Toronto Blue Jays' Additions Make AL East More Rugged for Yankees

Phil WatsonCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2012

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 16:  Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees walks back to the dugout against the Detroit Tigers during game three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 16, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows his life has gotten more difficult.

He e-mailed the New York Daily News on Monday that the additions the Toronto Blue Jays have made this winter have made the division more difficult.

“The Blue Jays have done a lot to improve their team,” Girardi said. “Adding a pitcher like (R.A.) Dickey gives them another quality starter at the top of their rotation. When you look at Toronto’s rotation, it now has a lot of different looks and a lot of experience with (Josh) Johnson, (Mark) Buehrle and now Dickey.”

Toronto has been one of the busiest teams in baseball this offseason, also adding Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and Melky Cabrera to a lineup that already featured some thunder in Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie.

Outfielder Curtis Granderson is also impressed with what the Blue Jays have pulled off this winter.

He told the Daily News: “They made the first big trade earlier in the offseason, now they add R.A. Dickey. They want to compete. They want to get into it.”

What Toronto has done is in sharp contrast to a quiet offseason in the Bronx. The Yankees have added free-agent infielder Kevin Youkilis on a one-year deal to play Band-Aid at third base while Alex Rodriguez recovers from hip surgery.

Otherwise, the Yankees have retained a few of their own free agents. New York has re-signed pitchers Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera and should be announcing a deal with outfielder Ichiro Suzuki this week.

The Yankees obviously aren’t done tinkering with the roster this winter. They have a hole at catcher after Russell Martin signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and need a right-handed hitting outfielder.

New York is still in the middle of a historic run during which the Yankees have made 17 postseason appearances in the last 18 years.

But with the moves made in Toronto that task has become more difficult… and Joe Girardi knows it.