After chronicling some Blue Jays notes earlier today, let’s take a look around the rest of the American League East…
- “Unless something completely unanticipated happened,” Dave Dombrowski figures the Red Sox will halt all extension talks by Opening Day, the team president of baseball operations told the media (including Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com). Most players like to have any negotiations wrapped up before the actual games begin, with Dombrowski also citing his preference for a lack of distractions. Xander Bogaerts, Rick Porcello, and potentially J.D. Martinez (if he exercises an opt-out clause) are all scheduled for free agency after the season. Talks with Bogaerts earlier this winter failed to materialize into an extension, while the Sox hadn’t yet discussed a new contract with Porcello as of late February. Of course, the Red Sox already took care of one major 2019-20 free agent by inking Chris Sale to a new deal that will keep the southpaw in Boston through the 2024 season.
- Rays third baseman Matt Duffy is likely headed to the IL to begin the season, manager Kevin Cash told reporters (including Eduardo A. Encina and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). Duffy has been bothered by a hamstring problem for much of the spring, and will have tests done after he was a late scratch from today’s game lineup. The versatile Rays shouldn’t have much of a problem filling in for Duffy in the short term, as Joey Wendle, Yandy Diaz, and Daniel Robertson are all options at third base. Encina and Topkin also think that Duffy’s injury could open the door for Guillermo Heredia to break camp with the team, unless the Rays choose to use the roster spot on an extra pitcher.
- The Yankees are considering including C.C. Sabathia on their Opening Day roster in order to immediately get the veteran lefty’s five-game suspension out of the way, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. Sabathia is already slated for a stint on the injured list as he recovers from an offseason angioplasty and a knee operation, though he would head to the IL after the first five games are up. The downside for the Yankees is that they would have to play with just 24 active players during the course of Sabathia’s suspension, though there is an off-day within those first five games if any pitchers need some early recovery.