Matthew Manouli | Thu 14/12/2017 - 05:00 EST

AL West Getting More Competitive During Winter Meetings

AL West Getting More Competitive During Winter Meetings

The Winter Meetings are ending soon, so teams are starting to make more deals. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out, as there's still a lot of free agents unacconted for. As the meetings continue though, we should expect these players to get swooped up. And we have some ideas where too. But let's start off with the move in the AL West.

Astros Might Have Some Trouble

Last season had the AL West wrapped up pretty early, with the Astros' amazing first half, giving them a massive lead. Next season looks to be a bit different.

After Justin Upton's contract extension, the Los Angeles Angels have acquired Ian Kinsler as second baseman from the Tigers. In exchange, Detroit gets two prospects, which they are in need of. That's not all either, the Angels are also looking for a third baseman. After Chase Headley was dumped to the Padres from the Yankees, the Angels might look to pick him up.

After the Shohei Ohtani deal, the Angels are looking to go with a six-man starting rotation next season, and could be a major pitching threat despite not many big names. His right elbow sprain could be a cause for concern, despite manager Mike Scioscia's optimism. With this new look, the Angels definitely now pose a much bigger threat in their division.

Also in the West, the Seattle Mariners have come to a deal with reliever Juan Nicasio. The hurler was the one bright spot in the Cardinals pitching staff, and looks to keep the Mariners afloat as well, as the team went through a major-league tying 40 pitchers in 2017. Nicasio had 76 appearances, for the NL lead and had a 2.61 ERA.

Signings and Trades

  • Anthony Swarzak signed onto the Mets after being with the Brewers last season. He looks to help out New York's abysmal bullpen that ranked in the bottom three in ERA, opponent OPS, and WHIP. 
  • The St. Louis Cardinals acquired All-Star Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins, filling out the middle of their order. His 37 homers and .548 SLG are going to be valuable for the Cards, but they were hoping to have net Stanton.
  • Former Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda has signed with the Minnesota Twins. He's on a two-year contract and underwent Tommy John surgery in July.

 Rumor Mill

  • Edinson Volquez, who underwent Tommy John surgery could be released by the Marlins. Christian Yelich, however, will most likely stay. After the team's superstars left, manager Don Mattingly was reportedly excited about the rebuild, referencing the Astros, who went through a similar phase and ended up on top.
  • The Padres are dangling Chase Headley and Yangervis Solarte. Headley will most likely be the first to go, as he's already sought after.
  • After signing Pineda, the Minnesota Twins are allegedly after free agent Yu Darvish. 
  • The Cubs are reportedly in talks with the Indians about right handed starter Danny Salazar.
  • Oakland and St. Louis are said to be in talks about a trade involving position player Stephen Piscotty.
  • Arizona is reportedly listening to offers for Zack Grienke. Because of his massive salary, the D-Backs will be taking a hit each year they keep him. He had just signed a six-year $206 million deal in 2016.
  • Boston, needing to keep up with the Yankees, had been looking at J.D. Martinez, but are taking steps to signing free agent Eduardo Nunez again. The Toronto Blue Jays are also said to have their attention on Nunez.

It was a wild Wednesday, but that means we should only expect more on Thursday. Especially with the Rule 5 draft, a lot of teams like the White Sox and Blue Jays are hoping to find the next Moncada or Torres. Join us here tomorrow for the last of our coverage of the MLB Winter Meetings!

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