The Yankees and Red Sox are among the seven teams this offseason that kept their closer but also added another team’s closer, ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes. “It’s been the wave. Let’s face it,” says Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who made a huge trade for Craig Kimbrel in November. “A lot of clubs have improved the depth in their bullpen. And it has paid off.” Of course, the most recent template for this kind of bullpen stockpiling came from the Royals, who rode a weak rotation and a dominant bunch of late-inning relievers to a World Series win last season. But Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo points out that the Reds’ “Nasty Boys” bullpen of a quarter-century ago was similarly potent. “We didn’t invent this,” he says. “[W]e just stumbled upon it.” Here’s more from the American League.
- Royals catcher Salvador Perez confirms that he and his team have been working on an extension, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com writes. Jon Heyman reported earlier this week that the two sides were working on a new deal. “I got my agents they are talking to. We’ll see,” says Perez. “We have to wait for it. I’m happy either way. I’m happy no matter what. I’m here to play the game.” Perez, of course, is signed to one of baseball’s most team-friendly contracts — he’s set to make just $2MM next season and then has three club options after that, none of them exceeding $6MM.
- The Rays’ offseason moves have focused on fixing an offense that finished 14th in the AL in runs scored last season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. The team’s recent additions of Corey Dickerson and Steve Pearce (to go along with Brad Miller and Logan Morrison, who they’d previously acquired) give the Rays a wider variety of offensive options. It remains to be seen, however, how they’ll deploy them. As Topkin points out, one victim of all the Rays’ additions could be first baseman James Loney. With Desmond Jennings, Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza in the outfield, Dickerson could play DH while Pearce and Morrison share first base.