MLB Free Agents 2012: Yu Darvish Would Make Toronto a Threat in AL East

Michael MillSenior Analyst IIIDecember 16, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 23:  Relief pitcher Yu Darvish #11 of Japan throws a pitch against Korea during the finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic on March 23, 2009 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Japan won 5-3 in 10 innings.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

For years now, the AL East has been the most competitive and toughest division in Major League Baseball.

With the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays at the top of the division, for years the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles have been on the outside looking in.

The Orioles haven't been very good, but the Blue Jays have remained competitive recently.

Last season, their 81-81 record would have been enough to make them the second best team in some divisions.

In the AL East, however, they finished fourth.

One of the big moves the team is looking to make this offseason is acquiring Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish in the current bidding war.

There have been reports and rumors that the Blue Jays are currently leading the bidding race.

There is some speculation that the current offer exceeds over $50 million, which is really only to speak to Darvish to negotiate.

If they win the bidding, it would likely cost well over $100 million to bring him in.

Jim Bowden of MLB Network, says that the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rangers and Cubs have all submitted bids for Darvish.

If Toronto can land the stud pitcher, and Darvish turns out to be the player everyone believes he is, then the Blue Jays could become legitimate threats in the AL East.

They surely won't be the favorite, but it will make them a bigger threat.

The Blue Jays were one of the better teams at bat last season. They finished sixth in the league in runs earned.

Their primary struggles have come in the pitching department.

Aside from Ricky Romero, the team has struggled. Add in Darvish and they could give teams some problems.