The Orioles, Rays and Blue Jays are among the teams that face a critical decision this offseason, writes MLB.com’s Mike Petriello. All three are looking up at a stacked pair of rosters in Boston and New York, and there’s an argument to be made that each of the three should rebuild rather than make an aggressive push to contend in 2018. The Orioles and Jays are set to lose Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson to free agency next winter, while the low-payroll Rays have already been forced to trade Evan Longoria largely for fiscal reasons and have yet to see this core group realize its full potential. What truly matters for bubble teams of this nature, though, is simply making a definitive call, Petriello argues. With so many incentives (in terms of talent acquisition) for teams at the bottom of the league, rebuilding toward a brighter future or aggressively “going for it” are more logical routes for each of these teams than merely executing half-measures that will result in another middle-of-the-pack finish, Petriello posits.
- Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun checks in on some pitchers that’ll have the opportunity to make an impression on the Orioles at this week’s minor league mini-camp. While 40-man players aren’t required to attend the event, some will nonetheless be on hand, including righty Miguel Castro — the reliever-turned-starter that’ll head to Spring Training out of minor league options. Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes, too, is getting a look from coaches and Orioles decision-makers. Meoli notes that Cortes appears headed for a long relief role if he’s able to crack the big league roster out of Spring Training — not uncommon for pitchers selected in the Rule 5 Draft. Others of note include Tanner Scott, Yefry Ramirez and Chris Lee.