Toronto Blue Jays

 

2006 Finish:  87-75, 2nd place in the AL East, 10 games back

Manager: John Gibbons, 3rd year with the Blue Jays

Comings:  DH Frank Thomas, SS Royce Clayton, RHP Toma Ohka, RHP John Thomson, OF Matt Stairs, RHP Victor Zambrano, C Sal Fasano

Goings:  OF Frank Catalanotto, RHP Justin Speier, LHP Ted Lilly, C Bengie Molina

Analysis:  Short and sweet on the Jays.  This is a team that surprised a lot of people by finishing second, ahead of the Red Sox last year.  Thomas was brought in to provide thump in the middle of the lineup.  With the A’s last year he hit .270 with 39 HRs and 114 RBIs.  Of course the biq question with the Big Hurt is health.  CF Vernon Wells has established himself as an elite player and was rewarded with a great big contract.  He also plays Gold Glove defense.  3B Troy Glaus hit 38 HRs and had 104 RBIs.  1B Lyle Overbay was very good in his first year in the AL.  He hit .312/.372/.508 and drove in 92.  RF Alexis Rios established himself a solid major leaguer hitting .302/.349/.516, but he really needs to walk more.  The rotation is led by RHP Roy Halladay, and when healthy is one of the top pitchers in baseball.  RHP A.J. Burnett was given big bucks to come up north and got injured, appearing in only 21 games.  The rest of the rotation is coming off injuries.  LHP B.J. Ryan is definitely one of the elite closers in the game, saving 38 with a 1.37 ERA last year.  The middle infield is quite weak and with so much of the rotation coming off injuries, I believe the Jays will take a step back.

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