AL East Notes: Benintendi, Kluber, Rays (www.mlbtraderumors.com)

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Despite all of the trade speculation swirling around Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox haven’t “reached a point of no return in trade talks,” The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier writes, and “there’s a solid chance, though not a guarantee” that Benintendi won’t be moved.  One of the obstacles preventing a deal is the number of quality left field options remaining in free agency, so a team in need at the position might prefer to just sign a longer-term answer, rather than swing a trade with the Sox for a player who is only under team control for two more seasons.  Speier notes that the Red Sox themselves could be such a team looking for a longer-term outfielder, and could explore the free agent market themselves if Benintendi is indeed dealt.

More from around the AL East…

  • Since over half the league sent scouts to watch Corey Kluber’s showcase event, it isn’t surprising that there was some significant money on offer for the veteran righty, who ended up signing with the Yankees on a one-year, $11MM deal.  Several teams made eight-figure offers, according to SNY.tv’s Andy Martino, and the Yankees’ offer wasn’t the most expensive contract on the table.
  • Kluber drew plenty of interest from elsewhere in the AL East, as Martino writes that the Blue Jays were one of the clubs “bidding aggressively.”  Speier sheds a bit more light on Kluber’s situation, noting that he “seemed most interested in a clean one-year deal” rather than a one-year contract with a 2022 option attached — a structure that would have perhaps been more appealing to the Red Sox, another team with legitimate interest in Kluber’s services.
  • The Rays also “made a very strong run” at Kluber, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.  With Kluber now off the board, Chris Archer is still under consideration as the Rays continue to look for veteran rotation help.
  • Also from Topkin, he provides health updates on Yonny Chirinos (Tommy John surgery) and Brendan McKay (shoulder surgery).  Chirinos has started to play catch, despite only undergoing his TJ procedure back in August.  While the early progress is a good sign, it would still be a surprise if Chirinos was able to pitch at all in 2021 given the usual timeline for Tommy John recovery.  McKay’s timeline isn’t as clear, as it was estimated last August that his labrum issue would keep him sidelined through at least the start of the spring.  However, Topkin reports that McKay is expected to “soon” start playing catch, which could give both the star prospect and the Rays a better idea of when McKay will be ready for the 2021 season.

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