Royals acquire Humberto Quintero and Jason Bourgeois from Astros

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Kansas City has added a pair of bench players by acquiring catcher Humberto Quintero and outfielder Jason Bourgeois from the Astros for minor leaguer Kevin Chapman and a player to be named later.

Quintero became expendable in Houston with Jason Castro back from injury and veteran Chris Snyder signed this offseason, but his ineptitude offensively makes him little more than a mediocre backup. He’ll split time behind the plate with Brayan Pena until Salvador Perez returns from knee surgery around midseason.

Bourgeois brings speed and defense to a fourth outfielder role, but he’s 30 years old and has hit just .262 with two homers and a .631 OPS in 192 games as a big leaguer. His minor-league production isn’t a whole lot better, so presumably he’ll back up Lorenzo Cain rather than steal his playing time.

Chapman was the Royals’ fourth-round pick in 2010 and has racked up impressive strikeout numbers in the low minors, so he’s a pretty solid haul for a pair of bench guys regardless of who the PTBNL turns out to be.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics