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Season Preview: American League East

April 3, 2012

With Opening Day quickly approaching and 25-man rosters starting to take shape, it seems as good a time as any to start to preview the upcoming season. For a change of pace, I’m going to run with a bit of a different format this year and view things one division at a time.

We’ll cover each division in no particular order. We started with the NL West and then moved on to the AL West. Then we tackled the NL Central and the NL East. Next up, the AL East.

Top 5 Moves Since Last Season:

1. New York traded catcher Jesus Montero and right-hander Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for right-handers Michael Pinedaand Jorge Campos.

Photo courtesy: riveraveblues.com

2. New York signed right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to a one year, $10 Million free agent contract.

3. Toronto traded right-hander Nestor Molina to the Chicago White Sox for right-hander Sergio Santos.

4. Boston traded shortstop Jed Lowrie and right-hander Kyle Weiland to the Houston Astros for right-hander Mark Melancon.

5.Tampa Bay signed left-hander Matt Moore to a five year contract extension worth $14 Million. The deal includes three club options which could be worth an additional $26 Million.

Key Acquisitions:

Baltimore (None), Boston (Melancon, Andrew Bailey), New York (Pineda, Kuroda), Tampa Bay (None), Toronto (Santos)

Key Losses:

Baltimore (Vladimir Guerrero), Boston (Jonathan Papelbon), New York (Montero), Tampa Bay (None), Toronto (None)

Predictions:

Cy Young – C.C. Sabathia (David Price)

MVP – Robinson Cano (Evan Longoria)

Rookie of the Year – Matt Moore (Austin Romine)

Standings:

  1. New York
  2. Tampa Bay
  3. Boston
  4. Toronto
  5. Baltimore

All Division Team:

Finally, let’s close things out with my pre-2012 All Division Team*. Eligible candidates consist of each team’s projected starter heading into Opening Day. We’ll revisit these lists again once the season concludes.

* Honorable mentions in parentheses.

1B: Adrian Gonzalez (Mark Teixeira)

2B: Robinson Cano (Dustin Pedroia)

3B: Evan Longoria (Alex Rodriguez)

SS: Derek Jeter (J.J. Hardy)

LF: Brett Gardner (Desmond Jennings)

CF: Jacoby Ellsbury (Curtis Granderson)

RF: Jose Bautista (Nick Markakis)

C: Matt Wieters (J.P. Arencibia)

DH: David Ortiz (None. The other teams in the division will employ supremely inferior options at the DH position to begin the season. I don’t expect any of them to be the team’s primary DH at season’s end.)

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