The Orioles finished 96-66 and won the division last year. Keep in mind that they lost Manny Machado for the rest of the year on August 11. With their hobbled roster, they challenged the Royals in the ALCS and were swept from the postseason and their chance at the World Series. This offseason, Machado healed enough to return to spring training. They resigned many players including Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, and signed Everth Cabrera. They lost their veteran outfielder Nick Markakis to the Braves and are 3-8 in spring training so far. It seems that they advanced so far in the playoffs due to luck so it appears that they won’t be able to repeat this year. However they do have dynamic 3B Manny Machado and slugger Chris Davis who will both be big factors for the Orioles this year.
New York Yankees
The Yankees finished 84-78 on the year but their offseason has been particularly memorable. Alex Rodriguez was reinstated from the restricted list in October and issued an official apology in February. He has been fully healthy at spring training and enters a new chapter in his career where he will work to clean up his name which was dirtied by the Biogenesis scandal. Tanaka, their $155 million man, returned from injury and started in his first game back on March 12. He threw two perfect innings yesterday against the Braves before being removed from the game. On December 5, the Yankees made a three team trade and acquired SS Didi Gregorius from the Diamondbacks. The Yankees also lost Martin Prado with trades with the Marlins. The Yankees are 5-4-1 in spring training and hopes are high in both Tampa and the Bronx for this season.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays finished 83-79 for the season and missed the playoffs. They lost Melky Cabrera, Colby Rasmus, and Casey Janssen to free agency. In November, they traded Brett Lawrie and three others to the Athletics for All-Star 3B Josh Donaldson. Other than free agent signings, the Blue Jays have been relatively quiet this offseason. The Blue Jays are 4-7 in spring training and hope to contend with their mixed up roster this year. They still have Bautista, Encarnacion, and Reyes who will all lead the team this year as veterans.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The Rays finished 77-85 and missed the postseason for the second straight year. They exercised their option on Ben Zobrist. In January, they traded Zobrist and Yunel Escobar to the Athletics for Boog Powell, Daniel Robertson, John Jaso, and cash. In December, they traded their star RF Wil Myers and others for Rene Rivera, Burch Smith, and Jake Bauers from the Padres. The Rays made some moves this offseason that will make minor changes to their roster for this season. I don’t expect them to contend this season and their spring training results so far reaffirm that (3-5-1)
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox finished 71-91 and last place in the AL East just one yea after winning the World Series. They acquired both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval via free agency. Both players will add some scoring power to a team that ranked 18th in runs per game with 3.91. So far in spring training, the Red Sox are 9-4 and their new additions seem to already be making an impact. Through 14 games, Boston is averaging 5 runs per game. It remains to be seem however, whether the $183 million spent on contracts with Ramirez and Sandoval will be money well spent.