Jose Iglesias

So, someone is going to have to be the AL Rookie of the Year, right?

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The AL fired off all its rounds with a 2012 rookie class that featured Mike Trout, Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, Jarrod Parker, Hisashi Iwakuma, Matt Moore, Tommy Milone and many others. This year, the strong rookie class is in the other league, with Shelby Miller, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Teheran leading the way and Yasiel Puig potentially putting in a charge.

The AL class, on the other hand, is extraordinarily weak 40 percent of the way through the season.

Here are all the AL rookies with 100 at-bats:

Aaron Hicks (CF Twins): .179/.249/.326, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 4 SB in 190 AB
Conor Gillaspie (3B White Sox): .248/.313/.360, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB in 161 AB
J.B. Shuck (OF Angels): .278/.324/.349, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 0 SB in 126 AB
Brandon Barnes (OF Astros): .282/.341/.419, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 4 SB in 117 AB
Robbie Grossman (OF Astros): .198/.310/.243, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB in 111 AB

Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias, hitting a completely unsustainable .446/.494/.581 in 74 at-bats, has been the league’s top position rookie so far. Still, the true rays of hope come in the form of the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar (.258/.315/.379 in 66 AB), the Twins’ Oswaldo Arcia (.255/.318/.449 in 98 AB) and the Mariners’ Nick Franklin (.250/.353/.455 in 44 AB).

The pitching side isn’t much better. Six AL rookies have made at least five starts so far:

Nick Tepesch (Rangers): 3-5, 3.92 ERA, 45/16 K/BB in 62 IP
Justin Grimm (Rangers): 5-3, 5.25 ERA, 51/20 K/BB in 60 IP
Dan Straily (Athletics): 3-2, 4.67 ERA, 44/15 K/BB in 52 IP
Brandon Maurer (Mariners): 2-7, 6.93 ERA, 32/17 K/BB in 49 1/3 IP
Pedro Hernandez (Twins): 2-1, 5.85 ERA, 17/10 K/BB in 32 1/3 IP
Brad Peacock (Astros): 1-3, 8.07 ERA, 23/17 K/BB in 29 IP

Those last three are all back in the minors now.

And while some relievers have enjoyed moderate success (Ryan Pressly, Preston Claiborne, Cody Allen and Alex Torres most notably), none of them are threatening for closing gigs. There doesn’t seem to be an Addison Reed or a Sean Doolittle in the bunch.

A couple of rookies will emerge as the year goes on. Tampa Bay’s Wil Myers should debut soon. Seattle called up Mike Zunino today. Profar and Arcia could force their teams to play them regularly. Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman and Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer could start fulfilling their potential, and maybe Bruce Rondon will yet factor into the closing mix for Detroit. Still, as of June 11, we’re probably looking at either Nick Tepesch or Jose Iglesias as the AL Rookie of the Year and that’s pretty hard to fathom.

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.