The Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays ruled the American League East in 2023. Both teams overtook the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays to set the pace all summer long and take the top two spots.
When it came to the postseason, it was an October to forget for the Orioles, Rays, and Blue Jays as they went a combined 0-7 with Tampa Bay and Toronto being swept in the Wild Card round, then Baltimore was swept by the Texas Rangers in the Divisional round.
If there is one clear thing, the bottom three teams in the division have some work to do to catch up with the teams ahead of them as the Orioles are an up-and-coming team that isn’t going anywhere and the Rays are a team that doesn’t spend, but they are built for the regular-season grind.
Let’s take a look at why Toronto, Boston, and New York are facing monster offseasons this winter.
Toronto Blue Jays
Entering each season, there is excitement in Canada for the start of the Blue Jays season and they usually give their fans a good regular season, but they can’t win in October. This winter, they are facing several questions and potential needs heading into 2024.
Third baseman Matt Chapman is likely gone, which is going to leave a void defensively. He was streaky at the plate, but his defense was some of the best on the hot corner in the American League, as evidenced by his being a Gold Glove finalist.
Outfield depth is a need for GM Ross Atkins, but his biggest question will be surrounding the starting pitching. Can Alek Manoah return to 2022 Alek Manoah after a disastrous 2023 that saw him sent to Florida in June and never helped them again? Toronto certainly hopes so as when he’s on, he’s a Cy Young-caliber type of pitcher. If they need to hit free agency for an arm, there are plenty of end-of-the-rotation starters to choose from.