Players aren’t the only ones hurt by the qualifying offer system, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who uses the Rays as an example of a team that is in a position to add an impact free agent right now (Ian Desmond) but don’t feel comfortable doing so due to the importance of the No. 13 overall selection to the organization. Not only would the Rays be sacrificing that top pick, of course, they’d also be forfeiting the sizable portion of their draft bonus pool stems from owning that pick.
A few more notes pertaining to the AL East…
- While much has been made of the Orioles’ questionable rotation (understandably so), Rosenthal tweets that the O’s are still also looking at right field upgrades. While the team’s preference is to sign an everyday right fielder, they may simply go with a left-handed bat that can serve as a platoon partner for Dariel Alvarez, he notes. (I’ll add that Nolan Reimold, also on the 40-man roster, strikes me as a perhaps better bet to be the other half of a platoon, but either player could capably fill that role.) Rosenthal lists Will Venable and David Murphy as options, both of whom make sense in the scenario he described.
- MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko also examines the Orioles’ right field situation, noting that the team’s focus is indeed on finding a left-handed bat. Per Kubatko, there’s no reason to eliminate Murphy or Venable from the list of possibilities, as Murphy has been someone the O’s have liked for years. Meanwhile, the Orioles actually thought they had a trade for Venable completed before he went to the Rangers this past summer, according to Kubatko. He also lists David DeJesus and Matt Joyce, although those seem more speculative in nature.
- The Orioles have inquired with right-hander Tim Lincecum’s camp about his health, reports Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. While their specific level of interest isn’t known, Encina notes, it stands to reason that the O’s would have some interest in watching Lincecum work out later this month as the team eyes rotation upgrades that could come at a reasonable cost. Encina points out, however, that the Orioles have been comfortable with incentive-laden minor league deals in recent years (e.g. Johan Santana), but Lincecum is seeking a Major League deal.
- Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz was a guest on Rob Bradford’s podcast at WEEI and told Bradford that there was a time this offseason when he thought the Sox were going to trade him. “[David Price is] the horse that every team wants to have on their staff,” said Buchholz. “But given you do have someone like that, there obviously has to be one person that’s out of the mix. I was actually on the phone with Wade Miley talking about the whole Seattle thing, because my name was involved in that, and obviously his name.” Buchholz said that there was a week to two-week period where he was “non-stop texting” his agent for updates on the situation. In the end, however, Miley was the one traded to the Mariners, whose new GM, Jerry Dipoto, was the D-backs’ scouting director back when Miley was drafted.