2013 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few days we’ve been previewing the 2013 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West.

For the second straight year the Los Angeles Angels have signed the biggest slugger on the free agent market. This time, however, we feel like it’s going to finally work.  Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Mark Trumbo form a potent core. Jered Weaver is an ace. There may be some issues with the rest of the pitching staff, but we’re liking the Angels’ chances.

Not to sell the Rangers short. They’re sort of retrenching this year, transitioning off of Josh Hamilton and preparing to integrate youngsters Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt into the lineup either late this year or as 2014 kicks off, but they’re still an insanely talented team that, for whatever reason, people always want to sleep on until, once again, they’re in the playoffs.

How did the A’s do it last year? We have no idea. But they’re trying to do it again this year and, as always, the proceedings will be an exercise in plate-spinning, smoke, mirrors and unexpectedly good performances from guys everyone else gave up on at some point.

The Mariners are on the right track, but still a work in progress.

American League newcomers the Houston Astros will pop champagne corks if they don’t lose 100 games. And given how thoroughly they’ve torn down in order to rebuild, it will be an accomplishment worth celebrating if it does indeed come to pass.

Below are our team-by-team previews of the AL West, followed by our HBT Extra feature on the division. Enjoy!

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Report: Braves nearing deal with Peter Moylan

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The Braves are close to an agreement with free agent reliever Peter Moylan, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes. Terms of the deal are not yet known, though anything greater than a one-year contract would be surprising.

This figures to be Moylan’s third run with the Braves. The 39-year-old right-hander completed a two-year gig with the Royals in 2017, during which he put up a 3.49 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.0 SO/9 in a league-leading 79 appearances and 59 1/3 innings. While he hasn’t looked dominant at any point in his career, he showed promise after recovering from back surgery and two Tommy John surgeries and could provide some veteran support to a bullpen that ranked 27th among its major league peers last year.

The Braves have been linked to Moylan since November, but they’re not the only ones still in play for his services. Bowman adds that the Royals have continued to show interest in the veteran righty, though they don’t appear close to arranging a deal.