Winter Meetings Done: AL West Team Goals
With the winter meetings coming to a close, teams still have moves to make and with an always competitive division, the AL West team goals looks as follows:
Astros: Make a call regarding Indians’ Aces
Astros strength of starting rotation could be a weakness if it’s not addressed. Although Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole form a dynamic 1-2 punch, beyond that the ‘Stros rotation is shaky without Lance McCullers Jr. who’s out with Tommy John surgery, along with former Cy-Young winner Dallas Keuchel, and veteran Charlie Morton signing with the Tampa Bay Rays via free agency. Rather than using prospects Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez for J.T. Realmuto, turn around and grab Trevor Bauer, 27, young enough that he matches the Astros championship window and at a cost-effective price for the next two years.
Angels: Hit the Japanese market again
The Angels lost Garrett Richards to the San Diego Padres (2 year, $15 million) and Ohtani is set to be a hitter only as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Therefore a reinforcement in their rotation seems like a priority, especially after signing lefty Justin Bour to help balance the lineup and platoon with Albert Pujols at first base. After finding success in the Japanese market with Ohtani, the Angels should make a similar risk and invest on grabbing LHP Yusei Kikuchi, who went 14-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 2018 and 16-6, with a 1.97 ERA in 2017. In a scarce pitching market, the Angels should look to grab the Japanese pitcher to pair with Ohtani to help with the transition and help solidify a weak rotation.
A’s: Grab an Ace
Rumors about Oakland A’s contacting the Yankees regarding Sonny Gray, but why not use your chips for an ace? Call the other NY team, and how about grabbing Noah Syndergaard (13-4, 3.03 ERA) or Zach Wheeler (12-7, 3.31 ERA) for package centered around LHP A.J. Puk. The A’s were a surprise team in 2018, making an appearance in the postseason before losing to the New York Yankees in the Wild Card game after starting reliever Liam Hendricks. Imagine if Syndergaard or Wheeler started that game, would there have been a different outcome? Could the A’s have had a cinderella story throughout the playoffs? Who knows, but having an ace to lean, who’s cost-controlled would be a wise move by Billy Beane.
Mariners: Continue to sell, sell, sell
They traded LHP James Paxton, C Mike Zunino to the Tampa Bay Rays, RHP Alex Colome to the White Sox 2B/SS Jean Segura to the Philadelphia Phillies along with super-reliever Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the New York Mets and swapped 1B Carlos Santana for Edwin Encarnacion. But Jerry Dipoto shouldn’t stop there, instead he should look to move Dee Gordon, Kyle Seager, and a taker for Felix Hernandez as all should net more prospects and inject talent to a mediocre farm system.
Rangers: What can Jurickson Profar net?
The Rangers have signed Lance Lynn to a 3 year, $30 million contract and Jesse Chavez to a 2 year, $8 million contract to bolster a weak pitching staff. The moves are too minor to move the needle, but could be deadline trade options if both Lynn and Chavez get off to hot starts. But a player the Rangers should look to move and can bring back a player of need is youngster, Jurickson Profar, 25, who has seen time around the diamond at first, second, short, third and the outfield throughout 2018. Profar put together his best offensive season, hitting .254, with a .335 OBP, along with 20 home runs, 77 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases. With the Padres, and A’s inquiring about Profar, the Rangers should seek no shortage of suitors for his services and could look to cash in on the former top prospect.
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