The American League West division won the World Series once again, with the Texas Rangers defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2023 Fall Classic to win their first World Series title. The Rangers deserved it as a team that was ultra-aggressive and played extremely well in October.
Heading into the 2024 season, the AL West remains an extremely tough division with Texas leading the way. The Astros are in the midst of an outstanding run of seven straight ALCS appearances, and the Mariners are no slouches either.
As for where the Los Angeles Angels slot into the mix in this division, it feels like it's Groundhog Day once again.
Angels remain where they've been in mid-offseason AL West Power Rankings
5. Oakland Athletics
4. Los Angeles Angels
3. Seattle Mariners
2. Houston Astros
1. Texas Rangers
The AL West has been surprisingly quiet this offseason. The Rangers coming off their World Series win signed Kirby Yates to improve their bullpen and the injured Tyler Mahle who can potentially provide a boost to their rotation sometime this upcoming season. They could bring back Jordan Montgomery, but have yet to do so.
The Astros, coming off a crushing ALCS loss to Texas, are another team that has been relatively quiet. Replacing Martin Maldonado with Victor Caratini makes sense, but they've done little else of note.
The Mariners are a team that narrowly missed the playoffs after winning 88 games, and they've had a weird offseason too. They've dumped players like Jarred Kelenic and Eugenio Suarez in an effort to save money, and even traded Robbie Ray for the same reason. They signed Mitch Garver who should provide a big boost to their DH spot, but also lost Teoscar Hernandez. It's not crazy to say Seattle looks worse than they did last season.
The teams that finished ahead of the Angels have done little to get better, but since the Angels have done virtually nothing, it's hard to say they've gained any ground. They signed Adam Cimber, Adam Kolarek, Luis Garcia, and Zach Plesac, but none of those players are game-changers by any means. Losing Shohei Ohtani and doing virtually nothing after winning 73 games this past season means things only appear to be worse.
Adding Ron Washington helps, but a good manager can only do so much when managing an undermanned team. The Angels have some young players they hope improve and have Mike Trout, but a whole lot would have to go very right for the Angels to be competitive as is.
The silver lining for Angels fans is that at least they're not the Oakland A's, who remain the laughing stock of the sport. They are by far the worst team in the division and in the league.
The Angels have the chance to get closer to the middle of the pack if they can string some major signings together, but we have yet to see a single one. It's more of the same for the Angels for now, and without major change, that's going to remain the case.