AL power rankings

1. Red Sox

So many things went right last season that some players must regress in 2014. But that pitching staff should keep them in games, and shortstop phenom Xander Bogaerts has arrived.

2. Rangers

They might have one of the best offenses in baseball with the additions of Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder.Is Yu Darvish ready to become an elite starter?

3. Tigers

Getting Miguel Cabrera off third base is a good move. The Doug Fister trade could haunt them, but the starting rotation is deep.

4. Orioles

Will be fun to watch, considering the power they have in that ballpark of theirs. But will their starting rotation let them down once again?

5. Rays

Tampa Bay's pitching and manager Joe Maddon's Midas touch with this team means it will contend again — even if the Rays trade David Price during the season.

6. Athletics

There's a lot to like about this team, starting with a good pitching staff from top to bottom and a lineup that can hurt you with the long ball. But the A's have lost starter Garrod Parker to Tommy John surgery.

7. Royals

A team ready to take the next step after winning 86 games last season. The hitting should be more productive, they play good defense and have a power bullpen.

8. Yankees

The Yankee Way is to pull out the checkbook and get every free agent. But adding Jacoby Ellsbury, Masahiro Tanaka and others still might not be enough.

9. Indians

Cleveland has a productive offense, good pitching and a top manager in Terry Francona. The losses of Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir will hurt.

10. Angels

They failed to address needs for quality starting pitching and will suffer for it. Still worth paying to watch because of multifaceted Mike Trout.

11. Twins

The rotation will be better with Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, but the hitting is unreliable, and the Twins make too many mistakes in the field.

12. Blue Jays

If they stay healthy they will bash with the best of them. Toronto's success will be determined by how it pitches and plays defense. Last year it didn't do those things well.

13. Mariners

Seattle has two stars in Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano, but there's plenty of inexperience behind them. Don't know if .500 is even a possibility for a team that hasn't reached that level since 2009.

14. White Sox

Jose Abreu will mash in this league, just not this year. There's too much uncertainty on the back end of the rotation to take this team too seriously. The White Sox are the best bet the Twins have to avoid the AL Central cellar.

15. Astros

Will be the worst in baseball again this season after three straight 100-plus loss seasons. At least they aren't far away from the big-league debuts of George Springer and Mark Appel.

La Velle E. Neal III