The Yankees are likely to pursue righty Jeff Samardzija in free agency, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. He’s viewed by the organization as a competitor who could be had at a nice price given his forgettable 2015 campaign. Of course, the 30-year-old could see interest from a variety of other clubs for the same reasons. He’ll be one of the more interesting players to watch in free agency.
Here are few more AL East notes:
- Red Sox lefty Brian Johnson made one big league start this year, but shortly after was shut down with elbow issues. But he’s back to throwing again, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports, and appears to be structurally sound. “They said my UCL [ulnar collateral ligament] was like I hadn’t even pitched,” Johnson said. “It was really, really good. It was nothing ligament-related.” The hope is that the 24-year-old will be ready for a normal spring. Given his strong results at Triple-A before the elbow difficulties arose, he remains an interesting near-future piece for a team that also has Eduardo Rodriguez and Henry Owens showing promise early in their big league careers.
- Another Orioles right-handed pitching prospect is dealing with early-career injury woes, as Branden Kline had Tommy John surgery yesterday, according to Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. A second-round draft pick in 2012, Kline missed much of the year as he attempted to avoid the procedure. He pitched to a 3.66 ERA over 39 1/3 Double-A innings on the year before being shut down.