We are nearly done. Today we’re focused on the American League West, where the reigning champions play…well, not physically on the west coast, but that’s besides the point. Let’s break down the division that saw the most exciting race last year, and as per usual, the Mariners came up short. Kyle Schwarber recently achieved a feat that has only been accomplished 11 other times in MLB history and it’s truly mind-blowing.
Team owner’s thriftiness grade: Previously low, potentially higher now, looking to build a new stadium in a skateboard-filled parking lot that overshadows everything.
Overview: The Angels are in a precarious position. They are about to bid farewell to one of the most unique players in baseball history, having put in considerable effort to make his last few weeks with the team count, only to witness a major setback last season. The Angels are akin to a desperate individual who bought their disinterested partner a house, only to watch them leave with their personal trainer. Now they are left with an empty house where Boygenius will record their next album. The Angels are now faced with the daunting task of rebuilding their team, a task complicated by several factors. They have publicly acknowledged that they will consider trading Mike Trout, but his market value is uncertain. He has not played a full season of games in six years, his power has declined, and he still has a substantial amount of money left on his contract. Additionally, the Angels are unable to offload Anthony Rendon, who has struggled since joining the team. As a result, the Angels must make significant changes as their minor league prospects may not add value for a few years. The team’s lineup, on the other hand, is getting younger, with several promising players under the age of 25 expected to be part of the Opening Day lineup. Nonetheless, the Angels face an uphill battle to transform from a mediocre team into a playoff contender.
Team owner’s thriftiness grade: Slightly stingy, and it’s noticeable.
Overview: Despite consistently reaching the American League Championship Series in recent years, the Astros have evident weaknesses. Their rotation faltered in the second half of last season, and their lineup has room for improvement. They are also contending with the expiration of key players’ contracts, which adds another layer of uncertainty for the team’s future. The Astros must address these issues to maintain their competitive edge.
Outlook: The Mariners’ failure to follow up on their 2022 playoff appearance with another postseason berth was disappointing, but their 88 wins in the past season are commendable. Although they have a strong pitching staff, their lineup could benefit from upgrades. Given their recent successes, the Mariners have the potential to reach greater heights with strategic improvements.
Team owner’s thriftiness level: Deceptively high, and the general manager seems content with that.
Overview: Despite the disappointment of not repeating their 2022 playoff run, the Mariners have achieved three consecutive 90-win seasons, which is a rare feat in MLB. They have a solid pitching staff and a competent offense, although there is room for improvement in the lineup. With some strategic upgrades, the Mariners have the potential to elevate their performance.