NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton is introduced into the Yankees organization
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From 2014 to 2016, there was a major flux in the American League East. Resurgence from the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles flipped the east on its head, knocking the Red Sox and Yankees out of the spotlight. A 96-win season made a 2014 to remember for the Orioles who rode a 12-game lead of first in the division into the post season. In 2015, the Blue Jays were an offensive juggernaut. Their league leading 891 runs scored were 127 more than any other offense in the MLB. The Jays won the AL East title and appeared in the ALCS for the first time since 1993. 2016 was much of the same. Boston finished with the best record in the division, only to be swept by the Indians in the ALDS. After walking off the Orioles in a Wild Card game to remember, the Blue Jays returned to the ALCS for the second straight year.
Last December the Red Sox traded top prospects, Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for ace, Chris Sale. The transaction solidified Boston’s super-rotation after the retirement of David Ortiz, and returned the Bo Sox to AL East supremacy. What they lacked in power hitting, they made up for with pitching. Despite an underwhelming year from David Price, the team combined for a 3.70 ERA in the hard hitting American League East. The second best team ERA in the AL was accompanied by the third best winning percentage (.574). With the team openly pursuing the likes of J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, their lineup could drastically improve by the end of the winter meetings. Eric Hosmer would be a massive upgrade at first base, designating Hanley Ramirez to the DH spot while complimenting Boston’s young cornerstone talent comprised of Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers.
After falling a win short of the World Series in 2017, the Yankees made the most of the Miami Marlins fire sale by acquiring 28-year old slugger and National League MVP, Giancarlo Stanton. Another bullet in the chamber for a lineup that finished first in the MLB in homeruns. Slotting him into an American League lineup introduces options. Instead of playing the field all season, Stanton can fill the designated hitter spot, as well as occasionally alternate with Aaron Judge in the outfield to give the AL Rookie of the Year rest when needed. In terms of offense, Yankees fans can bet Stanton will get plenty of opportunities to replicate his success in Miami. With a potent lineup from top to bottom, there isn’t much of a chance for opposing pitchers to pitch around guys in the heart of the batting order. Nothing’s more frightening than giving Sanchez the open base, only to face Judge next with Stanton on deck. Expect a bounce back season from Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances (should he remain in New York), along with regular playing time from blue chip prospect, Miguel Andújar, with the third base job up for grabs.
With rumours of Manny Machado and Zach Britton possibly departing from Baltimore, along with the Blue Jays aging, injury plagued roster; it’s safe to assume the AL East should return to the division we’re used to seeing with perennial domination from New York and Boston. You can love it or hate it, but you have to admit the goliaths are back and are here to stay.