AL West Offseason Acquisition Rankings

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(Photo Courtesy of Keith Allison)
The A’s have been busy this offseason, but so have the rest of the teams in the AL West

by Jim Turvey

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The Al West has been a busy division this offseason, with every team making multiple acquisitions, the supposed goal of which being to win the division. The offseason is not over yet, but with the winter meetings wrapped up, and nearly all the big names signed, it seems like a good time to hand out some good ole fashioned rankings. The AL West, by my count, made 24 significant moves since the end of the season. Starting with the worst (I hate when lists start at number one), let’s take a look at these moves:

 

24) RHP Joe Smith signs with Angels: 3 years/$15.75 million

Signing a relief pitcher who will be 30 by the time spring training starts to a three year deal worth more than five million dollars a year seems like a classic Angels move, and one that will hopefully burn them again.

23) RHP Scott Feldman signs with Astros: 3 years/$30 million

Feldman hasn’t been worth over 1.0 WAR in a single season since 2009…

22) Texas Rangers trade 2B Ian Kinsler to Detroit Tigers for 1B Prince Fielder

This trade obviously got a lot of press at the time it went down. This ranking is more of a compliment to the moves made this offseason by the AL West than an indictment of Fielder coming to Texas. I think Fielder will provide a power boost, but for the money they’ll pay him, and the loss of Kinsler, the move seems like a net negative.

21) 3B Willie Bloomquist signs with Mariners: 2 years/$5.8 million

Bloomquist is a perfectly fine utility player, and fills a need for the Mariners, but for the money they spent, they will likely be disapppointed and could have done better.

20) Los Angeles Angels trade CF Peter Bourjos and RF Randal Grichuk to St. Louis Cardinals for 3B David Freese and RHP Fernando Salas

Even if David Freese stays healthy, I’m not sure how much I like this deal for the Angels. Bourjos hasn’t reached the productivity of his 2011 season the last two years, but he’s four years younger than Freese, and seems to have a higher ceiling (positional value not included) than Freese.

19) RHP Chad Qualls signs with Astros: 2 years/$6 million

Heed my words: This is the move that makes the Astros serious World Series contenders next year…

18) Oakland A’s trade LHP Brett Anderson to Colorado Rockies for LHP Drew Pomeranz and RHP Chris Jensen

As much as I understand that Anderson had to go, I think the A’s could have gotten more in return. And before folks start saying, “Pomeranz had to pitch in Colorado, give him a chance,” look at the splits. His career ERA at Coors – 4.40, his career ERA everywhere else – 6.20.

17) Seattle Mariners trade RHP Carter Capps to Miami Marlins for 1B Logan Morrison

Even though Logan Morrison may actually be a good fit in Seattle (he seems like the type to do well with a change of scenery), giving up a pitcher who was your seventh ranked prospect just a year ago seems like a steep price.

16) RHP Matt Albers signs with Astros: 1 year/$2.45 million

I have absolutely no opinion, either positive or negative of this signing.

15) C Geovany Soto signs with Rangers: 1 year/$3.05 million

See Albers, Matt

14) Oakland A’s trade RF Michael Choice and 2B Chris Bostick to Texas Rangers for CF Craig Gentry and RHP Josh Lindblom

This trade I think will get a lot more press as the season(s) go on. Michael Choice has seen his stock drop a bit lately, but he’s still the player that was no worse than third in the organizational ranks from 2010-2012. Trading him within the division is a bold move, and one that all A’s fans are really hoping doesn’t backfire.

13) Oakland A’s trade LHP Jeremy Blevins to Washington Nationals for OF Billy Burns

This move makes sense as the A’s bullpen was getting quite crowded this offseason, and Burns seems like he could be a useful basestealer in the future.

12) SS Adam Rosales signs with Rangers: 1 year/$750,000

The Adam Rosales saga continues!

11) 3B Nick Punto signs with A’s: 1 year/$3 million

A sneaky good move from the organization that invented sneaky good moves.

10) LHP Scott Kazmir signs with A’s: 2 years/$22 million

A move we discussed already, Kazmir should be a solid replacement for Colon as the team’s veteran ace.

9) CF Franklin Gutierrez signs with Mariners: 1 year/$1 million

Gutierrez has been a player whose natural ability I have really liked for a while. Who knows if he’ll ever figure out how to apply it in MLB, but for one year at one million, it’s certainly worth a shot.

8) Houston Astros trade 3B Ryan Jackson to San Diego Padres for 1B Jesus Guzman

Another player who I think has been underrated, I feel as though Jesus Guzman will be a thorn in the side of A’s pitching all year.

7) Oakland A’s trade 2B Jemile Weeks to Baltimore Orioles for RHP Jim Johnson

A move we looked at earlier this week, the money may be a lot for a closer, but more than anything this move may show A’s fans that management is going to be more willing to spend money to win in the future.

6) C J.P. Arencibia signs with Rangers: 1 year/$1.8 million

A one-year deal for that cheap is great for a catcher with over 60 home runs the last three seasons (I am aware his career on-base percentage is .258). The Rangers making a good deal? I’m confused.

5) 2B Robinson Cano signs with Mariners: 10 years/$240 million

The biggest move the division made this offseason was also one of its most controversial. Yes, Cano will undoubtedly be overpaid by the end of the contract, and yes paying this much for a player when your team is arguably not close to the playoffs may seem silly, but it’s hard to argue with bringing in a player who has been worth more WAR than anyone not named Cabrera since 2010.

4) Oakland A’s trade LF Seth Smith to San Diego Padres for RHP Luke Gregerson

My favorite move the A’s made this offseason, Gregerson seems like a perfect fit for the A’s bullpen for the long term. Getting rid of Seth Smith was just icing on the cake.

3)1B Corey Hart signs with Mariners: 1 year/$6 million

Hart missed all of 2013, and will be 32 by the time next season starts, but he is also just one year removed from a three-year stretch in which he was worth over three wins above replacement a year. This could end up being the best move the Mariners made all offseason.

2) Houston Astros trade RHP Jordan Lyles and CF Brandon Barnes to Colorado Rockies for CF Dexter Fowler

This was one of the most confusing trades all offseason, but from the Astros’ perspective it was a huge score. Dexter Folwer’s power numbers may slip a bit leaving Coors (career slugging percentage at home – .485, on the road – .361), but he has value on the basepaths, and doesn’t rely much on his power anyways. Lyles has long been proven a bust, and Brandon Barnes is no longer a prospect.

1) Los Angeles Angels trade 1B Mark Trumbo to Arizona Diamondbacks for LHP Hector Santiago and LHP Tyler Skaggs

As much as it pains me to admit when the Angels make a good move, this was a great move for them. Trumbo posted an on-base percentage below .300 in two of his three full seasons with the Angels, and basically offered one skill – power. The Angels have a fair amount of power in their lineup already, and managed to fill the holes in their rotation by snagging two serviceable lefties when shipping Trumbo out of town. Skaggs was a super prospect, who seems to be one year away from bust status, but is worth the risk. The real gem, however, is Hector Santiago. Santiago just turned 26, and has posted an ERA+ of 126 in his 2+ seasons so far. His control may be an issue if he can’t improve it, but he has nasty stuff, and is not a pitcher A’s fans should look forward to facing in the future.

 

Those are the ranking for now. Hopefully there are still a few more moves still to be made this offseason. The AL West is certainly going to be fun next year.

Author: Jim Turvey

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