After acquiring Randal Grichuk earlier today, the Blue Jays appear slated to utilize him as the primary option in right field, GM Ross Atkins tells Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter links). That said, the team believes it can play Grichuk in any of the three spots, with that versatility increasing his appeal. What’s of greater interest, perhaps, is what the move means for the rest of the unit. It’s possible, Atkins suggests, that the Jays will entertain negotiations with other organizations regarding Steve Pearce and Ezequiel Carrera, though the team is also open to sporting a five-outfielder mix on the Opening Day roster.
Here’s more from the AL East:
- Red Sox chairman Tom Werner acknowledged today that the organization is engaged in active talks with free agent slugger J.D. Martinez, as Tim Britton of the Providence Journal was among those to report on Twitter. While noting that “it takes two” sides to get a deal done, Werner certainly gave plenty of reason to believe that the Boston organization isn’t done adding to its roster. Of course, the interest in Martinez is longstanding and well known; earlier today, it emerged that the Sox have made an offer of $25MM annually over a five-year term.
- Infielder Eduardo Nunez has worked out for the Red Sox, per Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald. We learned earlier today about developing interest in the utilityman, who thrived in a brief, injury-shortened stretch in Boston in 2017. Nunez has long seemed likely to draw wide interest after three straight seasons of average or better production at the plate, but understandably has seen a quiet market to this point while recovering from a knee injury. Now that he has been cleared for activity, Nunez can try to max out his value. Entering the winter, MLBTR predicted that Nunez would command two years and $14MM.
- The Rays are far from done with their own winter tinkering, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Trimming payroll and accounting for a few open spots on the roster will still take place, says Topkin, even if it has been quiet of late in Tampa Bay. There are still quite a few potential moving pieces for the Rays, whether or not the team ends up pulling off deals involving some of its best remaining veteran trade assets.
- This one won’t exactly boil the tea kettle sitting atop the hot stove, but it’s worth noting nevertheless. The Orioles are still looking for veteran catching after agreeing to bring back Audry Perez on a minors deal, says Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). As things stand, top youngster Chance Sisco will enter camp as the favorite to share time with Caleb Joseph. But there’s time yet for the team to address its overall depth situation — perhaps, in a manner that creates real competition for Sisco, who did not exactly dominate offensively at Triple-A in 2017 (.267/.340/.395 in 388 plate appearances). Meanwhile, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun looks at the O’s options for utility infielders.