Here’s the latest from around the AL East…
- The White Sox have been scouting Yankees prospects in regards to a potential Jose Quintana trade, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The two clubs have been linked in Quintana trade rumors though there isn’t any movement as per the latest reports, since New York doesn’t want to part with its top minor leaguers. The Yankees have been seen as a logical target for Quintana due to the lack of certainty in their rotation beyond Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and C.C. Sabathia, and even that top trio can’t be considered locks due to each pitcher’s injury history. It makes sense that the Sox would keep doing its due scouting diligence on the Yankees and other potential Quintana suitors should a team make a renewed push for a deal before Spring Training is out.
- The Rays would likely be interested in Derek Norris if the catcher is indeed released by the Nationals, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The Nats waived Norris yesterday, and obviously the Rays would like to avoid paying the $4.2MM they would owe Norris by simply claiming him. Newly-signed Rays catcher Wilson Ramos will begin the year on the disabled list and will require quite a bit of DH time as he eases back from knee surgery, so Tampa could offer Norris a significant amount of playing time, if not quite a full-time gig behind the plate. Curt Casali, Jesus Sucre, Michael McKenry and Luke Maile are the Rays’ current internal catching options.
- In another piece from Topkin, he looks at the ever-present trade speculation that seems to swirl around Evan Longoria, no matter how much the third baseman insists that he wants to remain with the Rays for the rest of his career. With the Rays front office constantly looking to keep payroll stable and reload with young talent, trading Longoria (who is owed $100MM through 2022) would seem like a logical step if the club ever embarks on a full-fledged rebuild. Topkin notes that Longoria is on track to receive 10-and-5 rights in April 2018, which would give him the right to reject any proposed trade. The Rays could therefore look to deal him before then, Topkin opines, or perhaps they could wait until they finalize a new stadium deal.
- A reunion between Brett Lawrie and the Blue Jays “would be a shock,” MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm opines as part of a reader mailbag. In Chisholm’s view, the only path to Lawrie’s return to Toronto would be if second baseman Devon Travis “suffers a major setback” in his recovery from knee surgery. That scenario isn’t entirely out of the question given that Travis’ availability for Opening Day seems to be in doubt, though Lawrie himself is dealing with some injury concerns and wants to get healthy before pursuing a new contract. The Jays, Rays and Royals all had some interest in Lawrie after his release from the White Sox, with the Mets also linked but reportedly not overly intrigued.