April 17, 2021

State of the AL East — New York Yankees or Tampa Bay Rays? How good are the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays? (ESPN)


The last time we saw the American League East, the Tampa Bay Rays were the class of the division while the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays were putting together playoff runs of their own — and the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles were battling at the bottom.

Since then, an offseason filled with changes saw Blake Snell and Charlie Morton leave Tampa Bay, free agents George Springer and Marcus Semien ink deals with Toronto, and multiple high-upside pitching moves for New York and under-the-radar veteran additions in Boston. And a Baltimore team still waiting for a talented group of prospects to get to Camden Yards.

We asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle and Joon Lee to take stock of where things stand in the revamped division entering 2021.

Are the Rays still a World Series contender after their quiet offseason?

David Schoenfield: Sure. Yes, it won’t be easy replacing Blake Snell and Charlie Morton in the rotation. But remember, the Rays won two-thirds of their games last season even though those two were more good than great in the regular season. They went a combined 6-4 with a 3.88 ERA while averaging just 4.4 innings…

Read “State of the AL East — New York Yankees or Tampa Bay Rays? How good are the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays?” at ESPN