Sports Illustrated AL West Preview
Ever wish you could engage your inner contrarian and find that the engine just won’t fire up? That’s how I feel after reading SI’s AL West preview. Nits are absolutely available for picking, but for the most part, there’s little in the larger narrative to disagree with.
The only team left out of the divisional mix is the Mariners. Seattle tried to get Millwood but had to settle for Washburn. The M’s were looking for a big slugger but only got free-agent DH Carl Everett. They did score a coup of sorts in signing Japanese catcher Kenji Johjima to a three-year, $16.5 million deal. For a team that lost 93 games in ’05, though, that won’t be nearly enough.
The author, John Donovan, lauds Johjima and Felix — though not enough in the case of the latter, I’d argue — and concludes that Oakland’s the division favorite, Texas is the most improved team, and Anaheim’s not out of the picture. It’s quite early yet to be drawing firm conclusions, but I’d have to say that this broad sketch seems accurate to me.