Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays: Grading the Offseason for the AL East

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TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28: The Boston Red Sox celebrate their 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five to win the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28: The Boston Red Sox celebrate their 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five to win the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox: B-

Notable additions: Nathan Eovaldi, RHP (free agent); Steve Pearce, 1B (free agent).

The world champions didn’t make any big moves like they usually do. They re-signed Steve Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi who turned out to be great acquisitions for them last season at the trade deadline and were important contributors in the playoffs.

They’ve lost, however, at least for now as he’s still a free agent, their All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel who saved 42 games for them last year, and haven’t signed anyone to replace him. They definitely have internal options like Matt Barnes who could take over the closer’s role, but signing Kimbrel back or trading for a proven closer would have definitely been the best option. The team is so complete however that they didn’t need any urgent moves and the signings they’ve done fit well with their current situation which is why they get a fine grade.

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 17: Charlie Morton #50 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 17: Charlie Morton #50 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays

Yandy Diaz, 3B (three-team trade with Indians and Mariners); Avisail Garcia, OF (free agent); Guillermo Heredia, OF (trade with Mariners); Charlie Morton, RHP (free agent); Mike Zunino, C (trade with Mariners).

No big headline moves were made, but they signed one of the best available starters on the free agent market in Charlie Morton to improve their rotation which already has the 2018 American League CY Young Blake Snell.

They added catcher Mike Zunino who will hit his share of homers and outfielder Guillermo Heredia who will likely replace the figure of Mallex Smith in the outfield. They also added to their lineup with the signings of Avisal Garcia and the trade for Yandi Diaz. The Rays have a better team than last year and they’re certainly the favorites along with the Angels for the second wild-card spot. The 90-win team surprised everyone last year and it seems like they want to contend once again in 2019.

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