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2020 American League West Preview

Houston Astros

Key Additions: none

Key Departures: Gerrit Cole, Will Harris, Wade Miley

It’s been one hell of an offseason for a team that nearly won a second* World Series in three years. It’s clear the players don’t really feel bad or ashamed of the cheating scheme they went unpunished for. In fact, they’re playing the victim card of wanting to prove everybody wrong by winning this season. With the roster being very much the same - sans Cole - as last year, it’s not unreasonable to view them as an AL favorite in 2020. The biggest unknown is how far did the advantage go with the cheating. That’s something that might be realized this year.

Oakland Athletics

Key Additions: TJ McFarland

Key Departures: Blake Treinen, Josh Phegley, Tanner Roark

Assuming the Astros take a tiny step back due to their tumultuous offseason, the A’s are the team that’s best set to steal the division. The core of Chapman, Olson, and Laureano is a strong one. The biggest question will be the pitching, which is a perennial patchwork effort. Sean Manaea hopes to be healthy for a full season, Mike Fiers has new spotlight on him, and closer Liam Hendriks looks to continue his dominant form.

Anaheim Angels

Key Additions: Anthony Rendon, Dylan Bundy, Julio Teheran, Jason Castro

Key Departures: Kole Calhoun

The Angels got some help for Mike Trout, but ultimately didn’t get enough. They landed Rendon to bolster the lineup, but flopped on every quality starting pitcher on the market. Owner Arte Moreno also nixed a trade with the Dodgers that would’ve nabbed them Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling for only Luis Rengifo. Shohei Ohtani’s full time return might give some spark, but this club still lacks in overall talent in a very competitive division.

Texas Rangers

Key Additions: Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson

Key Departures: Nomar Mazara, Hunter Pence, Delino DeShields

The Rangers are looking to open their new ball park with some big moves. They got good value in acquiring 2-time Cy Young winner Kluber and add Kyle Gibson to a rotation that saw Mike Minor and Lance Lynn have breakthrough - or outlier - years in 2019. While the rotation could be very good, the lineup is still a boom or bust prospect with Odor and Gallo being a major part of the offense. They face the same issues as the Angels going up against the top two teams.

Seattle Mariners

Key Additions: Taijuan Walker

Key Departures: Felix Hernandez, Domingo Santana, Wade LeBlanc

In the AL West, there seems to be two frontrunners (Astros, A’s), two weaker challengers (Angels, Rangers), and then the Mariners. On a roster where nobody is safe from being traded, it’s tough for this team to find consistency. There doesn’t seem to be much urgency to make moves that would make Seattle a better baseball team. A return to the playoffs for the first time since 2001 seems a ways off.

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