The Blue Jays’ signing of lefty J.A. Happ strongly suggests that David Price won’t be returning to Toronto next year, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Price’s acquisition was emblematic of the go-for-broke approach former GM Alex Anthopoulos took, and it isn’t like new team president Mark Shapiro to make similarly dramatic, risky moves. Instead, Shapiro and interim GM Tony LaCava have addressed the Jays’ rotation needs more quietly, with the signing of Happ, the re-signing of Marco Estrada and their trade for Jesse Chavez. “We obviously had multiple holes to fill in our pitching staff, and our front-office team felt diversifying the risk among multiple pitchers who could start was important, both due to our need at the (big-league) level and our lack of Triple-A depth starting pitchers,” Shapiro says. Here’s more from the AL East.
- Happ wasn’t the same pitcher he was in Pittsburgh as he had been previously, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca writes. He allowed fewer walks, his velocity increased, and he leaned harder on his fastball, leading to a brilliant 1.85 ERA in 11 starts. The Blue Jays, then, will have to see if the adjustments Happ made in Pittsburgh can continue to help him.
- No one involved with sports negotiations likes the phrase “hometown discount,” but if Chris Davis is to return to the Orioles, he’ll have to give them that discount, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes. The Orioles believe they can make Davis a competitive offer, just not one quite as large as he might be able to get elsewhere. They can hope that such a competitive offer might be enough to lure Davis, a beloved player in Baltimore and a good fit at Camden Yards, to return. Davis’ agent Scott Boras might have something to say about that, of course, but as Connolly notes, the choice will ultimately be Davis’.
- Japanese righty Kenta Maeda could be one possibility for the Red Sox this offseason, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald writes. Maeda recently asked his NPB team, the Hiroshima Carp, to post him. With the Tigers, new Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wasn’t usually a top bidder for the best talents from abroad. The Sox, however, have signed top foreign players like Yoan Moncada, Rusney Castillo and Daisuke Matsuzaka, so perhaps they’ll be contenders for Maeda as well. Maeda could represent a lower-priced alternative to top free agents like Price and Zack Greinke.