Featuring the likes of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, the American League East is one of baseball's most competitive divisions. All of the above-mentioned teams have made the postseason at least twice in each of the last three seasons and are capable of winning a World Series title in 2020. However, in order to do so, there's still work to be done.
While Game 1 of the 2019 World Series is just hours away, it never hurts to take a prospective look ahead into the offseason. With that in mind, here are some key moves that each AL East contender should make this offseason.
3. Boston Red Sox: Sign Jose Abreu
Pitching was a major issue for the Red Sox in 2019, but surprisingly, the club may be in more need of middle-of-the-order bat this offseason. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez (player option) could walk in free agency, leaving Boston's lineup without the kind of offensive punch necessary to contend next year. If the Sox sign Jose Abreu, however, he could provide the them with an ideal fix. The 33-year-old slugger had a season comparable to Martinez's in 2019, slashing .284/.330/.503 with 33 homers and an AL-best 123 RBI. Abreu would fill a need at first base as well, as platoon-mates Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce are slated for free agency.
2. Tampa Bay Rays: Sign Nick Castellanos
Tampa's pitching staff was the best in the Majors last season, but their lineup - while still solid - could have used one more big bat to get past the Houston Astros this postseason. If they want make an appearance in the World Series in 2020, adding an all-around hitter like Nick Castellanos would certainly aid in that cause. Castellanos had an excellent 2019 season split between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs, slashing .289/.337/.525 with an MLB-best 58 doubles, 27 homers and 73 RBI on the year. Primarily a right fielder by trade, Castellanos would be a fantastic replacement for impending free agent Avisail Garcia.
1. New York Yankees: Sign Gerrit Cole
If you can't beat them, sign them, right? Expected to be the crown jewel of the 2020 free-agent market, the Yankees witnessed firsthand just how dominant of a pitcher Gerrit Cole can be and that breaking the bank for him would be in their best interest. The 29-year-old righty was arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season, going 20-5 with a AL-best 2.50 ERA, 0.895 WHIP and an MLB-best 326 strikeouts (212 1/3 innings). Yankees starters combined for a 4.51 ERA (No. 15 in MLB), the lowest mark of each team to make the postseason this year. Signing Cole would fill a big need and adding him to staff that already features James Paxton and Luis Severino would give New York a dominant three-headed monster at the top of its rotation over the next several seasons.
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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.