Orioles will need to open a 40-man roster spot shortly to clear space for Delmon Young.
  • After struggling in 2014, Craig Breslow took an unusual road back to the Red Sox this offseason, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes. “In terms of the process, it was exciting, it was unsettling,” says Breslow, who agreed to a one-year, $2MM deal to return to Boston after posting a 5.96 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 2014. “[E]veryone will go through a career with one season being their worst. Now, the fact that mine came on the cusp of free agency, that’s not how you draw it up.” Breslow attended the Winter Meetings and sat in on discussions between his agent, Bob Baratta, and various teams, explaining his tough year and making a case for himself. “Ultimately even teams we diverged from mentioned their appreciation for my involvement and that I had left an impression on them,” Breslow says.

AL Notes: Balfour, Indians, Yankees, Pettitte, Lough

Now that Grant Balfour appears to be back on the market after the collapse of his deal with the Orioles, a variety of AL teams could be interested, MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette notes (on Twitter). The Mariners, White Sox, Yankees and Rays could all make sense, and Duquette also tweets that the Indians could be a possibility as well. He notes that the Indians tried to sign Joaquin Benoit along with the already-signed John Axford, so Balfour might be another possibility in Cleveland. Here's more from around the big leagues.

  • The Yankees have announced a series of hires in coaching and player development, including former Royals manager Trey Hillman and Cubs manager Mike Quade. Hillman will serve as the Yankees' special assistant, major and minor-league operations. Quade will be their roving outfield and baserunning instructor.
  • The Yankees still need pitching, but it doesn't appear they'll be getting it from Andy Pettitte. GM Brian Cashman says Pettitte has "shut it down for good," Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Pettitte returned to the Yankees in 2012 after retiring for the first time following the 2010 season, but it looks like the Yankees won't be able to depend on that again. At 41, Pettitte posted a solid final season in New York in 2013, with a 3.74 ERA, 6.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 185 1/3 innings.
  • Outfielder David Lough is "ecstatic" to be with the Orioles, he tells MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. The O's acquired Lough for Danny Valencia on Wednesday. Lough says that, after the Royals acquired Norichika Aoki, he knew it was a possiblility they would deal him. "[M]y agent got a hold of me and told me that some clubs were interested in me and to kind of sit back and just expect to go to spring training and do what I've always done," says Lough.