The Red Sox pulled the ultimate upset last season when they pulled off a worst-to-first turnaround to capture their third World Series title in nine years. They come back in 2014 with a few changes, notably the departure of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and the prospect of injecting more youth in the starting lineup.
Now the Yankees have made a checkbook statement that they’re going to get back in the hunt by spending a whopping $471 million this offseason in an attempt to surpass their age-old rivals at the top of the American League East standings. They’ll enter 2014 with the hopes that signing big-name free agents pays off with a postseason spot.
Before the start of the 2013 season, the Blue Jays looked like a favorite to advance to the postseason after a series of high profile acquisitions, but Toronto fizzled out of the gate and never put a serious challenge together for a playoff spot. They come back largely in-tact and hope to stay healthy this time around.
Joe Maddon’s always-tough Tampa Bay Rays should be in the thick of the hunt in the AL East again mostly on the strength of another reinvented rotation of more young, powerful arms.
In 2013, the Orioles could not match their surprise performance that led them to 93 wins a year before. Their unproven starting pitching and low spending ways in the offseason may prove to be their undoing again in 2014.
So with pitchers and catchers due to officially report next weekend, let’s take a look at the state of the five teams in the AL East and let you predict the 1-through-5 order of finish at the end.