On MLB.com, there is an article up now about 5 Questions facing each team across each league. (Starting with the AL West and NL East.) So inspired by that idea, I ask one question for each team in the AL East. (In alphabetical order.)
Blue Jays (Toronto)
How will their Second-Generation Stars Progress?
It’s no secret that the Blue Jays have a dynamic young offensive core. The sons of former Major Leaguers played very well in 2019. But living up to the shadows of those famous fathers can sometimes prove difficult. Just ask former Toronto Blue Jay, Kyle Drabek. That being said, the current group seems poised to be able to handle the spotlight. But we’ll have to watch closely this season to find out.
What are Realistic Expectations for the Orioles?
It’s no secret that the Orioles are a club amid a rebuild. There are a lot of potential openings that young and veteran payers alike will compete for during Spring Training. That being said, however, what can Orioles fans genuinely expect from a team in the same division as the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and the upstart Blue Jays? A long season with not a lot of excitement. Baltimore is creating on the fly as their previous front office neglected things like International free agents as well as other growth opportunities. So there are going to be some growing pains for the O’s in 2020. But we’ll have to wait and see what can be expected.
Can the Rays Take the Next Step?
Tampa Bay has been a strong contender in the AL Wildcard hunt love the past few seasons. However, they gave been unable to surpass the Yankees and the Red Sox. This season, Tampa looks to put those concerns behind them and advance to the World Series for the first time since their magical run in 2008. But the question is can they get passed their division foes.
Red Sox (Boston)
What Direction are the Red Sox Headed?
At the time of this writing, Mookie Betts is still a member of the Red Sox. But for just how long is anyone’s guess. The Red Sox are facing a tumultuous decision with their impending punishment for their sign-stealing scandal of 2018. The BoSox also face the decision on whether or not to trade Mookie. Boston, despite the dark clouds looming overhead, should still possess a top-five ballclub in the American League. And should health remain intact can find themselves right back in the postseason.
However, Boston seemingly is operating under the guides of getting under the luxury tax threshold. If that is the focus, then Boston will likely try to reorganize their roster by moving Mookie Betts and his $27 million contract and attach it to someone like David Price and his $32 million salary. Thus if reports are to be believed, Mookie Betts will be moved. And we will have a clearer picture of the landscape in the AL East.
Yankees (New York )
Can the Yankees Fulfill Expectations?
This offseason, the Yankees committed the most significant amount ever on a pitcher, $324 Million to Gerrit Cole. The Yankees needed to make a move like this to secure the ace they have been devoid of since 2009 CC Sabathia. Also, add in the fact that the Yankees have been bumped out of the World Series by the Astros and Red Sox. (One punished and the other accused of cheating.) And the Yankees are once again the favorites in the AL East.
With the ”favorites” status comes expectations of winning. And in the Bronx means one thing and one thing only, WIN THE WORLD SERIES! This crew of Bronx Bombers seem poised, and dare I say ”destined” to achieve their ultimate goal. But we will have to wait and see if they can accomplish this feat.
These are the most important questions (in my opinion) facing the AL East. Three teams in the AL East have the potential to make the postseason. One team will be a cellar scrapper. And the fifth team will play spoiler.
Stay tuned to LaracuenteLedger.com as we continue this series of the Big Question facing each Division in MLB.