AL East teams at the start of spring training


By The Associated Press



A team-by-team look at the American League East entering spring training, including key players each club acquired and lost, and dates of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and the full squad:

___

Toronto Blue Jays

Manager: John Gibbons (fourth season).

2015: 93-69, first place, lost to Royals in ALCS.

Training Town: Dunedin, Florida.

Park: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 22/26.

He’s Here: RHP Joe Biagini, OF Darrell Ceciliani, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Gavin Floyd, LHP J.A. Happ, OF Junior Lake, RHP Arnold Leon, RHP Drew Storen, RHP/LHP Pat Venditte.

He’s Outta Here: LHP Mark Buehrle, LHP Jeff Francis, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, RHP Liam Hendriks, RHP Mark Lowe, C Dioner Navarro, INF Cliff Pennington, LHP David Price, OF Ben Revere.

Going campin’: The Blue Jays will bring back the biggest bats from the offense that led the major leagues with 891 runs last season, 127 more than the second-best Yankees. With reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson in the heart of a lineup that also features sluggers Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki, there’s every reason to expect another high-scoring season. The pitching staff isn’t so strong, with question marks in both the rotation and bullpen. Toronto didn’t even try to retain 2015 rental David Price, who left for division-rival Boston. Still, the Blue Jays did hold on to surprise star Marco Estrada, who signed a $26 million, two-year contract after career-bests of 13 wins and a 3.13 ERA. Toronto needs a new leadoff batter after trading Revere to Washington for closer Drew Storen, who will compete with 2015 rookie sensation Roberto Osuna for the ninth-inning role. Much attention will be paid to the new front office duo of president Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins, who both joined from Cleveland. The high that accompanied the end of a 21-year playoff drought soon faded last fall after Canadian GM Alex Anthopoulos, whose busy deadline deals transformed the 2015 squad, resigned rather than work under Shapiro. Anthopoulos later accepted a job with the Dodgers.

___

New York Yankees

Manager: Joe Girardi (ninth season).

2015: 87-75, second place, lost to Houston in wild-card game.

Training Town: Tampa, Florida.

Park: Steinbrenner Field.

First Workout: Feb. 19/25.

He’s Here: 2B Starlin Castro, LHP Aroldis Chapman, OF Aaron Hicks.

He’s Outta Here: RHP Adam Warren, LHP Justin Wilson, OF Chris Young, LHP Chris Capuano, 2B Stephen Drew, INF Brendan Ryan.

Going campin’: New York was 57-42 and led the AL East by seven games before play on July 29, then went 30-33 and finished six games back — the first time in team history the Yankees had a lead that large and failed to finish first. With the goal of getting under the luxury tax threshold by 2018, New York has not signed a free agent to a major league contract for the first time since free agency began after the 1976 season. The Yankees traded for their three biggest acquisitions: Castro, Hicks and Chapman, the hard-throwing closer who figures to form an imposing end-of-game trio with LHP Andrew Miller and RHP Dellin Betances. The biggest questions are health: starting pitchers Masahiro Tanaka (wrist, forearm), CC Sabathia (knee, alcohol rehab), Michael Pineda (forearm), Ivan Nova (recovery from Tommy John surgery) and Nathan Eovaldi (wrist) all missed time last year. 1B Mark Teixeira broke his shin in mid-August and is expected to be at full strength, but backup Greg Bird will miss the season following shoulder surgery. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann all slumped late in the season. Replacements will have to be found for Warren and Wilson, who both were traded. LHP Jacob Lindgren, expected back from elbow surgery, could take Wilson’s spot.

___

Baltimore Orioles

Manager: Buck Showalter (seventh season).

2015: 81-81, third place.

Training Town: Sarasota, Florida.

Park: Ed Smith Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 19/24.

He’s Here: OF Hyun Soo Kim, OF-1B Mark Trumbo, RHP Odrisamer Despaigne, OF Efren Navarro, RHP Vance Worley.

He’s Outta Here: LHP Wei-Yin Chen, OF Gerardo Parra, 1B Steve Pearce, C Steve Clevenger.

Going campin’: Coming off a disappointing .500 season, the Orioles enter spring training with an improved offense and a thin starting rotation. Executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette’s biggest move this winter was retaining slugger Chris Davis at $161 million over seven seasons. Signing Kim and trading for Trumbo enhanced the outfield and filled out a lineup that already features Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Matt Wieters and steadily improving second baseman Jonathan Schoop. The four-year contract provided to setup man Darren O’Day kept the bullpen sound, so Showalter’s main focus at camp will be to cobble together a rotation minus Chen. Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez and Kevin Gausman were a combined 36-40 last year, leaving plenty of room for improvement. At this point, there is no apparent No. 5 starter.

___

Tampa Bay Rays

Manager: Kevin Cash (second season).

2015: 80-82, fourth place.

Training Town: Port Charlotte, Florida.

Park: Charlotte Sports Park.

First Workout: Feb. 21/26.

He’s Here: OF Corey Dickerson, SS Brad Miller, C Hank Conger, 1B-OF Logan Morrison, OF-INF Steve Pearce, RHP Chase Whitley, LHP Dana Eveland, RHP Danny Farquhar.

He’s Outta Here: LHP Jake McGee, SS Astrubal Cabrera, C J.P. Arencibia, OF Daniel Nava, RHP Brandon Gomes, RHP Kirby Yates, LHP C.J. Riefenhauser, RHP Nathan Karns, OF Grady Sizemore, 1B-DH John Jaso, OF Joey Butler.

Going campin’: The Rays’ sub-.500 finish last season left them with consecutive losing records for the first time since 2006-07. An inability to consistently win close games was the reason. They were 46-48 in games decided by two runs or fewer, including 26-30 in one-run games. As a result, president of baseball operations Matt Silverman reshaped the roster through a pair of offseason trades, hoping to add more pop to the middle of the batting order while not compromising one of the AL’s most reliable defenses. Baseball’s youngest manager, Kevin Cash, enters his second season and has to determine how all the new pieces fit — not only offensively but in a restructured bullpen. The addition of Dickerson and Pearce adds power, but also gives the team a surplus of outfielders. There’s a potential logjam at first base, too, where Morrison has been added and James Loney is the incumbent.

___

Boston Red Sox

Manager: John Farrell (fourth season).

2015: 78-84, fifth place.

Training Town: Fort Myers, Florida.

Park: JetBlue Park.

First Workout: Feb. 19/24.

He’s Here: LHP David Price, RHP Craig Kimbrel, OF Chris Young.

He’s Outta Here: LHP Wade Miley, LHP Craig Breslow, LHP Rich Hill.

Going campin’: The Red Sox are coming off their third last-place finish in four years. In 2013, they won the World Series. Farrell returns to the dugout after missing the last six weeks of the 2015 season receiving treatment for cancer; the team went 28-20 under bench coach Torey Lovullo. Price joins the rotation after signing a $217 million, seven-year contract. Hanley Ramirez, one of last year’s big free agent signings, will move to first base after struggling to adapt to the outfield during his first season in Boston. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval also will try to bounce back in his second season at Fenway Park. If the Red Sox start poorly, attention will turn quickly to the farewell tour for designated hitter David Ortiz, who has said this will be his last season.

By The Associated Press

comments powered by Disqus