Here’s the latest from around the AL East…
- As of today, the Red Sox and Edwin Encarnacion’s representatives had yet to engage in serious negotiations, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports. Boston has often been cited as a logical landing spot for the free agent slugger, though Paul Kinzer (Encarnacion’s agent) recently said the Sox weren’t pursuing his client as aggressively as expected, and the club may have other targets in mind for the DH spot who would come at a cheaper price. The pro-Encarnacion argument for the Red Sox, Bradford notes, is simply that the long-term concerns may not outweigh the relatively safe value of adding his elite bat. “Because of his recent history, low-impact position, palatable age, and demeanor, it’s fair to suggest Encarnacion wouldn’t be one of those contracts that would make roster-building difficult to manage,” Bradford writes.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman says he has “a lot of teams asking me about” prospect Miguel Andujar, Brandon Kuty of NJ Advance Media reports. Andujar, 21, hit .273/.332/.410 with 12 homers over 570 plate appearances at the high-A and Double-A levels last season, performing significantly better at the lower level (.817 OPS in 251 PA) than the higher (.681 OPS in 319 Double-A PA), as one might expect. New York took big steps to reload its minor league system last year in the Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller trades, so it remains to be seen how eager the team is to deal Andujar or other notable prospects. If the Yankees were interested in moving a youngster for a proven big leaguer, however, it would stand to reason that they would move an intriguing but not upper-tier minor leaguer like Andujar than they would a blue chip prospect like Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier. MLB.com ranks Andujar as the seventh-best prospect in New York’s farm system.
- Outfield defense and catching depth continue to be offseason priorities for the Orioles, as Dan Duquette tells MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko. At the recently-concluded GM Meetings, Duquette said the O’s “talked to a couple of clubs about potential trades and then we talked to some agents” about catchers. With Matt Wieters hitting free agency, Baltimore has a big vacancy behind the plate, as light-hitting Caleb Joseph is currently the top backstop in the organization.
- Also from Kubatko, the Orioles have parted ways with Rick Peterson, the club’s director of pitching development for the last five seasons. A longtime coach and coordinator in both the majors and minors, Peterson is perhaps best known as a former pitching coach for the Athletics, Mets and Brewers between 1998-2010.
- Earlier today on MLBTR, some more Red Sox and Orioles items were included in an edition of East Notes.