2013 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few days we’ve been previewing the 2013 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East.

The Blue Jays totally revamped the rotation and added Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera to the lineup. Is that enough for a 20+ game swing and the division title?

The Rays lost James Shields but they still have tons of pitching. But where is the offense going to come from?

Is the Jeter-Rivera Yankees dynasty finally over? Do the Bombers have a better chance at first place or the cellar?

The Orioles shocked the world by making the playoffs in 2012. Was it smoke and mirrors or the beginning of a sustained return to prominence in Baltimore?

The Red Sox’ 2012 was a train wreck. Are they back on track in 2013?

Below are our team-by-team previews for the AL East as well as our HBT Extra feature on the division. Enjoy.

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It sounds like a Manny Machado deal is all but done

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It occurs to me that maybe one of the reasons for all of the incremental rumors about Manny Machado that I mentioned earlier this morning is that he’s . . . already traded? Basically anyway?

I say this based on the latest report from Olney in which he says that the Orioles have the structure of a Manny Machado trade in place and are “going through the medicals/paperwork portion of the transaction.” He quickly adds that the Dodgers “have been very invested” in pursuing Machado but that “a deal is not finished yet.”

Here’s the actual tweet, since we’re parsing words:

As someone who has read trade rumors like it’s his job for the past decade, mostly because it is his job, here’s what Olney’s tweet says to me (and yes, this is all speculation, but it makes a ton of sense):

1. The Orioles have agreed to trade Machado, probably to the Dodgers since they’re mentioned first, but no one has given Buster the OK to actually report it as a done deal. The “not finished yet” is protection, showing that he didn’t spill the beans, but the mention of the Dodgers is a wink to folks to let them know that, yep, he knows what time it is;

2. They probably haven’t given him the OK to report it as a done deal because they want Machado to appear in the All-Star Game as an Oriole;

3. The second he’s removed from the game tonight, the news goes public. Or, if MLB is putting its finger on the scale and doesn’t want to distract from the All-Star Game, the second the game is over. Personally, though, if I was MLB I’d let the news come out during the game because people will stay tuned to wait for it.

Anyway, like I said, speculation. But I feel like it’s right.