Blue Jays: Assessing the AL East after the 2019 campaign

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21: Tyler Wade #14 of the New York Yankees slides home past Luke Maile #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays for a run in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21: Tyler Wade #14 of the New York Yankees slides home past Luke Maile #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays for a run in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 29: Breyvic Valera #74 of the Toronto Blue Jays is gets sunflower seeds thrown at him by teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 after hitting a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 29: Breyvic Valera #74 of the Toronto Blue Jays is gets sunflower seeds thrown at him by teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 after hitting a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

Now that the 2019 season is in the books for all of the teams in the AL East, how do the Blue Jays stack up against their division rivals going forward?

The Blue Jays have always had to earn their place in any postseason race thanks to being in the AL East. The long-powerful New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are almost always competitive, and the Tampa Bay Rays have been very good for most of the last decade. Even the Baltimore Orioles were in the playoff picture a few years ago.

It’s not an ideal scenario for the Blue Jays, but then again, you have to beat the best in order to be the best, and that rings true in any division. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the East still has a few of the top teams across baseball, even if they’re not represented in the Fall Classic this year. The Yankees were just two wins away despite a season that saw record-breaking injury numbers for their roster, and the Rays made the playoffs as well before being knocked out in the ALDS against the Astros. The Red Sox failed to make the postseason in their bid to defend their 2018 championship, and the Orioles, well, they’ve got plenty of work to do.

Simply looking at their place in the 2019 standings doesn’t tell the whole picture though, and the East will remain an interesting division for the next several years. The Blue Jays have a lot of work to do to climb to or even near the top of the mountain, but there are reasons to believe that the future will be bright North of the border, even in a tough division.

Let’s have a look at the future for each of their division rivals, at least as things stand here nearing the end of October.

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