Of all the divisions, the amnesty clause may benefit more clubs in the AL East than any other division. In case you missed our review of the AL West and AL Central, make sure you check them out. Without further ado, lets jump into this.
Yankees- Having the highest payroll in all of baseball you're going to have a few contracts you would like to get rid of. Sure you could argue that Alex Rodriguez should be amnestied as he had his worst statistical year in his career, but I am not so sure. I think Rodriguez still has some left in the tank and he will create a media frenzy as he approaches and potentially breaks Barry Bonds home run record. But the man I am sending home is A.J. Burnett and his $33mm which he is owed over the next two seasons. Yes the Yankees are trying to trade him, but I think Burnett has shown he can not handle the pressure in New York and is in dire need of a scenery change. By clearing his contract, the Yankees would be able to acquire the DH that they have been searching for. (Article done before Burnett trade)
Blue Jays- The Jays under GM Alex Anthopoulos have been very cautious on how they hand out multi-year contracts. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't send Raji Davis home along with his $3.25mm that he is owed. Davis appeared in only 95 games while posting a .237 avg. He did have 34 steals, but also posted a career low OBP of .273 (minimum 21 games).
Orioles- Brian Roberts who has been with the Orioles for 11 seasons, signed a four-year $40mm deal in February of ‘09 (covering ‘10-'13). In the first two seasons of the deal, he has missed at least one hundred games. Last season in only 39 games, he hit .221. Roberts has $20mm left ($10mm each season) on his deal.
Rays- Amnesty and Andrew Friedman do not match. When the only people on your team that have multi-year deal are all major team friendly deals you don't consider getting rid of them. BUT since that would buck the trend of the article, J.P. Howell at $1.35mm gets my vote. Yes, I know $1.35mm, but GM Andrew Friedman helped define what team friendly contracts mean. Howell who missed all of 2010 with a shoulder injury, came back in 2011 and posted a 6.16 era in 30 2/3 innings.
Red Sox-An argument can be made for either Carl Crawford or John Lackey. Crawford has six-years and $128mm left on his deal where as Lackey has only three-years and $45.75mm left. I think it is to early to throw the towel in on Crawford after just one season in Boston especially with so much invested in him. Lackey on the other hand is a different story and he gets my vote as the Red Sox amnesty candidate. In two seasons with Boston, Lackey has gone 26-23 while posting a rec league era of 5.26. In addition, Lackey is set to miss all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Image taken by Keith Allison and used under the Creative Common License Agreement.