Some rumblings from around the AL East…
- The Blue Jays “were after” Jay Bruce during the season and are likely to pursue the outfielder in free agency, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports. Bruce reportedly didn’t draw much trade interest prior to the July deadline, though the Mets were able to deal the slugger to Cleveland in August. It should be noted that the Jays were one of eight teams on Bruce’s no-trade list, so it could be that Bruce nixed the idea of moving to a team that was only on the outskirts of the AL wild card chase and never reached the .500 mark all season. The Jays’ inclusion on Bruce’s list also doesn’t necessarily mean he wouldn’t consider them as a free agent destination — given the Blue Jays’ past interest in his services, Bruce could have been trying to leverage some extra financial incentive in the event of another trade offer. MLBTR’s top 50 free agents list predicted a match between Bruce and the Jays, as Toronto is sorely in need of a right fielder and a big left-handed bat.
- The Red Sox asked the Rangers about Yu Darvish prior to the trade deadline, Evan Drellich of NBCSports.com reports. It seems like this was mostly a cursory check-in, as talks fizzled since the Sox weren’t interested in moving a Major League player and the Rangers weren’t too interested in Boston’s prospects. It could be argued that the Sox have enough injury uncertainty in their pitching staff to require adding another veteran arm this winter, though Darvish doesn’t seem like a fit in free agency due to his big price tag and Boston’s more pressing need for offensive help.
- Speaking of that search for bats, both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer are expected to draw attention from the Red Sox this winter, though “multiple evaluators around the game” tell the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier that Martinez will be the bigger priority of the two. Martinez has the more consistent track record of production, he won’t cost a draft pick in compensation (as Hosmer will have a qualifying offer attached) and he hits left-handed pitching better than Hosmer does, plus Hosmer’s excellent 2017 numbers may have been boosted by the good fortune of a .351 BABIP. As Speier notes, however, the Red Sox could also aim lower and address several needs with the money required to sign Martinez or Hosmer.
- Lorenzo Cain would be an upgrade for the Orioles but the club isn’t likely to pursue the outfielder in free agency, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko writes. Baltimore is going to focus on pitching this winter, and the team will be looking at left-handed hitters when it comes to addressing its lineup needs.