Best: Re-Signing Colby Rasmus. I believe Rasmus is highly overlooked on this team loaded with talent. He really turned it up in the postseason hitting .412 with four dingers and six RBIs. He also helps round out a very talented outfield corpse that holds Carlos Gomez, George Springer and even Jake Marisnick as the fourth outfielder.
Worst: Ken Giles. Now I know Giles is a good young closer and at first I thought wow great for Houston. Then I looked at who they gave up. Five young arms, one being Mark Appel who was spoken very highly of when drafted. Brett Oberholtzer was also another name on there who was noticeable because he was part of the Astros rotation the year prior. Now I could be wrong, I just hate looking at trades down the road in 3-5 years and saying wow, what a complete bust that was. I’m worried that could happen here.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: 2nd AL West
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
Best: Trading for Andrelton Simmons. Now Simmons isn’t known for his bat although he’s coming off, statistically, his career best season offensively, but I will tell you one thing that’s gonna change in LA, and that’s how many times they’ll be on ‘Baseball Tonight’ during web gems. The 26-year-old is bringing a .988 fielding percentage to LA that is sure to make this Angels defense even better. Trout and Simmons might start to have a battle in the clubhouse on who has more web gems during the season!
Worst: Cliff Pennington. Why give a 31 year old defensive specialist a two year deal?
Yargs 2016 Prediction: 4th AL West
Best: I actually like the trade for Yonder Alonso. He’s coming a season where he .282 in San Diego which is not an easy ballpark for hitters. Only thing that is sort of messed up about the deal is it takes a spot away from Mark Canha, who was very good as a rookie.
Worst: Ryan Madson. In reality, this is one hell of a pick up by Billy Beane, and if Madson brings what he did during the regular season for KC last year to Oakland, then this will be good. Why is this the worst to me then? Look back at the 2015 MLB postseason, every man in the bullpen for Kansas City had a stellar postseason except one. Ryan Madson. He gave up 12 hits, four being home runs. Giving up big home runs in the postseason can get to you, just ask Brad Lidge.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: 5th AL West
Best: It was quietly a loud offseason for the Mariners, pulling moves left and right but the biggest to me had to be re-signing pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. Such an underrated part of this Mariners bunch, the number two behind King Felix, he went 9-5 in 20 starts last season with 3.54 ERA and one start included an impressive no-hitter over the Baltimore Orioles. He is a very important piece to a team that looks good on paper, but like the White Sox, just need to put the pieces to the puzzle.
Worst: Maybe the trade for Adam Lind? It’s tough to argue with what the Mariners did in the offseason because they got better in all aspects of the game, just maybe giving up three minor leaguers for an aging Lind will come back to haunt, but right now Lind is coming off a pretty good statistical year batting .277 with 20 dingers and 87 RBIs.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: 3rd AL West
Best: Trade for Tom Wilhelmsen. Had to give up Leonys Martin but Wilhelmsen has made a name for himself in Seattle becoming a very dominant relief pitcher. In five seasons he has a 2.97 ERA in 267 games compiling 312.1 innings in the process. Texas’ bullpen just keeps getting better and better.
Worst: This will sound crazy, but Texas should’ve attempted to see what they can get for Joey Gallo. I know he’s the number one prospect but the Rangers I believe are one more top pitcher away from being an elite team and a force for the AL crown. There’s no doubt in my mind the Rangers could grab a top notch starter for Gallo, but I don’t blame them for keeping him, Adrian Beltre is getting up in age and maybe even a transition to the outfield could be in Gallo’s future.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: AL West Champions
That does it for the AL, come back tomorrow as we’ll dive into the NL!