Offseason Grades: AL West

Jake DeWitt

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (B+)
Key Additions: Danny Espinosa (SS/2B), Jesse Chavez (P)
Key Losses: None

The Angels do not have much cap space to work with, but they still managed to add a power threat at second base, and some depth in the rotation. Don’t expect the Angels to trade Mike Trout this year – or ever. It would be impossible for them to recoup equitable value in any trade.

Oakland Athletics (C+)
Key Additions: Matt Joyce (OF)
Key Losses: None

This is the time of year where we expect the Athletics to make few, if any, moves. Yet again, the franchise did not disappoint. Sonny Gray was tossed around in trade discussions, but that’s more or less of Billy Beane and the front office gauging his value. Gray is more likely to be traded in July, if ever.

Texas Rangers (C-)
Key Additions: Andrew Cashner (SP)
Key Losses: Mitch Moreland (1B/DH), Carlos Beltran (OF/DH), Ian Desmond (IF/OF)

After losing Mitch Moreland, Carlos Beltran, and Ian Desmond in free agency, this lineup has taken a significant hit. Sure, they still boast the ageless Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor, and Jonathan Lucroy. But, GM Jon Daniels is banking on Shin-Soo Choo to return to form after an injury-plagued season, and breakout campaigns from young players like Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Jurickson Profar, and Delino DeShields. Finally, outside of Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels, the entire pitching staff is unproven. They can still have a respectable offseason if they pull the trigger to sign Edwin Encarnacion, but don’t expect the front office to sign Jose Bautista. Odor won’t like that.

Houston Astros (A-)
Key Additions: Josh Reddick (OF), Brian McCann (1B/OF/DH), Carlos Beltran (OF/DH), Charlie Morton (SP)
Key Losses: Jason Castro (C)

The only thing keeping the Astros from having the best offseason of any team is the fact that they did not take any steps to improve the starting rotation. The Astros are betting hard on the prospect of Dallas Keuchel replicating his 2015 Cy Young numbers. Meanwhile, the offense could be stupid good. Sprinkling in veterans like Beltran, Reddick, and McCann into a lineup loaded with young all-stars like Carlos Correa, George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman transforms the Astros into an immediate World Series contender. The loss of Jason Castro won’t hurt much since the team can platoon Evan Gattis and McCann.

Seattle Mariners (A-)
Key Additions: Jean Segura (SS), Chris Heston (SP), Marc Rzepczynski (RP)
Key Losses: Tijuan Walker (SP), Ketel Marte (SS)

Before the Winter Meetings started the Mariners dealt inconsistent starter Tijuan Walker and young shortstop Ketel Marte to the Diamondbacks for shortstop Jean Segura, a player who set several career highs in 2016. Their lineup is good, but not great and boasts minimal positional depth. They are still contenders to sign Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista, but appear to be on the outside looking in on a potential deal with Mark Trumbo.


Author: Thrive Nation

Amateur sports journalism blog, primarily posting about the latest happenings in EPL, MLB, NFL, and Boxing.

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