Some rumblings from around the AL East…
- The Blue Jays are preparing a pay increase of more than 50 percent for every player on Toronto’s eight minor league affiliates, Emily Waldon and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic report (subscription required). “It puts us right now up at the top of the scale in the industry,” VP of baseball operations Ben Cherington said. “My hope is it doesn’t stay that way. My hope is other teams eventually do the same….We just feel like it’s consistent with our values of trying to be a player-centered organization and give them every resource possible to be at their best.” The decision comes at a time when Major League Baseball has come under increasing scrutiny for the low salaries paid to minor leaguers, the large majority of whom didn’t receive signing bonuses nor will eventually go on to receive big contracts in the Show. The Athletic’s John Lott provides an estimated breakdown the Jays’ raise structure in another piece.
- It isn’t yet clear if Dustin Pedroia will be on the Opening Day roster, or if the longtime Red Sox second baseman could get more Spring Training prep time, MLB.com’s Ian Browne writes. Pedroia missed all but three games last season due to knee problems, first recovering from October 2017 surgery and then another knee procedure last July. With this in mind, the veteran has been brought along slowly this spring, appearing in four games and accumulating only seven plate appearances. Pedroia did play five innings in the field on Saturday, however.
- Between an eye towards his young Orioles roster, plus players who might come available as waiver pickups or minor league free agents, GM Mike Elias told reporters (including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com) that “we want to really delay final roster decisions as much as possible because we’re still gleaning information and we’re cognizant of the fact that all of that stuff is going to happen over the next seven days.” Elias has a particular interest in adding more pitching, though is generally just looking for whatever talent can be found at any position. After eight more cuts today, the Orioles are down to 39 players in their Major League camp.