- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Capsules of American League East teams, listed in order of finish last year:


Boston Red Sox

2013: 97-65, first place (World Series champions).

Manager: John Farrell (second season).

He’s Here: OF Grady Sizemore, C A.J. Pierzynski, LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Edward Mujica, RHP Burke Badenhop, INF Jonathan Herrera.

He’s Outta Here: OF Jacoby Ellsbury, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SS Stephen Drew, RHP Ryan Dempster, LHP Franklin Morales.

Projected Lineup: CF Grady Sizemore (.224, 10 HR, 32 RBI in 2011, DNP 2012-13), RF Shane Victorino (.294, 15, 61, 21 SB), 2B Dustin Pedroia (.301, 9, 84, 193 H, 42 2B), DH David Ortiz (.309, 30, 103, .564 SLG), 1B Mike Napoli (.259, 23, 92, 187 Ks), LF Daniel Nava (.303, 12, 66, .831 OBP) or Jonny Gomes (.247, 13, 52), 3B Will Middlebrooks (.227, 17, 49), C A.J. Pierzynski (.272, 17, 70 with Texas), SS Xander Bogaerts (.250, 1, 5).

Rotation: LH Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75, 177 Ks), RH John Lackey (10-13, 3.52, 161 Ks), LH Felix Doubront (11-6, 4.32), RH Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 with Chicago White Sox and Boston), RH Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74).

Key Relievers: RH Koji Uehara (4-1, 1.09, 21/24 saves, 101Ks, 9 BB), RH Junichi Tazawa (5-4, 3.16), LH Craig Breslow (5-2, 1.81), RH Edward Mujica (2-1, 2.78, 37/41 saves with St. Louis), LH Andrew Miller (1-2, 2.64).

Hot Spots: The Red Sox began spring training planning to have two rookies in the starting lineup, SS Bogaerts and CF Jackie Bradley Jr. Bogaerts started all six World Series games against St. Louis at 3B and moved to SS to replace Drew, who became a free agent. Bradley competed to take over for Ellsbury, who signed a seven-year contract with the New York Yankees after batting .298 with 52 steals as the leadoff hitter. But Sizemore, who missed the past two seasons with right knee and back injuries that required surgery, has remained healthy and outplayed Bradley.

Outlook: After their third World Series championship in 10 years, the Red Sox stuck with the strategy that worked last offseason. They resisted giving free agents expensive, long-term contracts and signed Mujica for two years and Pierzynski, Sizemore and Capuano for one year each. The rotation is the same group of solid veterans led by Lester. The bullpen is deep with the addition of Mujica. He could close games when Uehara needs a rest but primarily will join Breslow and Tazawa as setup men. Uehara was nearly unhittable in the postseason, pitching 13 2-3 innings in 13 games and striking out 16 while allowing no walks and one earned run with seven saves in seven opportunities. Despite the loss of Ellsbury, the lineup remains potent with Ortiz and Napoli providing power. The defense took a hit when Ellsbury and Drew left, but Pedroia and Victorino are outstanding fielders. Still, the Red Sox won’t take anyone by surprise after their stunning rebound last year from a 69-93 record.


Tampa Bay Rays

2013: 92-71, 2nd place, lost to Boston in division series.

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