Houston Astros: A Snapshot of the 2017 AL West competition
STILL ON THE MARKET….
Edwin Encarnacion was rumored to be close to signing with the Houston Astros. That rumor fizzled and he is now being talked about in the Texas Ranger circle. This would be an expensive signing for a player on the downside of the age pendulum, but there is a hole at first base since Prince Fielder‘s retirement and Moreland’s departure. As of now Jurickson Profar is slotted to play first. If Texas wants to match Houston’s lineup, this would be a huge acquisition.
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Chris Carter is now a free agent. He hit 41 home runs for Milwaukee last year, and for any team looking for some pop, and strikeouts, he could be had for relatively cheap. And wouldn’t the Rangers like to have another ex-Astro on their roster? It’s possible.
Ivan Nova is one of the best free agent pitchers on the market, which will likely end up with him being over paid. But with pitching being a weak point in this division, Nova could be a prospect of Seattle. Jason Hammel and Tyson Ross are even better options, but will likely come with a higher price tag. Will Texas or Houston make a play for one of those players? Houston has said to be done with all major signings, but not much has been said at all from the Rangers camp.
AND THE AL WEST WINNER IS……
At this time, it is safe to assume that Oakland and Los Angeles will not be in contention for the division. They have to many holes, and the rest of the division has been making moves to improve. Since none of the remaining three teams have a stellar pitching staff, I think the teams must be ranked by offensive expectations. So here are your 2017 AL West standings predictions:
- Houston Astros 96-66
- Texas Rangers 91-71
- Seattle Mariners 86-76
- Oakland Athletics 69-93
- Los Angeles Angels 65-97
Next: What to expect from Jose Altuve in 2017.
****Stats from Baseball-Reference.com, Salary information per Spotrac and Odds information from oddshark.com***