Here’s the latest from around the AL East…
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman talks to John Harper of the New York Daily News about the trades of Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and Andrew Miller to the Indians, deals that took quite a bit of preparation on the Yankees’ part as they looked to get maximum value for the two star relievers. Yankee scouts targeted certain players within the farm systems of the many organizations that had interest in Chapman and Miller, and Cashman wasn’t willing to budge from his high, and specific, asking prices. The two relievers are playing big roles in the postseason, and Cashman is rooting for a Chicago/Cleveland World Series matchup. “I want the teams that stepped up and made those trades to be rewarded for doing so. It would justify the action they took,” Cashman said. “I have absolutely no regrets about the deals we made — other than being in the position we were in. We did what we had to do, and hopefully everybody wins.”
- The Rays’ view of the postseason has to be more bittersweet, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes, given that Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman have their new teams fighting for the NL pennant. Both left following the 2014 campaign, and the Rays have since suffered two losing seasons. It’s still too soon to judge manager Kevin Cash or baseball operations president Matt Silverman, though Topkin wonders if the front office would’ve been better off under a traditional “baseball guy” type of executive, or at least a singular voice in charge rather than Silverman’s penchant for group decisions amongst his top lieutenants.
- Also from Topkin, he notes that Rays prospect Josh Lowe has been playing center field in Instructional League action and could take over the position on a full-time basis. Lowe, a Georgia high schooler selected 13th overall by the Rays in the 2016 draft, taken as a third baseman but has often been considered athletic enough to potentially handle an outfield role. Lowe was also a very accomplished pitcher, and MLB.com (which ranks Lowe as Tampa’s fourth-best prospect) notes in its scouting report that a return to the mound could be a possibility if Lowe doesn’t develop as a position player.
- Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis stands out as a future managerial candidate, though as Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald notes, the path to a big league managerial job isn’t an easy one for minorities. Drellich’s piece is well worth a full read, as it details both Davis’ coaching history and how Major League Baseball is taking steps to ensure that teams are giving minority candidates a fair look in hiring. Davis is under contract to the Red Sox for 2017, Drellich notes, though that wouldn’t be a big obstacle if one of the teams looking to hire a new skipper this winter made him an offer.
- The Orioles should issue a qualifying offer to Matt Wieters, CSNmidatlantic.com’s Rich Dubroff opines. Though Wieters had another below-average offensive year, Dubroff figures that he will still look to land a multi-year deal in free agency, especially now that Wilson Ramos’ injury has made Wieters the top catcher on the open market. There’s a chance Wieters could again accept the QO, and while $17.2MM is a high price tag for a catcher who has produced as little as Wieters has in recent years, Dubroff could see Wieters and Caleb Joseph providing a one-year bridge until prospect Chance Sisco develops as the longer-term answer behind the plate. If Wieters leaves, Dubroff suggests that the club could sign former Oriole Nick Hundley to team with Joseph.
- The Orioles should pursue an extension with Zach Britton rather than consider a trade, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko writes. Britton’s price tag will continue to rise through his final two arbitration years so there is some logic in dealing him now to both save money and sell high in the wake of Britton’s excellent season. On the flip side, Britton has been so tremendous as Baltimore’s closer that he could lock down ninth innings for the O’s for years to come.