There's been a few small news items over the past couple days that are worth sharing, including some rumors concerning fellow AL East teams. Enjoy!
Akinori Iwamura Heading Back to Japan
The details aren't out, but it sounds as though Aki will be heading back to Japan to play with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Aki had a pretty horrible year with the Pirates and Athletics, both offensively and defensively, so it's possible that he received a better offer from Rakuten than he figured he'd receive in the States. Even though we didn't see Aki this season, it'll be sad to have him leave the Majors. Although never a superstar, he was an above-average player during the majority of his time with the Rays and he was a fun guy to watch. Here's wishing him the best.
While this move has no real implications for the Rays, I find it interesting. The Jays emerged this year as a much better team than expected, and it sounds as though they're willing to make some moves and put some money into their team. I'm curious to see how the Blue Jays attack this off-season; will they try to make a push for legitimacy, or let their team develop as is? Uggla would fit their team's mold well (in short, he hits for lots of power), and the Jays might be able to acquire him for cheap since the Marlins are looking to off-load his salary.
Boston Making Victor Martinez a Priority
This rumor may have nothing to it, but I'm hoping it's real for a couple reasons:
1) It's easier to hate Victor Martinez when he's on the Red Sox.....or at least, it's more fun.
2) I love when the Rays run all over him. Stolen bases, here we come!
3) The Tigers have seemingly made Martinez their top off-season priority so if they don't get him, my assumption is it'd make them more desperate to sign Carl Crawford. And if the Tigers sign Crawford, it'd keep him away from the Angels and give us first-round compensation picks. Circuitous logic for the win.