After what they did this past month, the Blue Jays are now my favorite to win the AL East. Their rotation now has both Josh Johnson and Mark Burhrle and is ready to dominate with run support that they didn't get in Miami. To back them up are Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Melky Cabrera, and Emilio Bonifacio. The thing that people may believe is that the Blue Jays look like last years Marlins, a huge payroll with a tough divison. But, what separates them is depth. What the Blue Jays have now and in the future is amazing. Don't even look beyond the rest of their current roster where the still have Rajai Davis, Colby Rasmus, and John Buck. This team is built to win and win for a while. Starting this year the Blue Jays will win the AL East.
Here is my Top 15 Free agents of this offseason and their predictions, enjoy!
1. Zack Grenkie -- Angels
Pitchers dominate baseball. Grenkie dominates baseball. In for a huge contract by any team. Grenkie is better than Hamilton in my opinion because of injuries. The former Cy Young winner has not had any major arm injuries, while Hamilton is very injury prone.The Dodgers could also sign the 29-year-old.
2. Josh Hamilton -- Brewers
Josh Hamilton is still the second best free agent even considering the injury risk. Josh is ethier on hot or cold streaks and always seems to have sreaky seasons. If Hamilton can keep himself hot and injury-free, he could be the most dominate hitter in the league next year. And the Brew Crew need someone to suppliment Ryan Braun in the lineup. Think about Braun, Hamilton as a 3, 4 heart of the lineup. Scary, huh? Remember the 4 HR game? That's what Hamilton can do.
3. B.J. Upton -- Phillies
I rank B.J. this high for one reason. Youth. This kid averages 20 Homers and 30 Stolen Bases a year and is only 28. His best years could be ahead of him with Ryan Howard in front of him in the lineup. B.J. will be a valuable piece for any team that signs him. But youth is what the Phillies want, and they could strike big with B.J.
4. Michael Bourn -- Nationals
The Nats need an outfield peice. Bourn would be a perfect fit for the Nats. Though Bourn said he wanted a 100 MM dollar deal, I think no one will buy that. The Nats may need to wait until the salary deflates, but may be able to squeeze out a deal in Febuary. Bourn is fast, can hit, and plays a strong Center Field. That's why he's ranked 4th.
5. Nick Swisher -- Giants
The Giants need an outfielder and I think that Swisher is the answer. He had a great season this year while batting a .272 AVG, with 24 HRs, and 93 RBI. His postseason performance was terrible while only batting only .111 in the ALDS and .250 in the ALCS. Swisher is a poor player overall in the playoffs batting only .169 in 11 career series. His postseason could hurt his value, but he could still be a very nice pickup.
6. Kyle Lohse -- Dodgers
The Dodgers could pay a lot for a good starter and I think Lohse is the answer. A commanding 16-3 record, Lohse could get a good deal.
7. Adam LaRoche -- Nationals
The Nats want to keep their core in shape. That means keeping LaRoche on the club. I think it'll happen. LaRoche was a big part of the Nats success, that's why he's ranked 7th.
8. Anibal Sanchez -- Yankees
I don't like Shanchez, but the numbers don't lie, HAS NOT HAD AN ERA OVER 3.99 SINCE 2008. He doesn't rack up a lot of wins, but the Yankees need a starter and he looks like a good option.
9. Shane Victorino -- Braves
Victorino was terrible last year, no lie. His stolen base numbers were about the same, but his hitting has just crumbled. If Bourn goes to the Nats, the Braves will need a spot to fill. Victorino will be a good option.
10. Mike Napoli -- Astros
The Astros need a good player that doesn't take up too much payroll space. Napoli looks like a leader, especially since he's a catcher. The Astros need a leader upon moving to the AL. Napoli looks like the frontrunner.
11. Edwin Jackson -- Blue Jays
I think the Jays get a pretty solid starter for their money. I think Jackson, in my opinion, is better than Anibal Sanchez. I mean he threw a no-hitter! This guy is a commander. A very good option.
12. Dan Haren -- Padres
Haren is a good number two starter that the Padres need. Though he gives up the long ball a lot, sunny San Diego could keep those numbers down. If Haren joins the Padres look for him to have a good year.
13. Torii Hunter -- Yankees
After losing Nick Swisher, the Yanks need someone to give them a good option in the outfield. He had 92 RBI as recently as last year and he still can hit. He's aging though and may only be good for one more year.
14. Angel Pagan -- Giants
He may not be on this list for talent, but Pagan comes through whether it's in the outfield or it's batting. The Giants know that. Pagan stays as a Giant.
15. Melky Cabrera -- Red Sox
This one may be a strech, but Cabrera was putting up some pretty solid numbers. Do PEDs work that well? No one will ever know. I think it's only fair to put him on this list, just because with or without PEDs, he was having a great season.