AL East Notes: Red Sox, Yankees, Ottavino, Trumbo, Bleier

We’re all familiar with the “mystery team” as a Hot Stove idiosyncrasy, yet what about a “mystery player?” Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston composes that the Red Sox have been discussing an agreement augmentation with a core player, however he includes that it’s “unclear” which player has been the focal point of those discussions. Drellich takes note of that there doesn’t seem, by all accounts, to be anything at present works with Mookie Betts, Chris Sale, Xander Bogaerts or J.D. Martinez and speculatively recommends Andrew Benintendi could be the player in question. The 24-year-old Benintendi has batted .282/.359/.447 with 38 homers and 42 steals through his initial 333 games at the MLB level in a little more than two seasons. He’s logged two years and 62 days of MLB service time, which means he won’t be qualified for arbitration until next offseason and can be controlled through 2022.

As appeared in MLBTR’s Extension Tracker, Mike Trout’s $144MM contract is the record for an outfielder with somewhere in the range of two and three years of service, although while Benintendi’s two or more years with the Red Sox have been strong, he clearly doesn’t have so strong a case as Trout did in 2014. Progressively significant correlations likely include Kevin Kiermaier’s six-year, $53.5MM deal the Rays and the respective five-year contracts inked by Ender Inciarte ($30.525MM) and Odubel Herrera ($30.5MM) with the Braves and Phillies. It’s significant, however, that both Kiermaier and Inciarte were Super Two players, and Benintendi will fall shy of that distinction.

Here’s additional from the AL East to help kick off the week…

The Yankees brought Zach Britton back into the fold over the weekend, yet MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal indicated on the air this morning that the Yankees are additionally as yet conversing with free-agent righty Adam Ottavino about an agreement. Including both Britton and Ottavino, a New York local who’s been fixing to the Yankees all through the offseason, would make for a dynamic matching with incumbent back-end choices, for example, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green and Dellin Betances, hthough presumably the addition of Britton at least somewhat lessens New York’s urgency when negotiating with Ottavino.

Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com gives reports on a couple of harmed Orioles: designated hitter Mark Trumbo and left-hander Richard Bleier. The two players are relied upon to be prepared for Opening Day, per new GM Mike Elias, however Trumbo’s case is somewhat murkier. The veteran slugger underwent surgery to a hole in the cartilage in his correct knee — a procedure like the operation Dustin Pedroia had in Oct. 2017 — the lingering impacts of which restricted Pedroia to only three games in 2018. Trumbo has not yet advanced to running but rather feels that the quality in his knee is “where it needs to be” and includes that he is largely pain-free at this juncture. Bleier, meanwhile, suffered a grade 3 lat tear in his pitching shoulder in June yet has advanced to throwing off level ground without pain. His next step will pitch off a mound. Kubatko additionally talked to both players about their early impressions of new skipper Brandon Hyde, which should be of particular interest to O’s fans.

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