Some notes from around the league.
- The rumor de jour involves the Rays and Arizona right fielder Justin Upton. For reasons unknown, beyond Kevin Towers being aggressive in retooling his roster, the Diamondbacks are again considering trading their 25-year-old former star. Despite the perception that the younger Upton is a disappointment, he’s still managed to be a well above-average hitter over the past three seasons. That, along with the potential for more, is why the Rays are interested. The asking price is unclear, though the Diamondbacks did call about James Shields at the deadline.
- Speaking of Uptons, B.J. declined his qualifying offer. The Rays are in position to receive a draft pick once the older Upton signs elsewhere.
- Maicer Izturis, one of the players we outlined as a potential target, signed a three-year deal worth $9 million with the Blue Jays. It’s a longer deal than I anticipated him receiving. Izturis is penciled in as Toronto’s starting second baseman.
- Another target we’ve talked about in the past is San Diego catcher Nick Hundley. Unfortunately, Hundley may no longer be available. Earlier in the week, Yamani Grandal received a 50-game suspension after a test revealed increased levels of testosterone.
- Baseball America’s minor-league free-agent tracker is a bookmark-worthy tool. Will Rhymes is the only player that reached the majors last season. Others, like Nevin Ashley and Jay Buente, have seen the 40-man roster before. Outfielder Isaias Velasquez came over in the Juan Salas trade.