AL West Wednesday: Trouble in Anaheim, promise in Houston and a new home for Matt Joyce

Los Angeles Angels: After reading the “2017 Season Primer” (a four-part series  from it is clear that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are caught between a rock and a hard place. The team has major financial obligations for 2017, issues surrounding the stadium, and the looming issue of trying to retain Mike Trout after the 2020 season. Robert Cunningham, who authored Part I of the series for, believes that General Manager Billy Eppler is the right man to lead the Angels through this difficult off-season.


Angels GM BIlly Eppler by Arturo Pardavila III

Check out Part II and Part III of the series to read David Saltzer’s musings about the options that Eppler has (cheap, strategic or big spending) and what pieces are the building blocks of the franchise. A recent addition examines the 2017 starting rotation.

Houston Astros: The charmingly sarcastic published “Somethings a-happenin’ in Astrvoille” that details the club’s activity in the early parts of the off-season. Josh Reddick, Brian McCann, Nori Aoki and Charlie Morton will all be in Houston next season.

Astros County also envisions the Astros adding a power bat, suggesting the acquisition of a major bat via free agency (Jose Bautista or Carlos Beltran) or maybe a trade (Jay Bruce is now SUPER available).

Texas Rangers: Jamey Newberg of the Newberg Report, a blog that “Covering the Texas Rangers from Top to Bottom” wrote a piece highlighting the tremendous change that the  roster in Arlington has undergone in the recent years. Only  11 players that were in the 2014 media guide are still remaining on the team. Newberg also cites MLB Network Radio’s Casey Stern who believes that the Rangers will make the biggest impact this off-season.

Seattle Mariners: Marc W. with the U.S.S. Mariner shares his insights on the recent trade of the former first round pick, outfielder Alex Jackson, to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves sent Rob Whalen and Max Povse back to Seattle. Neither player will contribute with the 2017 club, but in the opinion of the writer, it gives the M’s a decent return. Check out the full article for a detailed analysis of both prospects.

Oakland Athletics: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the A’s have signed Matt Joyce to a 2 year, $11 million deal. Joyce hit .242/13 HR/42 RBI last year in his lone season with the Pirates. This will be Joyce’s third team since leaving the Rays at the end of the 2014 season. He is definitely an Oakland type of guy. Low cost (relatively speaking) and high OBP, .403 last season and .341 over his career.


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