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Ranking the AL East teams position-by-position

The AL East is considered among baseball's toughest divisions given the talent and depth from top to bottom, which makes life even tougher for the Rays. ¶ Times baseball writer Marc Topkin takes a look inside the division and ranks the teams position-by-position, with an emphasis on overall contributions. The final score is at the end, with the lower number better.

Catcher

1. Jorge Posada, Yankees

2. Jason Varitek, Red Sox

3. Ramon Hernandez, O's

4. Dioner Navarro, Rays

5. Gregg Zaun, Jays

First base

1. Carlos Pena, Rays

2. Lyle Overbay, Jays

3. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox

4. Jason Giambi, Yankees

5. Kevin Millar, O's

Second base

1. Robinson Cano, Yankees

2. Aaron Hill, Jays

3. Brian Roberts, O's

4. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

5. Akinori Iwamura, Rays

Shortstop

1. Derek Jeter, Yankees

2. Julio Lugo, Red Sox

3. David Eckstein, Jays

4. Jason Bartlett, Rays

5. Luis Hernandez, O's

Third base

1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

2. Mike Lowell, Red Sox

3. Scott Rolen, Jays

4. Melvin Mora, O's

5. Willy Aybar, Rays

Leftfield

1. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox

2. Carl Crawford, Rays

3. Johnny Damon, Yankees

4. Shannon Stewart, Jays

5. Luke Scott, O's

Centerfield

1. Vernon Wells, Jays

2. B.J. Upton, Rays

3. Melky Cabrera, Yankees

4. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox

5. Adam Jones, O's

Rightfield

1. Alex Rios, Jays

2. J.D. Drew, Red Sox

3. Nick Markakis, O's

4. Bobby Abreu, Yankees

5. Jonny Gomes, Rays

DH

1. David Ortiz, Red Sox

2. Frank Thomas, Jays

3. Hideki Matsui, Yankees

4. Cliff Floyd, Rays

5. Aubrey Huff, O's

Closer

1. Mariano Rivera, Yankees

2. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox

3. B.J. Ryan, Jays

4. Troy Percival, Rays

5. George Sherrill, O's

Rotation

1. Red Sox (Beckett, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Lester, Buchholz)

2. Jays (Halladay, Burnett, McGowan,

Marcum, Litsch)

3. Yankees (Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Mussina, Kennedy)

4. Rays (Shields, Garza, Sonnanstine,

Jackson, Hammel)

5. O's (Guthrie, Loewen, Cabrera, Trachsel, Albers)

How it adds up

(remember: lower is better)

Red Sox 24

Yankees 25

Blue Jays 28

Rays 40

Orioles 48

How it worked out last year:

Team Pts W-L Finish

1. Yankees 22 94-68 2

2. Red Sox 31 96-66 1

3. Jays 34 83-79 3

4. Orioles 37 69-93 4

5. Rays 44 66-96 5



MLB preview 2008

Ranking the AL East teams position-by-position 03/29/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 29, 2008 8:45pm]

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