Welcome to the AL East, home of the Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, and Indians. Since taking over the Orioles in season 12, crabman has turned around a franchise that had struggled in the past. Last year they won the division with 91 wins. The Yankees had ruled the division since season 4, only missing the playoffs twice since season 4, including a world series win in season 5. Who will take the crown this year???
Key Players Returning: Arthur Lone, Austin Lane, Karim Saenz, Dan Newson, Ryuu Choi, Sam Long
Key Players Leaving: Lou McDonald(TB), Adrian Ramsay(BOS), Ivan Mota(DC), Ramon Wang(TB)
New Additions: Placido Santana(TB), Isaac Sinclair(SF), Seth Hemingway(CLV), Stuart Wilson(SF)
Prediction: The trade of young star Lou McDonald and reliever Ramon Wang to Tampa Bay for Placido Santana was a huge move for the franchise. Time will only tell if it was the best move. At 27 Santana has a lot of baseball to play, and his career can rebound in Baltimore. The rest of the moves really do help the Orioles and should keep them easily in contention.
Key Players Returning: Brandon Sutton , Benny Picasso , Ismael Goya , Albie Pineda , Lonny Sierra, Woody Parker , Sam Russ
Key Players Leaving: Guy Cunningham (CUBS), Johnny Cressend (MIL), Ozzie Percival (FA), Kyle Carlyle (CLV),
New Additions: Graham Ardoin (LAA), Donn Sisler (TEX), Harry Cairo (cubs), Tony Rivera (PHI), Sidney Wells (cubs), Cooper Tomlinson (POR).
Prediction: Two things stand out from last years team...a) they were OLD and b) they were very lucky to reach the playoffs. There was some turnover this year. But the Yankees stuck with experience (old age + knowledge). Either way, it doesn't look like the Yankees will improve much over last years squad.
Key Players Returning: Adrian Ramsay , Charles Farrell , Jaime Faulk , Jerry Murray , Max Ferrer , Chuck Vaughn , Mendy Williams ,
Key Players Leaving: Kevin Marte (mets), Alving Martis (FA), Cristian Rhodes (tex), Mendy Williams , Branch Crosby (FA), Damion Weiland (FA)
New Additions: Royce Crawford (BAL), Larry McCorley (BAL), Mariano Mateo (TB), Luis Pineiro (LAA), Steven Leon (LAA), Juan Miro (PHI), Luis Cueto (rule5-CHA)
Prediction: The Red Sox have quietly built a powerful team. They did a terrific job of replacing unproductive aging players, with players that will contribute and improve their wins. They will even challenge for the division crown and certainly for a playoff spot.
Key Players Returning: Tito Owens , Welington Rojas , Ivan Morlan , Hulk Shannon , Rodrigo Lima , Alex Tejeda , Bo Whitaker , Harry Calvo , Randy Coleman
Key Players Leaving: Damian Brantley (SD), Edgar Seanez (FA), Rex Yearwood (cubs), Seth Hemingway (BOS), Earl Barclay (TEX), Geoffery Kelly (FA), Andres Mota (LAA)
New Additions: Maximo Goodwin (WAS), Jerry Grieve (POR), Kyle Carlyle (NYY)
Prediction: Quite a few young players have moved forward allowing the Indians to cut some of the low hanging fruit. They had a bit of bad luck, but their pitching was a sore spot allowing 781 runs (4.82/gm). But they got stronger on offense, defense, and pitching. Their additions will make for an interesting year in the AL East, and now the Indians are in the conversation to win the East or a playoff spot.
In reviewing these four teams it became clear...these teams are all here to win. They all might the right moves. It really comes down to how they play head to head. I truly think we will see the four teams within 5 games of each other all year. I give the Orioles the East, with the Indians sneaking into the playoffs. Depending on the rest of the divisions you could see either the Yankees or Red Sox battling for the last playoff spot. This will be THE DIVISION to watch from start to finish.