AL West Offseason Review

Another offseason came and went, and a few notable players switched teams. Here’s a look at some of the bigger names, where they left, where they went to, and how they fit in with their new counterparts. Although I will go in-depth, I cannot cover every single move and will ultimately leave out a few big moves at my will. Did you know that since I have nothing better to do, I reviewed nearly every offseason transaction of note? You can view them here, as well as even better and more in-depth analysis from the others who write for this site. So enjoy a quick offseason review for every team in the MLB and reminisce on your team’s decisions over the past few months. Don’t worry, we’re all judging.

March 19, 2012; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

AL West Offseason Review

Texas Rangers Offseason Review

Joe Nathan was the biggest addition of the Texas Rangers offseason… alright I can’t go through with this; I love Yu Darvish too much. His intro music? Like Toy Soldiers. His nationality? Half-Persian, and I’m full-blooded. Nolan Ryan pulled the trigger and ended up with the best overseas pitcher, and a legit 4 WAR player who will make good on his contract. It was a shrewd move by Jon Daniels and the Rangers front office to try and fill the void left by C.J. Wilson, who skipped to a team within the division. So what if Nathan is considered injury prone? He’s healthy now, the contract comes with little risk, the Rangers needed him, and he has the upside of a top five RP. Those were two worthy risks, and Yu will definitely pay dividends for this contender.

Grade: B+

Los Angeles Angels Offseason Review

Hey, they still aren’t the top dogs in the division yet, because adding C.J. Wilson (what a steal of a deal) and Albert Pujols puts them at 9.5 wins better, not the full ten to trump the Rangers. But they will take the second Wild Card spot, because that rotation is stacked. They have a 3 WAR pitcher as their No. 4 starter with Jered Weaver and Dan Haren at the top of the rotation. That’s just monstrous, and it automatically makes them contenders. Look, if they get into the playoffs then they can go all the way with some hot hitting. The formula is a hot offense and shutdown pitching to get to a World Series, and the Angels can complete that. I mean, that Pujols guy is only one of the greatest players ever, and it doesn’t matter that he’s above 30; he’s still ridiculous. LaTroy Hawkins revived himself last season and should be viewed as a solid reliever who can definitely help your bullpen out, and Chris Iannetta has some pop and D and is a considerable upgrade over the notoriously horrible Jeff Mathis. Do you really want OBP killers Mathis, Vernon Wells, and Mark Trumbo on the same team?

Grade: A+

Oakland Athletics Offseason Review

What a strange and active offseason that Billy Beane helped complete in Oakland. The Moneyball-inspired GM trolled us by trading away top starters Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill for a slew of prospects in great deals, and he also traded star closer Andrew Bailey to make it look like a total rebuild. But then Mr. Beane added quality, exactly league-average lefty bat Seth Smith to the fold in a bargain of a deal. He ripped off the Rockies (a common theme) by giving them two completely fly-ball pitchers. He also signed Bartolo Colon to add some veteran depth, signed Cuban sensation Yoenis Cespedes to a risky deal, and he added a slew of prospects in trades. Cespedes generated a ton of buzz, but prospects Jarrod Parker, A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, Tom Milone, and Collin Cowgill (listed in terms of talent) hold a lot of future importance; especially future hopeful No. 2 starters Cole and Parker. The A’s also added outfielder Josh Reddick in the Andrew Bailey trade with the Red Sox, and they are hoping that he can be a solid fourth outfield filler for them.

Grade: A-

Seattle Mariners Offseason Review

The Mariners added former Dodger Hong-Chih Kuo in the hopes of adding some pitching stability, and they have their first legitimate catcher in on-base demon John Jaso after completing a mutually beneficial deal with the Tampa Bay Rays to acquire a player who will actually be one of their best hitters next season. Yeah, that’s how bad their offense is. But they bolstered it by adding superstar slugger Jesus Montero, who really is an all-world talent with the stick- even if he has to DH. The M’s also added Hector Noesi from the Yankees, who will develop into a solid starter and help this team out in the near future. They also reunited with reliever George Sherrill; the same guy who starred for the Orioles and then imploded in Hollywood. He was in the infamous Erik Bedard trade (along with current O’s fixture Adam Jones), even though he was terrific in Baltimore and one cannot fault the M’s for that deal. I mean, nobody knew Bedard was never going to be healthy for the rest of his life, even though he is still really good when he manages to pitch (incredible, no?).  Sherrill adds some nice depth to a ‘pen that needed a high-upside bounce-back veteran of the Jonathan Broxton mold (although with far less upside, slightly less downside, and also cheaper).

Grade: C+

Be sure to check out all of Call to the Pen’s transaction breakdowns for the 2011-12 offseason. You can follow Call to the Pen on Twitter at @FSCalltothePen or like us here on Facebook.

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Topics: AL West Offseason Review, LA Angels, Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers

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