2015 Blue Jays: Reasons to Get Excited!

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Aug 10, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) watches during batting practice before a game against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Competition

The American League East appears to be more up for grabs than it has in years. And, if the Blue Jays are going to grab a division title for the first time in Castro and Osuna’s lifetime, this may be the year.

The New York Yankees are still old. The New York Yankees still have Alex Rodriquez. They will run a lineup out there that has holes and question marks. They are hoping that Masahiro Tanaka and C.C. Sabathia can return to dominant form. Perhaps the only real given is their defense being improved. They’ll have Did Gregorius to take over for the icon, Derek Jeter. And, if a healthy Mark Teixeira can be seen, he’ll help anchor the infield. But, the club’s failure to make any real, significant additions beyond Andrew Miller leaves them vulnerable.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

The Red Sox made more moves than any team in the division this winter. Their offense very well could rival that of the Blue Jays…could. Outside of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, this team is putting a lot of hope in guys like Shane Victorino and Mookie Betts. Can Mike Napoli have a bounce back year? On the other side, they’ve made a massive upgrade to their rotation. Or, have they? They’ll run out a rotation of #3 starters who live off the ground ball. Is this a recipe for disaster?

The Orioles lost Nelson Cruz and Mick Markakis, which accounts for a chunk of the offense. Matt Weiters’ health is still questionable. Will they be able to get a full season out of Manny Machado? And, can the unlikely success of the rotation continue from last season? What is up with Ubaldo Jimenez? Will earn his contract? Is Buck Showalter enough for this team to compete? Will they actually be relying on Travis Snider and J.P. Arencibia?

The Rays are…the Rays. They have very little offense behind Evan Longoria. The rotation is questionable and has health issues at the moment. Can Kevin Cash make up for the loss of Joe Maddon? This team has had years of success operating as a smart, small market team. With that comes a few years of losing. Is this another one of those years? Or, will they somehow find some of that magic?

For the first time in many years, the Blue Jays may be poised to strike at a division that appears ripe for the taking. The combination of a very potent offense, exciting youth and a weaker division makes for an exciting time to be a Blue Jays fan! Buckle up!

Next: Blue Jays Say Goodbye to Spring Training