It's Time to be a GM and Protect Your Players: AL East Version

Don't forget to check out the previous posts: NL West | NL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central

To refresh:

There is a new expansion draft format and for one day you get to be a GM of all 30 teams. Here's the catch; you can only protect three players from each organization (sorry not 15, then 3 more, etc., that would take way too long). You get the player as is with his current contract (it makes things more interesting). Keep in mind each teams financial statuses.

The Finale: AL East

Much much more after the jump.

Blue Jays protect: Jose Bautista, Ricky Romero, Brett Lawrie

Analysis: Joey Bats is a lock and I really like what Romero has done the past couple of years. I wanted to go with top prospect Travis d'Arnaud in that always difficult third sport, but Lawrie has played well at the Major League level while d'Arnaud hasn't passed AA. Two short years ago we all would have had Kyle Drabek on this list. Today, not so much.

Orioles protect: Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Zach Britton

Analysis: You can never have enough up the middle talent. Wieters and Jones have proven to be very good MLB players and Britton played well in his first season. I shuffled Manny Machado and Britton in the final spot multiple times, but I just couldn't do it. Machado is oozing with talent, but there is still a long way to go from High A to the Bigs and I only have three spots to protect.

Rays protect: Evan Longoria, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson

Analysis: The Rays have a lot of young talent and it has helped them sustain success over the last couple of years. Longoria and Price are perennial MVP and Cy Young candidates, respectively, and Hellickson just won the ROY award and has top of the rotation potential. Desmond Jennings, Matt Moore, and other prospects may be vying for that final spot very soon, but I feel pretty confident in saying that those first two guys will be locks on everyone's list for many years to come.     

Red Sox protect: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia

Analysis: I didn't even hesitate for this one. If anyone disagrees please let me know.

Yankees protect: Robinson Cano, Jesus Montero, CC Sabathia

Analysis: As a Yankees fan I feel terrible not protecting Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, but this exercise is supposed to be unbiased.  Cano is in the prime of his career and has MVP talent. The Yanks also need to get much younger and it starts with Montero who has shown in his short MLB cameo that he can hit big league pitching. Of course, as a fan of any team will tell you, they overvalue their prospects. Sure I think Manny Banuelos is going to be a stud, but in all honesty, it's a bit to premature for that. I know Sabathia has a big contract, lots of innings, and a bit of a weight issue, but he is an ace in every definition of the word and that is just too valuable to a team to let go.

Critique away.

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