By Calvin Ralph
For the next few weeks leading up to the season, we will take a look at each division in the MLB. We’ll look at the biggest moves and the biggest losses, along with something that would make the season better for each team. Our first division is the AL East.
Biggest Move: Nothing. No moves stuck out this offseason that appear to make any difference.
Biggest Loss: Nelson Cruz: .271 BA 40 HR 108 RBI
Cruz led the AL in home runs after being suspended in 2013 for 50 games. He was a hot bat for the Orioles when he was needed. Obviously, he will be missed at Camden Yards, as his long ball was pivotal last season.
What Would Make the Season Better: Chris Davis hits 45 home runs. Let’s face it we all love the long ball. When Chris hit 53 home runs in 2013, we went crazy. If he does it again, Baltimore will have a great chance to be in contention for a playoff spot.
Boston Red Sox
Biggest Move: Signing Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval: The Sox made this huge move so that they can hit the long ball and drive in runs. Look for a lot of hits and runs at Fenway this season.
Biggest Loss: Jon Lester: Yes it was a mid-season trade, but Lester was a free agent this offseason. You can’t let a guy of this caliber walk without offering top dollar. If the Sox had kept Lester, we could’ve called them a possible World Series lock.
What Would Make the Season Better: David Ortiz goes out on top: As Papi faces his late years; this could be his last season. Nothing would be better for this Red Sox legend to win his third ring and retire on a high note. Of course, we all love Papi and nothing would be better for him to win a ring and leave the game on top.
New York Yankees
Biggest Move: Trading for Didi Gregorious: The Yanks don’t have a farm system. The Yankees don’t have a shortstop. The Yankees don’t have any youth. Gregorious looks to change all of that. At 24 he could very well be the future shortstop of the Yankees. He is a great defensive player and a speed replacement for Jeter.
Biggest Loss: Losing Derek Jeter (and Bob Shepard’s intro): When Jeter came up to bat, there was nothing like it. The Bleacher Creatures in the Bronx will very well miss him, but we all know: all good things must come to an end.
What Would Make the Season Better: Lowering the Food Prices: I do not want to spend my life’s fortunes at Yankee Stadium. When it costs $8 for a hotdog and then $6 for a soda, it makes me hate going to games. It would make me and everyone else feel better (and our wallets heavier) if the Yankees cut down those food prices.
Toronto Blue Jays
Biggest Move: Josh Donaldson: Donaldson fills a much-needed void after losing Melky Cabrera. Donaldson’s combination of power and good contact hitting ability helps the Jays look like a contender this season.
Biggest Loss: Melky Cabrera: They did get a better bat in Donaldson though. Cabrera is a good outfielder, but just not as good as Donaldson is in the hitting department.
What Would Make the Season Better: If they make the playoffs: This team is loaded with talent. If they could finally break through and make the postseason that would be amazing.
Tampa Bay Rays
Biggest Move: Asdrubal Cabrera: This will be a dirty left side of the infield with Longoria and Cabrera. Let’s just hope that the bats light up.
Biggest Loss: Ben Zobrist: Yes you traded him, and yes you got prospects for him. However, if it is all about winning, then Zobrist would have helped tremendously.
What Would Make the Season Better: Everything: it’s not bright this year in Tampa. Something needs to go their way (like selling out a game) for the season to be good.