SAN DIEGO -- A few notes from the American League All-Star media availability at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego:
Encarnacion, Jays are not in extension talks
Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who is a free agent after the season, re-affirmed that no talks about an extension are ongoing.
“No, nothing,” Encarnacion said when asked about talks. “We don’t talk anymore about that. We’re just waiting.”
Encarnacion and the Jays were said to be discussing a deal during spring training, but the All-Star has expressed an unwillingness to talk during the season.
Miller recognizes possibility of deadline trade
Yankees lefty Andrew Miller, arguably the top reliever available on the trade market, believes he could be dealt if the right offer comes along.
“What they’ve said is probably the truth,” Miller said. “If somebody blows them away, they’re going to take it. I don’t blame them. That’s the reality of it.”
Miller previously stated that he didn’t believe he would be dealt, though seems to have softened his stance since we last heard from him.
“I think they’ve been very honest with me,” Miller said. “I think the Yankees’ expectation is to win every year. I still think we have a chance and that they’re going to do everything that they can until otherwise, basically. I signed here to be a Yankee, I want to be a Yankee and I want to win as a Yankee. I understand it’s a business and understand that things happen.”
Vogt prepared for possible trade due to busy transaction history
Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt has been mentioned in trade rumors so far this summer, but is prepared for a move due to his nomadic baseball journey.
“You hear it,” Vogt said. “You pay attention to it but at the same time you try not to let it sink in. I think it’s a little easier for somebody like me who has gotten sent up and down a lot. You have to be able to separate, ‘OK, I’m here today.’”
“When you’re in the big leagues, you can’t be in Triple-A. When you’re in Triple-A, you can’t be in the big leagues. When you’re playing for the A’s, you can’t be anywhere else. You learn that over the ups and downs of the minor leagues. You learn that if your name is in this lineup today, this is where you’re playing. They might be talking about me, but that’s their job. My job isn’t to read that stuff. My job is to play. There’s obviously a ton of trade rumors going around our clubhouse right now. We don’t know who is going anywhere. We don’t know if they’re going to extend anybody or what they’re going to do. We don’t know any of that, so all we can control is playing that day for the team we’re on.”
Oakland is poised to be sellers for the second straight year after dealing Scott Kazmir, Ben Zobrist and Tyler Clippard before the deadline last season. Vogt said that the club is expecting another sale this year.
“Last year was tough because we traded[Scott] Kazmir when we were only seven games out of the Wild Card,” Vogt said. “We were playing our best baseball of the year. It’s a business, we understand that and we know that. But it’s tough to rebound when you trade your ace, your second baseman and your closer.”
“It’s not easy. We know who the guys are that have a chance to go. We really have a young core right now and if guys have to go, you hope to get guys who can impact the big-league club in the next couple years.”
Wieters ‘not a fan’ of qualifying offer that has him poised for big free-agent payout
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters made the surprising decision to accept the team’s 1-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November instead of taking the risk of hitting free agency after a down season.
“To be honest, I just thought it was the right decision for me,” Wieters said. “I’m not a big fan of the qualifying offer, but at the same time I had to just take what my best situation was. I didn’t feel like I had a healthy year the year before. I didn’t play to my full potential and thought another year of rest from the surgery would be good for me.”
Wieters said he had other short-term opportunities, but that Baltimore was his preferred spot all along.
“There’s no city I wanted to play out a one-year deal in other than Baltimore,” Wieters said. “I was comfortable with our staff, and our clubhouse is great. It came down to maybe a shorter deal somewhere else, and I said I’d rather have it turn into an eight or nine year deal in Baltimore as opposed to re-locate every couple of years.”
Wieters said that there have not been talks with the Orioles about a contract extension so far this season.
“No, there haven’t,” Wieters said. “The more time you get in the game, you realize nothing is for certain anyway. You’re just playing as well as you can. I’m just enjoying the time I’m having in Baltimore this year, which feels like an extra year added that may not have been there without the qualifying offer.”
Wieters is hitting .258/.310/.418 with nine home runs for the first place Orioles. He is again slated to hit free agency this winter, but has not put much thought into the impending process.
“I’m not really even thinking about it now,” Wieters said. “That’s the crazy thing. I was fortunate enough to have some peace over the decision as soon as I accepted the qualifying offer. My family is always what’s going to come first for me, and they’ve been more than happy in Baltimore again this year. We’ll see how it’s going at the end of the year.”
Desmond considering tough offseason a ‘blessing’
Rangers outfielder Ian Desmond signed a 1-year, $8 million deal with the club after what many believed to be a tough offseason for the former Nationals shortstop. Desmond, who has hit .322/.375/.524 with 15 home runs for Texas, refuses to look at the process (in which he turned down a qualifying offer of his own) as a negative.
“It was a blessing,” Desmond said. “It put me in a position to be where I’m at now, and I’m extremely grateful for that now.”
Desmond was asked if he would consider a long-term deal with the Rangers, but did not reveal much about his long-term plans.
“Right now, my mind is on winning ballgames,” Desmond said. “All that stuff will take care of itself in time.”