In a column for SI.com, Jon Heyman discusses the new-look Rays, examining the team's chances in a competitive AL East. While one Rays person candidly acknowledges "we've got a lot of holes," the general consensus around baseball is that it would be a mistake to discount the defending division champs. Here are a few other highlights from Heyman:
- Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus has the Mets' second base job locked up "no matter whether they pretend there's still a competition ongoing."
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia seems ready to become a starting catcher in the bigs, says one scout. Even so, the Red Sox would like to add a third backstop, if one were available via trade, to start the year in the minors behind Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek.
- Heyman thinks Austin Romine may be the best bet for the Yankees' backup catcher opening. However, as we heard yesterday, Gustavo Molina continues to look like the favorite for the roster spot, according to Ben Shpigel of the New York Times. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports agrees, and suggests the role will be important, given potential concerns about Russell Martin.
- The Rangers made attempts to acquire a closer, but never came close to landing one, which resulted in Neftali Feliz keeping the job.
- Heyman adds Jorge Cantu's name to the list of possible fits at third base for the Marlins.