MLB 2013 Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays have drastically improved, but is it enough to win the AL East? Photo: 2012 NL Cy Young Winner R.A. Dickey/AP Nathan Denette

LOS ANGELES, March 14, 2013 — The Toronto Blue Jays went from being an irrelevant team that finished with a 73-89 record in 2012 to being a legitimate contender for the American League East pennant. This happened almost overnight when they swooped in and pulled off the heist of the winter.

That heist came in the form of a trade with the Miami Marlins and the reward was Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle. Then the Blue Jays went out and signed R.A. Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner, to be the ace in a rotation who, if healthy, has the potential to be great.

Unfortunately, Toronto also rewarded Melky Cabrera with a two-year contract worth $16 million for being able to effectively procure and use steroids. Cabrera was suspended 50 games in the middle of a career year for testing positive for banned substances while playing for the San Francisco Giants in 2012. Cabrera’s name also recently surfaced on a client list from an “anti-aging” clinic in Miami.

The Blue Jays could be one of the most improved teams this season. They will need to be if they hope to fend off Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

Jose Bautista/AP Chris Young

Projected payroll: $113,775,000

Notable Players Out: SS Yunel Escobar, 2B Kelly Johnson, C Jeff Mathis, RHP Carlos Villanueva, RHP Henderson Alvarez, RHP Brandon Lyon

Notable Players In: SS Jose Reyes, LF Melky Cabrera, 2B Emilio Bonifacio, C Henry Blanco, RHP R.A. Dickey, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Josh Johnson, RHP Jeremy Jeffress

Prospect Watch: OF D.J. Davis and RHP Aaron Sanchez

Highlight Hitter: Jose Bautista (ZiPS 2013 Projections:

Highlight Pitcher: R.A. Dickey (ZiPS 2013 Projections

Projected Lineup: C J.P. Arencibia, 1B Edwin Encarnacion, 2B Emilio Bonifacio, 3B Brett Lawrie, SS Jose Reyes, LF Melky Cabrera, CF Colby Rasmus, RF Jose Bautista, DH Adam Lind

Projected Rotation: RHP R.A. Dickey, RHP Brandon Morrow, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Josh Johnson, LHP Ricky Romero

Projected Closer: RHP Casey Janssen

Manager: John Gibbons

Projected 2013 Finish in AL East: 1. TBA  2. Toronto Blue Jays  3. Baltimore Orioles  4. New York Yankees  5. Boston Red Sox

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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