With Rick Porcello and Chris Sale suddenly looking like the only healthy and reliable members of the Red Sox starting five, Boston’s rotation is “a house of cards,” in the words of CSNNE.com’s Evan Drellich (video link). Lou Merloni, Jared Carrabis, and Drellich discuss Boston’s lack of pitching depth in the wake of David Price’s season-opening DL stint and Drew Pomeranz having to leave an outing today due to left triceps tightness. The controversial circumstances of the Red Sox/Padres deal that brought Pomeranz to Boston last season are also revisited, with Carrabis noting that “the trade looks like it keeps getting worse every single day” from the Sox perspective given Pomeranz’s ongoing injury problems.
Here’s more from around the AL East…
- Brian McCann has nothing but fond memories of his time with the Yankees, though he told Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media that being traded to the Astros represents “a best-case scenario for both sides.” McCann was willing to waive his no-trade protection in order to join “a team filled with talent…young talent that’s going to be together for a while” that would allow him to regularly catch, while the Yankees were clearly going with Gary Sanchez as the catcher of both the future and the present. “You’ve got to see what you have, and what they have is a very talented catcher that is going to be there for a long time,” McCann said, noting that he himself displaced a veteran catcher (Johnny Estrada) when he first broke into the bigs as a rookie with the Braves in 2005.
- Players face a big decision when presented with the opportunity to sign an early-career extension, as Evan Longoria and Jake Odorizzi of the Rays tell Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Longoria’s first extension with the Rays (a six-year, $17.5MM deal signed just a week into his big league career) drew some criticism at the time, though Longoria saw it as a chance to “have this security for myself and my family and just play and relax.”
- Odorizzi, meanwhile, passed on a discussed extension with the Rays two offseasons ago. Topkin reports that the proposed extension would have been a six-year deal worth close to $30MM in guaranteed money, with over $20MM more available via two additional club option years. Such a deal would’ve covered at least two of Odorizzi’s free agent seasons and potentially kept him under team control through his age-33 season. Odorizzi doesn’t regret turning down the extension, saying “sometimes it boils down to, and I hate to say it, but the dollar amount. We all know the money in this game and the value of players and what your value is. And sometimes it just doesn’t match up. That’s just the circumstances.”
- The Blue Jays hope to gain a competitive advantage with their high performance department, as Sportsnet.ca’s Arden Zwelling takes a look inside the all-encompassing plan dedicated to keeping players physically and mentally prepared year-round. Club president Mark Shapiro hired sports psychologist Angus Mugford last year to create the high performance department, which has now grown into a 43-person staff consisting of fitness trainers, dieticians, mental coaches, and more. The department’s focus on each player’s individual status helped the Jays decide to keep Aaron Sanchez in the rotation last season, as since Sanchez had so diligently been keeping himself in good condition, there was less fear that he would wear down after throwing so many innings.