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MLB Trade Rumors: AL West offseason tracker

This post was last updated March 1.

Josh Reddick is back in the division, but not in Oakland.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Here at Athletics Nation we follow the A’s offseason moves closely, but they’re not the only team making trades and signing free agents. There are four other clubs in the AL West, and Oakland needs to finish above all of them in order to win the division. Let’s keep an eye on what the rest of the West is doing this winter. This post will be updated throughout the winter as more transactions are made.

The transaction tables below are not complete. I have chosen not to include every single waiver claim and minor league signing, instead opting for the relevant highlights — that means the MLB free agents, the MLB players coming and going in trades, and a few other notable names. In the “Goodbye” columns, free agents who don’t have a team listed next to them remain unsigned. Click here for a bigger look at all the players available this winter.

Texas Rangers

2016 record: 95-67, 1st place

Quick season review: The Rangers ran away with the division, but they were probably fortunate to do so. Their measly plus-8 run differential theoretically translates to only 82 wins, and they beat that number by going 36-11 in one-run games — thanks to arguably the game’s most airtight bullpen in terms of converting saves and holds. But FanGraphs ranked the team’s pen, rotation, and defense in the bottom third of MLB, with the offense merely average, so Texas would be wise not to rest on their laurels this winter.

Hello Goodbye
Free Agency
RHP Andrew Cashner (1/$10M)
1B Mike Napoli (1/$8.5M)
RHP Tyson Ross (1/$6M)
1B James Loney (minors)
RHP Dillon Gee (minors)
3B Will Middlebrooks (minors)
RHP Allen Webster (minors)

None yet
Free Agency
LHP Derek Holland (to CHW)
RHP Colby Lewis
OF Ian Desmond (to COL)
DH Carlos Beltran (to HOU)
1B Mitch Moreland (to BOS)

RHP Luke Jackson (to ATL)

They’re losing a lot in free agency, and so far their first addition is a buy-low gamble on the enigmatic Cashner. Remember they also still have catcher Jonathan Lucroy from last season’s deadline trade, and a lot of elite young talent that’s right on the cusp.

UPDATE (12/7): The Rangers re-signed one of their free agents, OF Carlos Gomez, to a one-year show-me deal. That means both of their biggest signings so far are buy-lows on bounce-back candidates.

UPDATE (1/6): They’ve been in on some rumors, but still no serious additions to the lineup. They could still use a 1B.

UPDATE (2/6): Unless they make a last-minute move, which is certainly possible, they appear to be going cheap all-around. They addressed 1B on a minor league contract (Loney), and they picked up another bounce-back starter (Ross). Their in-house talent is considerable, so none of this is to say the team will be weak.

UPDATE (3/1): The Rangers waited until the last minute but finally made their move to add a 1B, snagging Napoli for a return tour. Their lineup is looking scary now.

Seattle Mariners

2016 record: 86-76, 2nd place

Quick season review: These were the Bizarro Mariners. Their strength was offense, with Cruz, Cano, and Seager leading them to the 2nd-best wRC+ in MLB. But their defense came in 28th, and their pitching staff was middle-of-the-pack at best. They’re fully in win-now mode, but so far it’s not going well.

Hello Goodbye
Free Agency
LHP Marc Rzepczynski (2/$11M)
RHP Casey Fien (1/$1M)
C Tuffy Gosewich (waivers, ATL)
RHP Ryan Cook (minors)
RHP Micah Owings (minors)
RHP Jean Machi (minors)

C Carlos Ruiz (from LAD)
1B/OF Danny Valencia (from OAK)
2B Jean Segura (from ARI)
RHP Yovani Gallardo (from BAL)
OF Jarrod Dyson (from KC)
LHP Drew Smyly (from TB)
RHP Shae Simmons (from ATL)
RHP Chris Heston (from SF)
LHP Dillon Overton (from OAK)
LHP Zac Curtis (from ARI)
OF Mitch Haniger (from ARI)
LHP James Pazos (from NYY)
SS Taylor Motter (from TB)
RHP Rob Whalen (from ATL)
Free Agency
RHP Drew Storen (to CIN)
C Chris Iannetta (to ARI)
1B Adam Lind (to WAS)
1B Dae-ho Lee (to Korea)
OF Franklin Gutierrez (to LAD)
OF Norichika Aoki (waivers, HOU)
RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (released, ARI)
OF Stefen Romero (released, Japan)
RHP Arquimedes Caminero (released, Japan)

LHP Vidal Nuno (to LAD)
RHP Taijuan Walker (to ARI)
SS Ketel Marte (to ARI)
OF Seth Smith (to BAL)
RHP Nate Karns (to KC)
C Jesus Sucre (to TB)

They’re also losing several players to free agency, but they’ve already been busy on the trade market to begin filling the holes in the roster.

UPDATE (1/6): Wheeeeeeee. To everything, turn, turn, turn. They just traded a solid outfielder for a solid pitcher, and then a solid pitcher for a solid outfielder. Jerry Dipoto’s got a fever, and the only cure is more trades. They’ve turned over 4-5 positions and multiple spots in each of the rotation and bullpen. Also did they just trade for Jarrod Dyson to play LF (or to move Leonys Martin there)? I, um, OK.

UPDATE (1/13): PSYCHE they weren’t done yet. They acquired Mallex Smith from the Braves but had him for literally 90 minutes before flipping him elsewhere. On the bright side, Smyly does help their rotation. But still, Dipoto is reaching the point where we have to start worrying about spontaneous combustion if he doesn’t slow down.

UPDATE (2/6): Dipoto bought a ham sandwich for lunch, then traded it for three tacos, then traded one taco for an apple and the other two tacos for some good turkey, flipped the turkey for some ham, traded the apple for some bread, sent away half the bread for some cheese, and then made the exact sandwich he’d bought in the first place.

Houston Astros

2016 record: 84-78, 3rd place

Quick season review: The Astros were supposed to build on their breakout 2015 ALDS appearance, but instead they took a step backward. The offensive stars were cancelled out by some absolute sinkholes in the lineup as well as lackluster team defense. The four primary starting pitchers, including defending Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, were all far below average despite mostly strong peripherals. But the bullpen was great! Houston should be looking to stock up and aim for a return to October.

Hello Goodbye
Free Agency
OF Josh Reddick (4/$52M)
OF Carlos Beltran (1/$16M)
RHP Charlie Morton (2/$14M)
OF Norichika Aoki (waivers, SEA)

C Brian McCann (from NYY)
Free Agency
RHP Doug Fister
C Jason Castro (to MIN)
3B Luis Valbuena (to LAA)
OF Colby Rasmus (to TB)

RHP Pat Neshek (to PHI)

They’re off to a fast start, with two big additions to their everyday lineup as well as a new back-end starting pitcher. They’ve already replaced all of their departing free agents and may even have improved on all of them (with top in-house options ready at 3B).

UPDATE (12/3): With the addition of Beltran, I think it’s safe to say Houston’s lineup is officially stacked.

UPDATE (1/6): They’ve been silent for nearly a month, but then, what is really left to do? If the season started tomorrow they’d be pretty well set.

The Angels

2016 record: 74-88, 4th place

Quick season review: Their pitching staff predictably fell apart, with both the rotation and bullpen ranking among the worst in the bigs. Thus wasted another MVP season from Mike Trout, and another 31 homers from Albert Pujols. They need pitching to compete, but the market is thin, their payroll is already high, and they have no farm system.

Hello Goodbye
Free Agency
3B Luis Valbuena (2/$15M)
RHP Jesse Chavez (1/$6M)
OF Ben Revere (1/$4M)
OF Dustin Ackley (minors)
RHP Yusmeiro Petit
RHP Justin Miller (minors)

OF Cameron Maybin (from DET)
IF Danny Espinosa (from WAS)
RHP Brooks Pounders (from KC)
C Martin Maldonado (from MIL)
Free Agency
RHP Jered Weaver (to SD)
LHP C.J. Wilson (to BMW)
RHP Jhoulys Chacin (to SD)
RHP Tim Lincecum
C Geovany Soto (to CHW)
IF Gregorio Petit (to TOR)

C Jett Bandy (to MIL)

Mike Trout’s team began the winter by acquiring a rental center fielder, a light-hitting one who will now play LF. Keep doing you, Angels. At least they wised up and actually signed a pitcher already.

UPDATE (12/10): They didn’t give up much to get Espinosa, and they did have a need at 2B. But it’s still funny to consider that for the second straight offseason they acquired a SS even though they already had one.

UPDATE (1/6): Their pitching staff is still a joke, and all they’re doing is picking up more mediocre veteran position players. Fine with me!

UPDATE (2/6): They got a good deal on Valbuena, who fits well as a lefty platoon/super-sub guy in their productive but righty-heavy infield. Meanwhile, Ricky Nolasco is still listed as their No. 3 starter on their official site.

Oakland A’s

2016 record: 69-93, 5th place

Quick season review: It went wrong. The starting rotation fell apart as thoroughly as a rotation can. The defense was the worst in the bigs, by a significant margin. There were a couple bright spots in the lineup, particularly Khris Davis and Ryon Healy, but the offense was bottom-third overall. But at least the bullpen was solid! The good news is there are some prospects ready to contribute, some chips to trade, and a healthy chunk of money to help fill in the gaps.

Hello Goodbye
Free Agency
RHP Santiago Casilla (2/$11M)
OF Matt Joyce (2/$11M)
OF Rajai Davis (1/$6M)
3B Trevor Plouffe (1/$5M)
IF Adam Rosales (1/$1M)
RHP Josh Smith (waivers, CIN)
OF Alejandro De Aza (minors)
RHP Tyler Sturdevant (minors)

OF Jaff Decker (minors)
RHP Norge Ruiz (minors)

None yet
Free Agency
OF Sam Fuld
RHP Fernando Rodriguez (to CHC)
2B Eric Sogard (to MIL)
UT Tyler Ladendorf
UT Arismendy Alcantara (waivers, CIN)

1B/OF Danny Valencia (to SEA)
OF Brett Eibner (to LAD)
LHP Dillon Overton (to SEA)

They aren’t rushing into anything, but the wheels are slowly starting to turn. They cleared Valencia’s salary and got back a solid prospect (RHP Paul Blackburn), and they added a quality role player in free agency. There will be more moves, especially to add outfielders — the only question is how many moves and how big they’ll be.

UPDATE (1/6): Still a slow winter for the A’s, although they’ve been in a couple more rumors lately. The CF search appears over for now with Rajai on board, but they’re looking at more hitters.

UPDATE (1/13): Representative product, activate!

UPDATE (2/6): At least Rosales is fun to watch. And we can only hope our righty-heavy lineup gets to face Overton at some point.

This post will be updated throughout the winter as more transactions are made. Last update: March 1, 11:00 a.m. PT.