Middle relievers like Javier Lopez and Joe Smith have commanded eight-figure multiyear contracts in free agency, so teams looking for less-expensive relief help could turn to the Blue Jays as trade partners later this offseason, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi writes. "My early sense of the relief market is that it could be a very lucrative one for the players, and I think the value of our players and our relievers is actually going to climb," Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos recently said. Toronto has a surplus of bullpen arms ranging from closer candidates like Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos or Brett Cecil to out-of-options swingmen like Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond.
Here's the latest from around the AL East…
- The Blue Jays' payroll won't be affected by Rogers' recent $5.2 billion purchase of NHL television rights for its cable networks, Rogers Media president Keith Pelley told Jeff Blair on The Fan 590 Radio (partial transcript from Sportsnet.ca's Jeff Simmons).
- Scott Feldman could accept a two-year contract with an option on a third year, sources tell MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. There is mutual interest between Feldman and the Orioles, and since the team isn't willing to give him more than two years, the option year could be a nice compromise. Feldman recently said that his market was slow in developing, though around half the teams in baseball had checked in with his agent. Besides the Orioles, the Twins and Yankees have also been linked to Feldman in rumors.
- Also from Kubatko, "not everyone in the [Orioles] organization is convinced that [Jim] Johnson will be on the Opening Day roster next year." The O's are known to be listening to offers for their closer, though as Kubatko notes, listening on Johnson is different from openly shopping him.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier does a position-by-position breakdown of the Red Sox depth, noting that the club's strong bench and minor league reinforcements were a big reason for Boston's success in 2013.
- In other AL East news from earlier today, we collected some Yankees items as part of a New York Links post.