Free agent Edwin Jackson “intrigues” the Orioles

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Free agent left-hander Joe Saunders has already been linked to the Orioles and now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson also “intrigues” them.

Connolly speculates that Jackson will wind up with a four-year contract somewhere and notes that “the Orioles have been hesitant” to make that type of commitment to free agent pitchers in the past.

Because of that their focus may be on Saunders, who figures to be available cheaper and for a shorter commitment.

Jackson, much like Prince Fielder, is a Scott Boras client still on the market long after most of the other top free agents have signed, so gauging his remaining options is difficult.

Jackson threw 200 innings with a 3.79 ERA and 148/62 K/BB ratio last season and at age 28 is younger than most free agent starters, but he’s also pitched for six teams in the past seven seasons and owns a 4.46 career ERA.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.