It has been a very busy couple of weeks for the American League West. High profile free agents like Robinson Cano, and players like Corey Hart now call that division home. And with trades that have brought players like Tyler Skaggs, Drew Pomeranz, and Logan Morrison over as well, the AL West is going to be a difficult division to win or even play against.
Every team within the division has done something to improve their respective ball clubs. The Rangers made their moves earlier when they acquired Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers for Ian Kinsler and brought in Michael Choice from the Oakland Athletics, but is that going to be enough?
The Seattle Mariners are the team that has made the biggest splash so far. Signing Cano to a 10-year deal was the first move, and now signing Corey Hart and acquiring Logan Morrison on Wednesday was just another step in the right direction for a team that lost 91 games last season. The Mariners have also been rumored to be a possible trading partner with the Tampa Bay Rays for left-handed ace David Price. What a dangerous rotation that would be having the likes of Price join forces with King Felix Hernandez. In my honest opinion I don’t think the Mariners should make the trade because of the talent they would be giving up on a potential rental, but that’s just me.
The Houston Astros, who were the worst team in all of baseball last year, have been busy as well acquiring speedy Dexter Fowler from the Colorado Rockies for a pair of players including Jordan Lyles. Bolstering their bullpen is something they are concentrating on as well. The Astros are still a long ways away from really making an impact, but you can’t argue with the work they are doing to be that team sooner rather than later.
In a surprising move the Los Angeles Angels traded away slugger Mark Trumbo but were able to strengthen their rotation in the process with Tyler Skaggs from the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Angels are going to be a team in contention if they click on all cylinders which is a scary thing.
Keeping up with the rest of the division is the Oakland Athletics. The 2013 AL West Champions seemed poised to repeat with the moves they made. They brought in a solid closer from the Baltimore Orioles in Jim Johnson and a quality arm in Luke Gregerson from the San Diego Padres to help out in the bullpen. The A’s also added pitchers Scott Kazmir and Drew Pomeranz to beef up the rotation and make them a dangerous team in 2014.
So what is next for the Rangers?
They are already a tough team to play against, but with everyone else around them getting that much better what are they going to do in response? There are still plenty of players out there worth taking a look at as well as trades to explore, so don’t count them out on anything just yet.
Could they put a package together worthy enough to land David Price? Are they interested in potentially trading for Matt Kemp? There are only a few people that know for sure, but I am going to go out and say that a big name will be coming to Arlington very soon.