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Blue Jays making headway in meat-grinder AL East

By November 19, 2012

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With the approval of the Marlins-Blue Jays blockbuster, let's look at the Toronto 2013 lineup, as it stands today.

  • C: J.P. Arencibia or John Buck
  • 1B: Adam Lind
  • 2B: Maicer Izturis or Emilio Bonifacio
  • SS: Jose Reyes
  • 3B: Brett Lawrie
  • LF: Melky Cabrera (signed to a two-year deal worth $16 million -- a risky deal for a player who was admittedly augmented by performance-enhancers) or Rajai Davis
  • CF: Colby Rasmus
  • RF: Jose Bautista
  • DH: Edwin Encarnacion

Starting rotation: Brandon Morrow, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Romero, J.A. Happ

The Blue Jays still need a manager, however. Wonder if John Farrell is having some second thoughts about taking that Boston gig. And it's a pretty tight search so far -- not much info getting out, according to Craig Calcaterra of HardballTalk.

But regardless of who is filling out the lineup card, that's probably the second-best lineup in the division -- behind the aging Yankees -- and perhaps the best rotation at this point. The Orioles were the surprise team, but they won't sneak up on anybody this time around. The Blue Jays' bullpen isn't as good as the Orioles, Rays or Yankees yet, but there's time to address that. The Rays will be pesky, as always. And the Red Sox? Well, they're a sleeping giant, for now.

In a couple of years, or even sooner, this could be a five-way race that's epic.

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