Long gone are the days when the battle for the American East title was a high-payroll showdown between the Red Sox and Yankees. The old rivals are now challenged by three well-stocked clubs that are in position to be in the postseason hunt all summer long.
Buck Showalter’s never-say-fold Orioles surprised most of baseball with last season’s surge to the postseason, mostly on the back of a no-name bullpen. The Blue Jays may have let John Farrell go, but they’ve revamped their roster this offseason and gone off their usual game plan to make a couple of blockbuster trades, taking on some big salaries in the process. And Joe Maddon’s Rays always find a way to be in the mix when the leaves start to turn with a stellar pitching staff and young outfielder Wil Myers injection into the lineup.
So with spring training just a month away, 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.