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AL East Notes: Cashman, Yankees, Orioles, Kim, Rays

Though Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ are all free agents, most of the speculation surrounding the Yankees has focused on position players (chiefly DJ LeMahieu) rather than pitching this offseason.  In an appearance on “The Front Office” on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio today, GM Brian Cashman said the Yankees “definitely feel like we need to try to address more certain innings because you don’t want to be in a position where you’re scrambling” for pitching due to injuries or other absences.  Whether those additions could come in the near future, however, is in question.

Cashman likes the Yankees’ in-house rotation candidates and suggested the team might wait beyond Opening Day to see what they really have in their current mix before exploring external pitchers.  This doesn’t appear to be their ideal scenario, as Cashman described this route as being a “way we’re forced to go because we don’t have the proper matches” in the marketplace, though the Yankees are “prepared” for such an event: “If I can add to what I have sooner than later, all the better.  If I have to wait to do it in season, so be itBut we also might have enough right here before us that’s just untested.”  It would seem like a risky tactic for New York given the number of apparent holes in its pitching staff, but if Domingo German can return to his past form after a suspension, or if Jordan Montgomery or Deivi Garcia are ready for regular turns in the rotation, what looks like a major need for veteran pitching could be reduced to perhaps one starter at most.

More from around the AL East…

  • Since Ha-Seong Kim is only entering his age-25 season, there has been some thought that his market could extend to teams who might still be at least a year away from contending (the Rangers, for example, are known to have interest).  However,’s Steve Melewski thinks “it sure seems unlikely” that the Orioles will make a bid for Kim since the O’s don’t seem to be planning any major expenditures.  Between contract and posting fee, MLBTR projects Kim to cost around $47.625MM this offseason, so Baltimore may not feel like making such an investment at this stage in its rebuild.
  • Since the Rays are open to at least listening to trade offers for Blake Snell,’s David Schoenfield adds an interesting wrinkle to the trade speculation — listing which five teams could conceivably acquire both Snell and Kevin Kiermaier in the same trade, thus allowing Tampa Bay to unload even more payroll.  Schoenfield’s five clubs have needs in both the rotation and in center field, or perhaps in the outfield in general in the cases of the Angels or Padres.  For those teams, Schoenfield opines that their current center fielders (Mike Trout and Trent Grisham) could be moved to a corner outfield slot to accommodate Kiermaier.
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