The latest from the American League East…
- While the Yankees have been trying to trade for a starting pitcher recently, Joel Sherman of the New York Post argues that the infield should be a greater priority for the club. The Yankees have a full complement of starters on hand, after all, while they’ve lost second baseman Starlin Castro and the third base duo of Chase Headley and Todd Frazier since last season. With that in mind, Sherman runs down a host of veteran infielders the Yankees could add either via free agency or the trade market. Notably, Sherman senses that the Yankees have never been bullish on free agent infielder Brandon Phillips, which would seem to rule out one potential target. Sherman goes on to suggest that the Yankees have had questions about whether Athletics infielder Jed Lowrie has the temperament to play in New York. So, while Lowrie looks like a prime trade candidate, it doesn’t appear he’ll end up in the Bronx.
- Rob Bradford of WEEI explains why the Red Sox’s interest in Orioles infielder Manny Machado is unlikely to lead to a deal, contending that the two sides don’t match up well in a trade. The Red Sox already have a quality shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, whom they could theoretically package with a pitcher(s) to land Machado, but that would perhaps be too risky on the team’s part. Machado is only under control for another season, while Bogaerts has two more years left. What’s more, the Red Sox don’t seem to have the high-level pitching to entice the Orioles, as Bradford notes that top prospects Jason Groome. Tanner Houck and Bryan Mata haven’t gotten past the Single-A level yet.
- The Red Sox haven’t participated in the robust relief market this winter, and it’s likely to stay that way until they have an answer on free agent slugger J.D. Martinez’s future, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald writes. If Martinez signs elsewhere, the Red Sox could use some of the money they were going to give him on relief help, observes Mastrodonato, who points out that their righty-heavy bullpen could use some balance. Tony Watson and Brian Duensing are among the top southpaw setup men currently without teams.