The Rays are in a tough spot with utility fielder Ben Zobrist, writes Richard Justice of MLB.com. On the one hand, big seasons from a couple key personnel could allow the Rays to compete in the AL East. Tampa Bay is accustomed to competing in a tough environment with under-the-radar talent. However, Zobrist is a free agent after 2015. One of GM Matt Silverman’s top tasks is to buff the farm system, and a Zobrist trade could certainly contribute. FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan points to Jason Heyward as a comparable trade piece.
- The Yankees are heading in an odd direction – they’re getting younger, writes FanGraphs’ Drew Fairservice for FOX Sports. While the Bronx Bombers have a history of leaning on established veterans, they’ll turn to a number of relative unknowns in 2015. Among those are shortstop Didi Gregorius, second baseman Rob Refsnyder, and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. The result is a highly volatile roster. We could witness an unexpectedly competitive season if the ball bounces the right way, but the Yankees could also end up in the basement. Not everything depends on youngsters. The club could use a “dead cat bounce” from a number of its veterans like Brian McCann, C.C. Sabathia, and Carlos Beltran.
- The Red Sox are beyond the $189MM luxury tax threshold for next season, reports the Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber. While owner John Henry said he’d blow past the threshold for Jon Lester, it’s unclear if he’ll do the same for lesser talents. The Sox could still benefit from an ace, so expect GM Ben Cherrington to monitor the markets of Max Scherzer, James Shields, and Phillies trade target Cole Hamels.