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GM Theo Epstein has made the necessary moves to make the Boston Red Sox a real threat in 2011.
The American League Eastern division may be the toughest of all the divisions in baseball in 2011. But, any division that includes the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees makes the top two choices rather clear.
2011 may very well be the Red Sox's year to return to glory. General Manager Theo Epstein has re-tooled the bullpen by adding a slew of relievers (highlighted by Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler) to a staff that already included closer Jonathan Papelbon, future closer Daniel Bard, and Hideki Okajima.
They also added one of the best slugging first baseman in the game, Adrian Gonzalez. They acquired Gonzalez in a trade with the San Diego Padres at the beginning of the offseason, and at that moment they became a favorite to win the AL East.
But that wasn't enough for Epstein. He later signed the speedy Carl Crawford to a seven year mega-deal, which gives the Sox one of, if not the most, fearsome lineups in baseball. The two newcomers join the likes of incumbents Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.
And of course, the starting rotation is very deep. Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz comprise one of the very best rotations in the game today.
From all aspects and all angles, the Red Sox seem to have an edge over the rest of their opponents in the American League. They have an extremely loyal fan base and will look to reward their fans with another fine season in Beantown.