Monday, March 27, 2006

The 2006 AL West Preview

So we are back in the AL, hurrah! We are starting out West in what I believe will be one of the hotly fought divisions in all of Major League Baseball.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2005 Record: 95-67
Position: 1st

Major Off Season Moves:

In: Jeff Weaver SP
Out: Paul Bryd SP, Jeff DaVanon OF, Bengie Molina C, Jarrod Washburn SP

The Angels let a few go but they are a strong team and with a strong nucleas of players at high levels in the minors, players like Casey Kotchman and Dellas McPherson might be ready to really turn it on in the bigs, and with mashers like Brandon Wood ready to burst out, this team should be good. Ervin Santana and Kevlim Escobar are two much under rated pitchers and with that bullpen they'll be there or thereabouts.

2006 Projection: 94-68
Position: 2nd
Angels Link Blog - Angels Dust

Oakland Athletics
2005 Record: 88-74
Position: 2nd

Major Off Season Moves:

In: Esteban Loiaza SP, Frank Thomas DH, Milton Bradley OF
Out: Octavio Dotel RP, Erubiel Durazo 1B/DH, Scott Hatteberg 1B/DH, Ricardo Rincon RP

I like the A's, I really do. Got some stellar young starting pitching, have added the Big Hurt who in his last 300 ABs over two years has actually gone deep 30 times, Milton Bradley could be ready to have a good year and a fully healthy Bobby Crosby leads me to thinking they'll win the West.

2006 Projection: 95-67
Position: 1st
Athletics Link Blog -
Athletics Nation

Texas Rangers
2005 Record: 79-83
Position: 3rd

Major Off Season Moves:

In: Brad Wilkerson OF, Kevin Millwood SP, Erubiel Durazo 1B/DH, Akinori Otsuka RP
Out: Alfonso Soriano 2B/OF, Kenny Rogers SP, Richard Hidalgo OF, Steve Karsay RP

They got rid of Soriano and his $10m salary and actually got some real talent back for him, that's quite a steal. Kevin Millwood is a bonafide ace but he is being overpaid. This team will win a lot of games but they will lose a lot too, they won't be challenging when all is said and done but it wouldn't shock me if they made a run at some point in the season and people will sit up and notice.

2006 Projection: 86-76
Position: 3rd
Rangers Link Blog - Lone Star Ball

Seattle Mariners
2005 Record: 69-93
Position: 4th

Major Off Season Moves:

In: Kenji Johjima C, Carl Everett DH, Matt Lawton OF, Jarrod Washburn SP
Out: Miguel Olivo, Pokey Reese IF

The Mariners have improved this off season of that there is little doubt. The lad Johjima may be a great signing, Lawton and Everett are decent signings but nothing more than that, they still have Ichiro of course but they need more. They'll be better but they won't be challenging better.

2006 Projection: 77-85
Position: 4th
Mariners Link Blog - Caffeinated Confines

Now on to the Central...

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