For as long as I can remember the AL East has been the toughest division in baseball, and I’m Old.  during its 50-year existence, an AL East team has gone on to play in the World Series 27 times, and 16 of those teams have been crowned World Series champions. Since the 1995 season, when the wild-card playoff berth was introduced, the AL East has produced 20 of the 31 wild-card teams for the American League. Criticisms below be damned. this division could boast two 100 and as last year four 90 win teams.  Yes I’m older than the AL East.

Boston Red Sox

Last season: 92-70 | Key additions: Trevor Story (2B), Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF), Rich Hill (P), Michael Wacha (P) | Key subtractions: Eduardo Rodriguez (P), Hunter Renfroe (OF) Kyle Schwarber (D.H.)

The Upside : Trevor Story is going to rake at Fenway, the only downside to this move has been watching him bat sixth on the lineup vs Righties. Jackie Bradley Jr. still possess the best OF glove in the game. And as it stands now Boston has one of if not the best slugging infields in baseball. Bobby Dalbec’ swing has looked ungodly good this spring adding to the potent crew. While the outfield may not match the dirt diggers at the plate they have the glove. ALL the Glove. and Enrique Suave 

 

The Downside:  Let’s just state facts. Story would make a larger impact if he played shortstop and Bogaerts was moved to second base. Bloom missed his chances to upgrade the starting rotations depth after losing E-Rod with cheap signings like Rich Hill, Michael Wacha and James Paxton. When legit top end guys were available. And with the resources he has? It’s inexcusable. Now Sale is on the Shelf. AGAIN. 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

Last season: 91-71 | Key additions: Kevin Gausman (P), Yusei Kikuchi (P), Matt Chapman (3B) | Key subtractions: Marcus Semien (2B) Robbie Ray (P), 

The Upside : The Jays get a full season of actual Home Games in Toronto after two years of covid crap. Matt Chapman’s adds power and defense to an infield that boasts Vladimir Guerrero Jr at First, Cavan Biggio at second, shortstop Bo Bichette. all entering their primes. And add a Healthy Springer. Just stacked. 

 

the Downside: replacing the defending AL Cy Young Award winner (Robbie Ray) and a 45-homer second baseman (Marcus Semien) is a tough nut to crack. But as I said above, they sure as hell tried. 

 

 

Yankees

Last season: 92-70 | Key additions: Josh Donaldson (3B), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (SS), Jose Trevino (C) | Key subtractions: Gary Sánchez (C), Gio Urshela (INF), Clint Frazier (OF), Luke Voit (1B)

The Upside : Josh Donaldson seems to be the biggest addition to the mix at third with some aging right-handed pop. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who puts the bat on the ball and runs well, could be something to watch on a team that has been either home run – station to station or strike out heavy in games over the past few years. A right handed hitting lineup got balanced out with trades for outfielder Joey Gallo and first baseman Anthony Rizzo last season and now the addition of Donaldson. 

 

The Downside: After Gerrit Cole there are a lot of issues in the starting rotation. To be nice it’s questionable , Aaron Hicks can’t be the solution in center field; Aaron Judge is said to be whining behind the scene; catcher Kyle Higashioka in a full-time role is also a huge question mark. And Cashman could easily have addressed the holes through free agency. Why didn’t he ?

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays

Last season: 100-62 | Key additions: Corey Kluber (P) | Key subtractions: Nelson Cruz (D.H.), Collin McHugh (P), Michael Wacha (P) Austin Meadows (RF) perfect reaction to the Meadows deal below 

The Upside: Wander Franco is in the lineup from opening day . Franco came as advertised. And lit up the league in just 72 games. On top of that, the Rays’ are a run producing juggernaut. They ranked second in the league in RS and that was without Franco for half a season. Lowe and Franco form one of the best middle-infield tandems in the game today, and Arozarena proved that his 2020 regular-season and playoff exploits were no fluke. 

 

The Downside: Tampa Bay shuns traditional pitching roles. This has been highly effective over the past three years, but banking on relievers ? its suspect. With no real hope of Tyle Glasnow pitching this season Shane Baz needs to step up after elbow surgery. Can second baseman Brandon Lowe and catcher Mike Zunino combine for 70 plus home runs and 160 RBI again this season? 

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

Last season: 52-110 | Key additions: Rougned Odor (2B), Jordan Lyles (P) | Key subtractions: Pedro Severino (C), Matt Harvey (P)

The Upside: Outfielder Cedric Mullins and pitcher John Means are players, Trey Mancini is a solid veteran DH and the team will get Grayson Rodriguez, a top catching prospect, on the Big League Roster by mid-season. 

 

The Downside: other than what I’ve said above this team and organization is a mess. And has to play 162 games. sorry Baltimore you deserve better. Much Much better. 

 

As always you can Follow / give me Grief on Twitter @Tmurph207