With baseball’s opening day just about 24 hours away, I decided to take it upon myself to make the most accurate decisions up to date.
Today, I will start of with talking about the “most popular” division in baseball: AL East.
Obviously with the Yankees coming off the 27th World Series win in their storied franchise, they remain the team to beat and they only got better. They re-acquired former farm hand Nick Johnson, as well as re-acquiring veteran right handed pitcher Javier Vazquez. They brought Randy Winn back to the AL East where he had some success in the early 2000s as a member of the Devil Rays. Probably the most impressive move was trading for Curtis Granderson, who will more than make up for the loss of Johnny Damon.
The Red Sox know this and thus went out and improved their starting pitching by adding former Angels’ ace, John Lackey. They also added veteran Outfielder Mike Cameron, who is joining his seventh team in his 16th season of professional ball. Infielders Adrian Beltre and Marco Scutaro should also fill in nicely for Mike Lowell and Alex Gonzalez respectively. The loss of Jason Bay is key, as they will now need to replace his 119 runs batted in.
Next is the fun and lovable Tampa Bay Rays. They did not make any huge splashes in the offseason, but the core of that 2008 AL championship team is mostly still there with the exception of Scott Kazmir. I look for Carlos Pena to have a huge season, as it is his contract year. I think this is finally the year that B.J. Upton puts it all together after seeign his younger brother, Justin Upton, get that gigantic contract with Arizona. Matt Garza, James “Big Game” Shields, and David Price should make for a nice front-end of their rotation.
The Baltimore Orioles are probably the most improved team in the division. After aquring Kevin Millwood, the team now has a legit ace as Jeremy Guthrie has had re-occurring injury problems. Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins should do a nice job replacing Melvin Mora. Signing Mike Gonzalez was also impressive, as heis not only one of the funkiest relievers in the league, but he is also one of the best. Plus with young studs such as Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, the O’s should make a nice run in 2010.
Lastly, the Toronto Blue Jays. After trading away Doc Halladay, they Jays pretty much waved the white flag for the upcoming season. With notable losses such as Scutaro (Now in Boston), Rod Barajas, and Brandon League–it will be pretty hard for their replacements to make up for those losses. All hope is not lost as the Jays have potential superstars in Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, and the veteran Vernon Wells.
2. Red Sox
5. Blue Jays
I wish i had a different top two with the O’s and Rays at the top, but the “Beasts of the East,” are just too strong.