Special Edition: AL West
The X Factors: Josh Hamilton(Rangers), Kendry Morales(Angels), Dallas Braden(Athletics), Chone Figgins(Mariners)
1. Texas Rangers Key Additions: 3B Adrian Beltre, C Mike Napoli, SP Brandon Webb
The former AL champs did lose their ace in Cliff Lee but they made an under-the-radar deal to snatch Brandon Webb, the 2006 Cy Young winner. He likely will never return to that form but he'll be a solid guy in the middle of your rotation. The offense is the most dangerous thing the Rangers have to offer. They have Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis who can all hit for power. Then they have contact hitters that include Julio Borbon, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young. With these guys they could beat out the Yankees again for the AL crown.
2. Los Angeles Angels Key Additions: OF Vernon Wells
The Angels were the prize of the AL West the last few years but struggled last year. Part of it was the loss of first basmen Kendry Morales, who broke his ankle stomping on home plate last year. The rest of the infield needs production from Brandon Wood and Howie Kendrick. The outfield is aging (Bobby Abreu is 37, Torii Hunter is 35) so LA brought in Vernon Wells for fresh blood. The pitching staff is led by Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Scott Kazmir.
3. Seattle Mariners Key Additions: OF Jack Cust
Its amazing after last season's disaster that the Mariners even are thinking about climbing out of the cellar. But, they still have tons of talent, the problem is putting it into wins. Chone Figgins had a miserbale first year in Seattle and Jack Wilson didn't do much. Ichiro was a little bit off, Milton Bradley struggled and. . .Well, I won't continue. All of these guys should pick it up in 2011 and they did pick up Jack Cust. Cust will never be a star but he can be put in the starting lineup. The Mariners only bright spot was Felix Hernandez who won the AL Cy Young in '10 despite a dwindling record.
4. Oakland Athletics Key Additions: 1B-OF Conor Jackson, OF David DeJesus
The future is rich for the A's, who have been down in the dumps the last few years. Trevor Cahill(23), Dallas Braden(27), Brett Anderson(23) and Andrew Bailey(26) lead the young talent in Oakland. The outfield isn't too bad, as the A's brought in two veterans in Conor Jackson and David DeJesus who will play alongside star Hideki Matsui and Coco Crisp. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Daric Barton are great on the corners.