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Orioles SP Chris Tillman
Baltimore Orioles: The pitching staff could once again be a merry-go-round of arms.
Despite winning 93 games and reaching the postseason last year, the Orioles struggled all season to find five consistent arms to fill out their rotation.
In total, 12 different players started a game, and only Wei-Yin Chen made more than 20 starts. Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez came on strong down the stretch last year, and Jair Jurrjens was signed as a free agent, but the Orioles rotation is still far from a sure thing entering the season.
Boston Red Sox: An offseason spending spree still isn't enough to keep them out of last place.
With Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford shipped to the Dodgers and Daisuke Matsuzaka's contract coming off the books, the Red Sox had a good deal to spend this offseason.
After losing 93 games last season, the team went out and added nine veteran players led by Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew. Despite all that, they may still have a hard time avoiding a second straight season in last place with the entire division around them looking tough.
New York Yankees: Signs of age and injury prove too much for team to overcome and the Yankees miss the postseason.
The Yankees' core of superstars is not getting any younger. And as those players continue to climb into their late-30s, declining production and injuries are likely to become a bigger issue.
Curtis Granderson is already lost for 10 weeks to a broken forearm, Alex Rodriguez is out until midseason at least after undergoing hip surgery and Derek Jeter remains questionable to start the season. A lack of depth across the roster means a few key injuries could keep the Yankees out of the postseason in a deep division.
Tampa Bay Rays: Not enough was done to improve offensively and no one steps up for James Shields.
The Rays have long been a team built on terrific pitching and an average-at-best offense. This offseason, they set out to improve offensively.
James Loney, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar form a new-look infield alongside Evan Longoria, but the big move was shipping workhorse James Shields to the Royals for prospect Wil Myers.
If Myers can step forward as a key run producer long-term and someone like Matt Moore can take a step forward in the rotation, the team should be in great shape. If neither of those things happens, though, the Rays may be worse off than they were entering the offseason.
Toronto Blue Jays: They wind up being this seasons's Miami Marlins.
The Blue Jays had a huge offseason, going all in on the 2013 campaign and adding Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey and Melky Cabrera, among others.
With those guys joining an already talented core made up of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Morrow and Brett Lawrie, the team looks to be a legitimate contender on paper. So were the Marlins last year, though, and they fell flat after a busy offseason.
I think the Blue Jays have a far better team than last year's Marlins, but the potential is always there for a big letdown after a busy offseason.