Hot Stove Update: American League East, Part II

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Previously we reviewed the Red Sox and Rays. In this installment we look at the Orioles, Yankees and Blue Jays. Part two of two.


AL East 2013 in Review:

After a last place finish in 2012, the Red Sox flipped the script by not only winning the division, but winning their third Series in a decade. They led the division most of April after a hot 18-8 start but fell into third place in mid-May. They regained the division lead by the end of the month, then were involved in a close race until pulling away in early September and coasting to the division title with a 97-65 record.

The Rays took a brief lead on the Red Sox in July, but were in danger of missing the playoffs in mid-September, but finished on a 13-5 run to tie the Rangers for the second Wild Card spot. After winning the one game playoff withTexas, they knocked off the Indians in the Wild Card Game before losing to the Red Sox 3-1 in the ALDS.

The Orioles hung close for most of the season before fading in September. The Yankees suffered one of their worst seasons ever for injuries, using 57 players during the regular season. They were still alive for the playoffs til late in the year though, and were able to tie Baltimore with 85 wins. The Blue Jays (a preseason darling after their eventful offseason) never got anything going and finished 23 games back of Boston.

2013 lineups/rotation/bullpen are based on a balance of full season and September usage. For 2014 what you see is based on current MLB.com depth charts.

Orioles

2014

2013


2014

2013


Hitting


Pitching

C

Matt Wieters

Matt Wieters

SP1

Miguel Gonzalez

Chris Tillman

1B

Chris Davis

Chris Davis

SP2

Chris Tillman

Miguel Gonzalez

2B

Ryan Flaherty

Brian Roberts

SP3

Bud Norris

Wei-Yin Chen

3B

Manny Machado

Manny Machado

SP4

Wei-Yin Chen

Scott Feldman

SS

J.J. Hardy

J.J. Hardy

SP5

Kelvin De La Cruz

Bud Norris

LF

Nolan Reimold

Nate McLouth

CF

Adam Jones

Adam Jones

CL

Darren O'Day

Jim Johnson

RF

Nick Markakis

Nick Markakis

RP

Ryan Webb

Tommy Hunter

DH

Steve Pearce

Danny Valencia

RP

Tommy Hunter

Darren O'Day

RP

Brian Matusz

Troy Patton

IF

Jonathan Schoop

Ryan Flaherty

RP

TJ McFarland

Brian Matusz

OF

Henry Urrutia

Mike Morse

RP

Kevin Gausman

Jason Hammel

C

Steve Clevenger

Taylor Teagarden

RP

Josh Stinson

TJ McFarland

OF

David Lough

Jason Pridie

Lost Free Agents: SP Scott Feldman to Astros; OF Nate McLouth to Nationals; 2B Brian Roberst to Yankees; RP Francisco Rodriguez to Brewers; SP Jason Hammel (unsigned); OF Chris Dickerson (unsigned); RP Jairo Asencio to White Sox (minor); IF Wilson Betemit to Rays (minor); 1B Dan Johnson to Blue Jays (minor); 1B Alex Liddi to White Sox (minor); IF Yamaico Navarro to Yankees (minor); OF Jason Pridie to Rockies (minor); RP Jon Rauch to Royals (minor); C Chris Snyder to Nationals (minor), C Taylor Teagarden to Mets (minor)

Signed Free Agents: RP Ryan Webb; RP Edgmer Escalona; OF Francisco Peguero; OF Quintin Berry (minor); IF Alex Gonzalez (minor); SP Aaron Laffey (minor); 1B Chris Marrero (minor); OF Xavier Paul (minor); DH Delmon Young (minor

Trades: SP Devin Jones to Padres for RP Brad Brach; cash to Giants for C Johnny Monell; CL Jim Johnson to A's for 2B Jemile Weeks and C David Freitas (PTBNL); 3B Danny Valencia to Royals for OF David Lough

Waivers: Claimed IF Cord Phelps from Indians; RP Liam Hendriks from Cubs

2014 Outlook

The Orioles hung tough for most of 2013 before fading during the stretch run. There were a few tweaks this offseason: Longtime second basemen Roberts was allowed to walk, as was McLouth. With Wieters, Davis, Machado and Jones in the lineup, they will be in good shape, although I suspect Davis won't repeat his extraordinary 2013. The only loss in the rotation was Feldman, which opens a spot potentially for LGFT De La Cruz. The bullpen is going with a fresh face in O'Day as the closer. We'll see if that proves fruitful. I think the bullpen may be the weakest part of the team and the rotation is about league average at best. My guess is that they slip back under .500 this season.

Yankees

2014

2013


2014

2013


Hitting


Pitching

C

Brian McCann

Chris Stewart

SP1

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia

1B

Mark Teixeira

Lyle Overbay

SP2

Hiroki Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda

2B

Brendan Ryan

Robinson Cano

SP3

Masahiro Tanaka

Andy Pettitte

3B

Kelly Johnson

Eduardo Nunez

SP4

Ivan Nova

Ivan Nova

SS

Derek Jeter

Brendan Ryan

SP5

David Phelps

Phil Hughes

LF

Brett Gardner

Alfonso Soriano

CF

Jacoby Ellsbury

Curtis Granderson

CL

David Robertson

Mariano Rivera

RF

Carlos Beltran

Ichiro Suzuki

RP

Shawn Kelley

David Robertson

DH

Alfonso Soriano

Alex Rodriguez

RP

Preston Claiborne

Shawn Kelley

RP

Cesar Cabral

Boone Logan

IF

Eduardo Nunez

Mark Reynolds

RP

Dellin Betances

Joba Chamberlain

C

Francisco Cervelli

Austin Romine

RP

Manny Banuelos

David Phelps

IF

Brian Roberts

Vernon Wells

RP

Jose Campos

Adam Warren

OF

Ichiro Suzuki

Zoilo Almonte

Lost Free Agents: 2B Robinson Cano to Mariners; OF Curtis Granderson to Mets; RP Boone Logan to Rockies; RP Joba Chamberlain to Tigers; SP Phil Hughes to Twins; IF Kevin Youkilis to Rakuten Golden Eagles (Japan); IF David Adams to Indians; SP Andy Pettitte (retired); RP Mariano Rivers (retired); OF Vernon Wells (released); DH Travis Hafner (unsigned); 1B Lyle Overbay to Brewers (minor); 3B Mark Reynolds to Brewers (minor); OF Brennan Boesch to Angels (minor); RP Chris Bootcheck to Pirates (minor); SS Reid Brignac to Phillies (minor); IF Alberto Gonzalez to Padres (minor); IF Brent Lillibridge to Rangers (minor); IF Jayson Nix to Rays (minor); RP Mike Zagurski to Indians (minor); OF Melky Mesa to Royals (minor); IF Luis Cruz (unsigned); OF Fernando Martinez (unsigned)

Signed Free Agents: SP Masahiro Tanaka; OF Jacoby Ellsbury; SP Hiroli Kuroda (resigned); OF Carlos Beltran; C Brian McCann; RP Matt Thornton; 2B Brian Roberts; SS Brendan Ryan (resigned); IF Kelly Johnson; IF Scott Sizemore (minor); RP Robert Coello (minor); RP Chir Leroux (minor); IF Yamaico Navarro (minor);

Trades: C Chris Stewart to Pirates for RP Kyle Haynes; SP David Huff to Giants for cash

Waivers: Lost RP Tommy Kahnle to Rockies; SP Brett Marshall to Cubs

2014 Outlook

They were absolutely devastated by injuries last year. Based on current projections, Ryan and Soriano are the only players from last September's lineup that will be there come April. Normally a team with so much turnover would be expected to have a very poor season, but the Yankees, cash cow that they are, replaced a lot of players the way they normally do, by spending hand over fist. They also get Jeter and Teixeira back from injury, but both are another year older, and I think Jeter is done. Johnson can't really hit, neither can Ryan, and Cano's departure is a major loss. I think the offense will struggle this season. The starting pitching should be much improved, as the Yankees broke the bank to nab Tanaka, who will join Sabathia, Kuroda and Nova in a good rotation. The bullpen has lost its rock and soul in Rivera and the bullpen is now mostly live arms with little experience. I think they take a big step backwards this year, due to the weakened lineup and unproven pen.

Blue Jays

2014

2013


2014

2013


Hitting


Pitching

C

Dioner Navarro

J.P. Arencibia

SP1

R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey

1B

Edwin Encarnacion

Adam Lind

SP2

Brandon Morrow

Mark Buehrle

2B

Ryan Goins

Ryan Goins

SP3

Mark Buehrle

J.A. Happ

3B

Brett Lawrie

Brett Lawrie

SP4

JA.. Happ

Todd Redmond

SS

Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

SP5

Drew Hutchison

Esmil Rogers

LF

Melky Cabrera

Kevin Pillar

CF

Colby Rasmus

Anthony Gose

CL

Casey Janssen

Casey Janssen

RF

Jose Bautista

Moises Sierra

RP

Sergio Santos

Aaron Loup

DH

Adam Lind

Munenori Kawasaki

RP

Steve Delabar

Brett Cecil

RP

Brett Cecil

Steve Delabar

IF

Maicer Izturis

Mark DeRosa

RP

Dustin McGowan

Darren Oliver

C

Josh Thole

Josh Thole

RP

Aaron Loup

Neil Wagner

OF

Anthony Gose

Rajai Davis

RP

Neil Wagner

Chad Jenkins

OF

Moises Sierra

Colby Rasmus

Lost Free Agents: SP Josh Johnson to Padres; C JP Arencibia to Rangers; OF Rajai Davis to Tigers; IF Mark DeRosa (retired); RP Justin Germano to Rangers (minor); C Ramon Hernandez to Royals (minor); SP Chien-Ming Wang to Reds (minor); RP Dave Bush (unsigned); OF Ryan Langerhans (unsigned); RP Darren Oliver (unsigned); SP Ramon Ortiz (unsigned)

Signed Free Agents: C Dioner Navarro; 2B Chris Getz (minor); 1B Dan Johnson (minor); IF Munenori Kawasaki (resigned-minor); 3B Andy LaRoche (resigned-minor); 3B Jared Goedert (minor)

Trades: RP Brad Lincoln to Phillies for C Erik Kratz and SP Rob Rasmussen

Waivers: Claimed IF Brent Morel from White Sox

2014 Outlook

For a team that on paper was to contend in 2013, boy did this team struggle all season. One would think that some changes would be in order, but there was very little movement. Of course some of their struggles last year were due to some injury issues, but when the biggest pickups of the offseason are two catchers, I don't think they will be keeping up in the Al East arms race. Between the lineup and rotation, success will hinge on how healthy the players are and how well each player rebounds. It could be back-to-back last place finishes for the"new" Jays.

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