5 Thoughts on the American League East
December 17th 2012 04:20
Photo: Kim Klement at US Presswire-USA Today sports
With the offseason in baseball hitting the pre-Christmas ebb and flow, I wanted to look at how the teams in the division are looking so far as we head towards the new year.
Baltimore: I'm a little suprised that they haven't done more to date. Thought that they might be a sleeper candidate for Josh Hamilton but they have remained decidely low key so far.
The Orioles figure to be players in the secondary free-agent market, looking for help at second base and potentially another starting pitcher.
Baltimore looks like they might be poised to take a small step back going into 2013 with the overall improvement of the division.
Boston: The offseason started promisingly enough with the team moving quickly to fire Bobby Valentine and work out compensation for John Farrell.
Other than signing David Ross and potentially Mike Napoli, the formula of over paying for free agents like Shane Victorino and Ryan Dempster is a little disappointing. Boston can't help be improve with Farrell at the helm, but they could still find themselves in last place in the division.
New York: To their credit, the Yankees moved quickly to resign Hiroki Kuroda and bring back Mariano Rivera for 2013. After the injury and surgery to Alex Rodriguez was announced, the Yankees moved to bring in Kevin Youkilis.
The real issue with the Yankees will be their age and their long stated desire to get under the luxury tax threshold for 2014, meaning that the Yankees will be very old next season with very little bench depth.
Tampa: Tampa has already made their big move for the winter, trading James Shields to the Royals for top prospect Wil Myers. The Rays are hoping the Myers will help bolster the struggling offense with Evan Longoria.
Cy Young winner David Price fronts a very solid rotation, so it will simply come down to whether the Rays can fill enough holes to generate some runs for thei top flight pitching.
Toronto: Toronto has won the offseason so far by acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle from the Marlins.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal is now reporting the team is closing in on trading for Mets ace and 2012 Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey.
The Blue Jays have definitely started to alter the landscape of the American League East. Right now Toronto would have to be looked at as the favorite in the division, a swift change from last season.
Given the competitive nature of the teams, it is possible that all five teams will contend next season. 90 wins just might win the division next season if all of the teams play towards their potential.
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