As a follow-up to yesterday's post about giving Billy Beane a grade for this year's offseason thus far (and it definitely wasn't a final grade because I suspect, like most of you do, that Beane isn't finished yet), I wanted to put up a post to rate the offseason moves by our main competition to get into the playoffs: the AL West.
Here is a look at team-by-team moves for each of the three other AL West opponents in alphabetical order.
Anaheim: The Angels have added Hector Carrasco and Edgardo Alfonzo and lost Jarrod Washburn, Bengie Molina and Paul Byrd. Washburn had a solid season in terms of ERA, but his strikeout to walk ratio wasn't good. Paul Byrd, on the other hand, had a better WHIP than Washburn and a much better strikeout to walk ratio. I suspect the Angels will wind up missing Byrd more than Washburn.
Texas: Texas added three new starting pitchers. But the good news for A's fans is that Kenny Rogers is no longer a part of the Rangers rotation. The Rangers did improve their starting rotation by adding Kevin Millwood, Adam Eaton and Vicente Padilla. They also traded Alfonso Soriano for Brad Wilkerson, which is a better deal than many in the mainstream media think. Wilkerson could definitely regain his form in hitter-friendly Texas and he's also an excellent defensive outfielder. Texas has likely improved their team fairly significantly without losing too much.
Seattle: Seattle went to Japan again to add Japanese catcher Kenji Johjima and they went south to pluck away Jarrod Washburn. The biggest addition for Seattle will be having phenom Felix Hernandez for the entire season. And they didn't have to sacrifice anything to get him. The Mariners also signed Carl Everett, who should love playing in Oakland's division given his love of our fans.
Oakland: Everyone knows well about this one. Esteban Loaiza, Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez are the big offseason additions. The A's lost Dotel, Hatteberg, Rincon and Durazo. But Dotel and Durazo didn't play much of the season last year. Hatteberg didn't perform and Rincon had an up and down year.
In my eyes, the team that probably has improved itself the most in the division is Texas because of the improved starting pitching, closely followed by Oakland and then Seattle and Anaheim. Anaheim is worrisome because you know Arte Moreno is riding Stoneman to get something done.
This will obviously change more before the season starts pending more moves, but for now that's the way I see it simply because the Texas pitching needed to get better more than any other aspect in the division. Still, losing Rogers is a big thing for that team. Millwood and Eaton are good pitchers, but will they be able to handle Arlington? Especially Eaton coming from the cavernous Petco Park.