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AL Notes: Rays, Phillips, White Sox, Encarnación, Vaughn, Rodon, Gonzalez, Mazara

The Rays and Astros have roster decisions to make before their 10am deadlines. Both teams plan on adding a pitcher for the ALCS. For the Rays, Josh Fleming, Jose Alvarado, Ryan Sherriff, or even Brent Honeywell look like the top candidates to join the roster, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Brett Phillips, meanwhile, could be the odd man out now that Austin Meadows is back in the lineup. On the other hand, if the Rays choose to decide the roster spot by dance battle, Phillips should be safe. The former Royal and Brewer has appeared in four games this postseason, largely being used as a defensive replacement.

Now, lest we spend the entire evening on the postseason alone, let’s check in on a team that hopes to have these kinds of decisions to make in years to come…

  • The White Sox have some options pending after their most successful season in over a decade, and the Athletic’s James Fegan provides a rundown. One of the easier calls will be declining the $12MM club option on designated hitter Edwin Encarnación. It’s true that Encarnación didn’t exactly dazzle this year with a triple slash of .157/.250/.377, but more telling is GM Rick Hahn’s comment about #3 overall draft pick of the 2019 draft: Andrew Vaughn. Per Fegan, Hahn said, “Given his makeup and given his tools, it’s hard to look at him and rule him out of being able to help a team in the not too distant future.”
  • Like ships passing in the night, just as one #3 pick could soon embark on his White Sox career, another in Carlos Rodon could be nearing an end. The big lefty will be due at least a nominal raise on his $4.45MM contract, and there’s a decent chance that’s too rich given his inability to stay healthy. The White Sox will be looking for stability for their rotation now that their contention window has firmly opened. With that in mind, it’s likely they decline Gio Gonzalez’s $7MM option as well.
  • Perhaps the most surprising tidbit in the group is Fegan’s suggestion that Nomar Mazara is heading for a DFA. Not so shocking when considering his 42-game .228/.295/.294 line he put up across 194 plate appearances this year. But taking the long view, this certainly isn’t where the 25-year-old appeared to be heading when he made his debut in Texas as a 21-year-old.
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