As Curtis Granderson gets set to return to the Yankees lineup, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes that the club surprisingly doesn't need him. The strong play of Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, and Travis Hafner has given the offense a major boost in the absence of Derek Jeter, Kevin Youkilis, and others, putting them atop the division with a 24-14 record. Here's more from the American League East..
- Jair Jurrjens will make his Orioles debut against the Rays on Saturday to fill in for the injured Wei-Yin Chen, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The pitcher posted a 3.14 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 across eight starts in Triple-A and had an opt out date of June 15th. The Orioles can open a 40-man roster spot for Jurrjens by transferring Brian Roberts to the 60-day DL, notes Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
- More and more teams are realizing that it makes sense to gamble earlier lock up young players for the long-term and Joel Sherman of the New York Post thinks the Yankees need to reconsider their policy of going year-to-year. The Yankees are trying to lower their payroll and one way to do so is to gain cost certainty with deals like the one Anthony Rizzo received from the Cubs.
- Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Beeston isn't ready to give up on the team this season, writes Chris Toman of MLB.com. He also isn't ready to give up on the coaching staff. "We started out at 12-24 and made a managerial change, but we're not going to do that right now," Beeston said. "I think you look back at 1989 and just look back at what can be after what was. I think we have a very good team and a better team than our record."
- Speaking of Toronto, the Blue Jays are the leaders to sign Venezuelan shortstop Yeltsin Gudino, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America. Gudino is a well-rounded talent who has also received serious interest from the Rangers and A's in the past.
- Kubatko ran Carlos Zambrano's name past someone in the Orioles organization and got a less-than-enthusiastic response based on the pitcher's past behavior and baggage.
- Rizzo's absence is being felt in the Red Sox organization as the club has long-term questions at first base, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com.