What a difference a year has made for David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox.

In 2015, the club landed in the cellar in the American League East—15 games behind the division-winning Toronto Blue Jays. This year, as the third month of the season rolls along, the Red Sox own the second-best winning percentage in the circuit.

The AL East heavyweights are the most improved team of 2016, but they’re far from the only rejuvenated squad this year.

In order to rank the most improved teams of 2016, we zeroed in on three key factors:

  • How well their new trade/free-agent additions have performed
  • How successfully key returning players have bounced back from underwhelming performances in 2015
  • How much room for improvement each team had

That last bullet point is a big one because some clubs—like the Red Sox—had much more room to grow than others.

The idea here is to focus on teams that are “back.” As a result, only teams that missed out on the postseason in 2015 were eligible for inclusion.

The Red Sox are the only club from the AL East that made the cut, but three teams in the National League East landed spots in the rankings that follow.

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