Here's the latest out of the American League East:
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday.com quotes Rays' VP Andrew Friedman and suggests B.J. Upton is next up to be extended by the club known for getting their stars' extensions done early.
- The Tampa Bay Rays have signed 22 players and have renewed Jeremy Hellickson's contract, according to Bill Chastain of mlb.com.
- Joel Sherman of the NY POST profiles A-Rod's off-season program, noting its design has NBA origins.
- The talent-laden Toronto Blue Jays appear primed to take advantage of Major League Baseball's new postseason format, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.
- Peter Schmuck of the Boston Herald notes that the Baltimore Orioles are nearing a decision on who should be their closer: "Settling on the seven pitchers who will pitch out of the bullpen — and determining their roles — should be simpler, but not much. There really are only two closer candidates, Jim Johnson and Kevin Gregg, and it’s possible Gregg could be traded if Johnson’s back is 100 percent."