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AL West Notes: Angels, Rangers, Mariners

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said following the signing of Trevor Cahill, the signing of Matt Harvey and the re-acquisition (via waivers) of Parker Bridwell that the Angels’ “numbers are increasing” and “getting to an area that provides us a lot more comfort than we had even a week ago” (link via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register). Eppler spoke of an “uptick” in the efficacy of Harvey’s slider and changeup following his trade to the Reds, adding that he’s done his due diligence on Harvey’s character and reputation off the field. With Cahill and Harvey penciled into the rotation alongside Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney, the Angels would appear to have their top four starters in place. Bridwell, Jaime Barria, Nick Tropeano, Felix Pena and Dillon Peters are among the options for the fifth spot, and the Halos also have J.C. Ramirez on the mend from Tommy John surgery. It still seems possible that the Angels could add another arm — they were tied to Dallas Keuchel once again over the weekend — but they’ve at the very least improved their depth with a pair of relative upside plays.

More from the division..

  • The Rangers “are not done acquiring” catching help this offseason, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes in his latest Rangers Inbox column, though he indicates that the team isn’t expected to be in the mix for J.T. Realmuto as the Marlins look to move him. Texas could add some more veteran depth to pair with defensive whiz Jeff Mathis, it seems, but a high-end acquisition doesn’t appear to be in the cards. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is the other option atop the Rangers’ catching depth chart at the moment, but he’s still developing and has more experience at both second base and third base than he does at catcher.
  • The trade of Jurickson Profar to the Athletics as part of a three-team swap was part of the Rangers’ ongoing attempt to build a sustainable young core of pitching talent, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. General manager Jon Daniels spoke particularly highly of left-hander Brock Burke, the Rays’ minor league pitcher of the year. “We think he reached a different level this year and think he might have another gear to get to, too,” said Daniels of his new prospect. The Rangers added three upper-level arms in that trade, and the $750K of international bonus allotments they acquired could be further invested in adding some young arms.
  • The Mariners have absolutely gutted their bullpen this offseason with the trades of Edwin Diaz, Alex Colome, James Pazos and Juan Nicasio, to say nothing of outrighting Nick Vincent and Erasmo Ramirez. At present, there’s no clear answer as to who will be the Mariners’ primary option in the ninth inning, and GM Jerry Dipoto recently suggested that there may not be one answer to that question (link via the Tacoma News Tribune’s T.J. Cotterill). “Probably similar to what we did when we first moved [Diaz] into the closer role or when we got here and signed Steve Cishek,” said Dipoto. “It’s having multiple guys who have some experience doing it.” Dipoto did mention righty Anthony Swarzak when discussing potential closing options, but there’s clearly room for some additions in the Seattle ’pen beyond last week’s low-profile signing of Zac Rosscup.

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