Beyond the obvious rebuild with which they’re faced, the Orioles have numerous behind-the-scenes questions to answer this offseason, writes Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link). Longtime owner Peter Angelos has ceded day-to-day operations of the club to sons John and Louis, but the league is still unclear who the new “control” person of the team is at this point. The O’s will also have to make a determination on whether to retain longtime general manager Dan Duquette and/or manager Buck Showalter, as each will see his contract expire at season’s end. Beyond that, the ongoing MASN television rights fee battle with the Nationals will likely have an arbitration hearing in front of a panel of fellow MLB owners in November.
More from the AL East…
- Despite the Yankees’ recent struggles, owner Hal Steinbrenner voiced support for rookie manager Aaron Boone in a statement to George A. King III of the New York Post. “Aaron Boone has done a good job dealing with all these moving parts and certainly has the respect of the players,” Steinbrenner said in an email to King. He goes on to acknowledge that injuries have impacted the team significantly — Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Aroldis Chapman have all been on the disabled list — but emphasizes that the organization “has been happy with the choice” of Boone as the replacement for longtime skipper Joe Girardi.
- Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez exited Thursday’s game due to soreness in his right knee, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo — the same knee that plagued him late in the 2017 season and into the American League Division Series, where he had to be helped off the field. Nunez recently told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that the knee has been an ongoing issue for him in 2018 but was getting “close” to 100 percent. That doesn’t seem to be the case now, though Cotillo notes that skipper Alex Cora said the team doesn’t believe Nunez’s current injury to be serious. Nunez will be held out of tonight’s game and re-assessed this weekend. He’s struggled to a .262/.287/.387 batting line through 486 plate appearances this season and has a player option for the 2019 season that increased from $4MM to $5MM when he took his 400th plate appearance (as first reported by Bradford).
- Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi takes a thorough look at a crowded Blue Jays roster in previewing some of the decisions the Jays will have to make this offseason. They’ll only lose two players (Tyler Clippard and Marco Estrada) to free agency, and their 40-man spots will be filled by Troy Tulowitzki from the 60-day DL and eventual trade acquisition Julian Merryweather (the PTBNL in the Josh Donaldson trade). The Jays have an arbitration class of nine players without any real non-tender candidates, and there are numerous prospects who still need to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. Davidi speculates that former prized prospect Dalton Pompey could be on the bubble, as he’s dealt with myriad injuries that have sapped his production and was also suspended this season due to an altercation with his manager in Triple-A.