There are plenty of new faces in this division that make it one of the toughest to predict. The reigning NL Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey, is with the Blue Jays, while the Yankees added former Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis. The Yankees are an aging group that is being hit hard by injuries, and the Red Sox appear to be in a transition year. That all makes it conceivable that the Blue Jays — a team that upgraded in just about every aspect this winter — wins the division and makes their first postseason trip since 1993.
Toronto Blue Jays
2012 season: 73-89 (fourth, AL East)
New faces: RHP R.A. Dickey, LHP Mark Buehrle, SS Jose Reyes, RHP Josh Johnson, OF Melky Cabrera.
2013 outlook: Toronto went all-in this off-season and landed three quality starters in Dickey, Buehrle and Johnson. And the offense is improved with Reyes and Cabrera joining a lineup that has Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in the middle of it.
Tampa Bay Rays
2012 season: 90-72 (third, AL East)
New faces: 1B James Loney, SS Yunel Escobar, RHP Roberto Hernandez.
2013 outlook: Pitching has always made the Rays a threat and they will be again with David Price leading the rotation and Fernando Rodney closing. But it’ll be an uphill battle with the losses of B.J. Upton and James Shields in a stout division.
2012 season: 93-69 (second, AL East; lost in ALDS)
New faces: RHP Jair Jurrjens, INF Alexi Casilla, OF Trayvon Robinson.
2013 outlook: They made the playoffs for the first time since 1997 by going 29-9 in one-run games, thanks in large part to closer Jim Johnson. But it’s hard to see that type of magic repeating itself, although they have young talent throughout the lineup, including Matt Wieters, Manny Machado and Adam Jones.
New York Yankees
2012 season: 95-67 (first, AL East; lost in ALCS)
New faces: 3B Kevin Youkilis, C Bobby Wilson, DH Travis Hafner.
2013 outlook: They are an aging team with injuries already knocking out several of their key players for substantial parts of the season (Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson). Youkilis should help fill the void left by Rodriguez, and Mariano Rivera returns, but it’s hard to see the Yankees winning 95 or more games for a fifth straight season.
Boston Red Sox
2012 season: 69-93 (fifth, AL East)
New faces: 1B Mike Napoli, OF Shane Victorino, OF Jonny Gomes, RHP Ryan Dempster, RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Koji Uehara.
2013 outlook: The Bobby Valentine experiment backfired big-time, and the Red Sox had a major salary dump, ridding themselves of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett, all sent to the Dodgers last season. They added quality pieces this winter and should be better, but it’s hard to see them climbing too far after a disastrous season.
— Fort Worth Star-Telegram