AL Notes: Jays, DJ, Twins, Rosario, O’s, Mancini

The Yankees signed second baseman DJ LeMahieu to a two-year, $24MM contract going into 2019, but the division-rival Blue Jays were also after him then, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. Speculatively, with LeMahieu set to hit the open market again, it seems possible the Jays will circle back to him. He greatly upped his value in his two seasons in New York, leading MLBTR to predict he’ll receive a four-year, $68MM payday this offseason. MLBTR even chose Toronto as LeMahieu’s destination this offseason.

Here’s the latest on a couple more AL clubs…

  • The Twins could try to move outfielder Eddie Rosario this offseason, but the 29-year-old “has very little trade value” and is a clear non-tender candidate, Dan Hayes of The Athletic writes. Rosario was an above-average hitter with good power from 2017-20, a 2,002-plate appearance span in which he batted .281/.317/.493 (111 wRC+) with 96 home runs. Still, though, his projected arbitration salary (anywhere from $8.6MM to $12.9MM) could prove too rich for the Twins and all other teams. Minnesota also has two rising outfield prospects in Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach, so the team could save Rosario’s money with a non-tender and turn to one or both of those younger players in his stead.
  • With the offseason underway, general manager Mike Elias discussed several Orioles topics with Roch Kubatko of and other reporters Monday. Elias delivered great news on slugger Trey Mancini, who missed all of 2020 after undergoing Stage 3 colon cancer surgery in March. In regards to Mancini’s recovery, Elias said: “It’s going well. We’ve all got our fingers crossed. I think it’s going as well as it possible could have gone since we got that horrible news in March. I think any of us would have traded anything to get to Nov. 2 and be where we’re at with him right now. He’s doing well, he’s getting his strength back, he’s slowly getting into baseball-ish type activities and it’s been incredible.”
  • Elias seems to have high hopes for infielder Yolmer Sanchez, whom the Orioles claimed from the White Sox last week. “He can move around all three infield spots, he’s a plus defender, certainly at second and third, and probably a pretty good shortstop,” observed Elias, who added, “I can also see him battling for a primary job.” Sanchez hasn’t hit much during his career, which started in 2014, but he is indeed a well-regarded defender. He even won an AL Gold Glove at second base in 2019.

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