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Is the AL East a more competitive place this morning?

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That Cliff Lee thing came out of no where. I'm always happy to see free agent turn down the Yankees. It is great to see guys will take less money not to play with the Yankees. You'd have to think that it makes the Phillies the favorites to make the World Series out of the NL. 

It also makes the AL East a more interesting place. Last year the Rays took the division, 1 game up on the Yankees, 7 up on the Red Sox. We were 11 back and the Orioles 30 back. 

I think the Orioles will be better this year but no way they are 30 games better. 

The Red Sox improved. By how much is up for debate.

The Yankees, so far, all they have done is get older. Though it looks like they signed Russell Martin, not that I think he changes all that much. 

The Rays have lost Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena

Us? I figured this year would be a consolidation year, try not to lose too much of the gains of last year and figure out what the lineup is going to look like in the future. But, right now I can see us completing with anyone but the Red Sox and even they have to play the games. A few things break right, a good DH and good 3B and we could be in it. I'd love to see Alex fill on of those two holes before Christmas. 

I know the Marcum trade isn't a win now type move, but I don't think it precludes us winning now. We have a few players with things to prove, that's always a good thing. 

So what do you think? Are we in a better spot this morning than we were yesterday?