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AL East Notes: Sanchez, Red Sox, Beane, Orioles, Blue Jays

Gary Sanchez’s nightmarish 2020 season has turned him into a question mark for the Yankees moving forward, and the club at least considered turning the page earlier this year.  According to’s Mark Feinsand, “the Yankees were open to the idea of trading” Sanchez back in August prior to the trade deadline.  Given how adamant GM Brian Cashman has been about Sanchez not being a trade candidate in the past, this seems like a noteworthy shift in thinking, though not an unexpected one given how badly Sanchez struggled this season.

Feinsand included this news tidbit as part of a larger piece about J.T. Realmuto’s likeliest suitors this winter, with the Yankees ranked second on that list.  Signing Realmuto would be the biggest possible way to upgrade at catcher, but it isn’t clear if the Yankees are willing (or able) to make another huge spending splash in the wake of 2020’s major revenue losses.

More from the AL East…

  • Since front office hiring negotiations aren’t usually recreated as movie scenes, it is common knowledge that the Red Sox tried to lure Billy Beane away from Oakland in 2002.  However, the Athletic’s Evan Drellich (Twitter link) reports that the Sox made a much more recent overture for Beane’s services, asking the Athletics for permission to speak with Beane just last year when the Sox were looking for a new front office boss.  Chaim Bloom ended up being hired as the Red Sox chief baseball officer, though it’s possible Bloom could have been hired to work under Beane, as Red Sox ownership wanted “a senior voice for someone more inexperienced.”  As it turned out, Bloom became the top voice in Boston’s baseball operations pyramid and Beane remained with the A’s, though Beane’s future has become the subject of speculation in recent days.
  • The Orioles are looking to replace pitching coach Doug Brocail and third base coach Jose Flores, though’s Roch Kubatko hears that the team could look to fill the positions internally.  A source tells Kubatko that the team is “rearranging things” in the wake of the tumultuous 2020 season, and moving already-employed personnel into those coaching roles would be a way for the O’s to save money.  Beyond just the financial aspect, the Orioles are expected to be making some changes to their minor league coaching and developmental staffs as well, so internal promotions could be a part of those plans (not to mention keeping people within the organization if any of Baltimore’s farm teams are contracted).
  • The use of an alternate training site was an imperfect solution to the lack of a minor league baseball season, though some teams found some pluses to the approach.  As Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star writes, the adjustments made by such players as Alejandro Kirk and T.J. Zeuch allowed them to contribute at the big league level and become part of the Blue Jays’ plans for 2021.  While Jays GM Ross Atkins wants to see traditional minor league ball back, Atkins said “I do feel like we were able to make some really targeted progress” with prospects at the alternate site.  The Jays plan to carry over some developmental processes from the alternate site once minor league baseball eventually resumes.
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