Who is the most-improved AL West team so far this off-season?
Oct 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers won 9-2 and clinch the American League West division. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Winter Meetings have come and gone. They always seem to fly by so quickly after waiting all year for them. The flurry of free agent splashes, surprise landing spots, and tense Twitter refreshes has settled. How do the Houston Astros’ improvements rank against their AL West foes? As we look to the New Year, we rank the most-improved AL West teams after a blizzard of off-season trades and signings.
5. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers have yet to make any sort of a splash this winter. The additions of Tom Wilhelmsen, James Jones, and Patrick Kivlehan should make up for the losses of Leonys Martin, Anthony Bass, but the trade hardly shakes up the power struggle in the AL West. However, the Rangers are bringing back all of their key 2015 contributors and stand to benefit from a host of available big-name free agents.
Perhaps the Rangers are waiting for dominoes to fall before making a push for Chris Davis. The Rangers have Mitch Moreland at 1B, but Davis’s hazy market could facilitate a reunion between Davis and his hometown team. Many teams checked in on Moreland’s availability, and he could fetch the team a decent return.
Time will tell if the Rangers would come close to Davis’s asking price, but the idea of inserting him between a suddenly-potent Prince Fielder and an age-defying Adrian Beltre could make substantial waves in the AL West.
Next: 4. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim