After seeing the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays make their own offseason splashes this week, proceeded by the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles offseason marks happening earlier on, there isn’t a more accurate statement than “the AL East is the most dominant division in baseball.”

Sure, maybe the topic has been beaten to death, but it never ceases to amaze me on how competitive this division really is. For the past five years, the competitiveness in the division has really heated up. All five teams part of the ultra-tough division have competed against one another and never stop either and it’s entertaining.

For proof, look no further than this year’s offseason:

Boston Red Sox – The Sox acquire two of the games most prominent hitters in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.

Baltimore Orioles The Orioles complete a roster overhaul, adding veterans Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, Kevin Gregg and Jeremy Accardo.

Tampa Bay Rays The Rays decimated their roster, trading away many of their key pieces for the future, but also made an effort to fill the seats in South Florida by recently signing Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez to one-year pacts.

Toronto Blue Jays After being quiet all offseason, resigning many within the organization and stock-piling draft picks and prospects, they finally made their move – acquiring power-hitters Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Vernon Wells.

New York Yankees – Brian Cashman was snubbed on numerous occasions this offseason, from big names like Crawford or Cliff Lee to smaller names like Kevin Gregg. They finally made their mark late, signing closer/setup-man Rafael Soriano to a massive contract.

This is just one offseason, but it’s clear that when one team makes a move in the AL East, it has a very big ripple effect on the rest of the division. The first move was made on Dec. 4 by Boston, and it continued from there. And this isn’t the only offseason that this has happened, the competitiveness during the offseason has picked up in recent years especially:

2006 The Jays sign Frank Thomas and give Wells his big contract, the Yanks bring back Andy Pettite, the Sox sign Japanese phenomenon Daisuke Matsuzaka, where the Rays bring in their own Japanese star in Akinori Iwamura, and the Orioles vastly improve their bullpen while also signing Aubrey Huff in his heyday.

2008 – The Jays add all-star infielders David Eckstein and Scott Rolen, the Yankees name Joe Girardi their new skipper while adding Alex Rodriguez back to the MLB‘s largest contract ever. The Red Sox bring in a heavy bat in Mike Lowell. The Rays bank their prospect system, while the Orioles complete a pair of blockbusters, acquiring future key pieces in Adam Jones, Luke Scott and Matt Albers.

These are just three recent off-seasons, but it proves my point well. Whenever one of the teams in the AL East make a move, it has a very big ripple effect on the rest of the division and sooner or later all the teams react in some way.

Perhaps it’s due to the amount of money the division produces. The Yankees and Red Sox have a payroll that succeeds the $200 million mark, while the Jays and Orioles have support from their owners as well. The Rays have the least of the five, but still remain competitive.

Either way, if it’s something in the air in the Eastern part of North America or the world’s best baseball mind just happen to all run teams in the same division – the AL East is baseball’s most competitive division and until the entire league shuts down, it always will be.

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