Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald looks up and down the Red Sox’ roster in his latest column, attempting to pin who will remain with the club this offseason. While there is, of course, no definitive way of being certain, Silverman notes that much of the bullpen could be on its way out the door, and he also feels that it’s more likely the Sox will focus their efforts on finding a taker for Hanley Ramirez than for Pablo Sandoval. Assuming Boston brings in a top-flight pitcher, he feels one of Henry Owens or Joe Kelly could become trade bait on the strength of strong second halves, and he opines that while there’s no definitive need to trade an outfielder, Jackie Bradley is probably the likeliest of the current starters to be moved if dealing one of the three is necessary to bolster the rotation. Rich Hill seems likely to return, he writes, and he echoes recent reports stating that if all goes well with Clay Buchholz’s final bullpen sessions, the Sox will pick up his $13MM option for the 2016 season.
Here’s more from the AL East…
- It once seemed like a foregone conclusion that Matt Wieters would receive a qualifying offer from the Orioles, writes Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com, but the 29-year-old’s sub-par numbers since returning from Tommy John surgery have cast some doubt on the situation. Melewski personally feels the QO is now an unlikely scenario, as Wieters has hit just .251/.291/.395 and may still be feeling some lingering effects of his operation. I’d counter by stating that I can’t envision a Scott-Boras-represented, prime-aged catcher being the first player to ever accept a QO, and at least one crude barometer of his elbow’s health — his 31 percent caught-stealing rate — suggests that it’s holding up fairly well. Wieters hasn’t had the season that he, his agent or the team hoped, but he’d still be a lock to turn down the offer, in my eyes. Whether or not the Orioles make the offer is another story.
- Sunday may have marked the last home start that Mark Buehrle will with the Blue Jays, writes Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, but neither Buehrle nor the team is focused on looking that far into the future right now. Davidi notes, though, that there’s a possibility that Buehrle will retire this winter, and some feel that if he does pitch in 2016, his preference is to be closer to his home in Missouri. Whatever the future holds, Davidi continues, the Jays have been rewarded for their acquisition of Buehrle back in 2012; the veteran has not only delivered solid on-field results, he’s served as a mentor for Marcus Stroman and Drew Hutchison. Asked about any emotion he felt Sunday, Buehrle delivered a calm response: “If I announced my retirement at the beginning of the year, then maybe that would be something different, but I still don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ll go home and think about it, and if it is my last start here, then that’s something I’ll be sentimental about on my couch in the off-season.”