2012 Trade Deadline Update #4 7/27: Zack Greinke to the Angels – The A.L. West Just Got Wilder

Saturday July 28th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Zack Greinke has just been traded to the Angels. It looks as if the A.L. West is turning into the A.L. East with the Rangers being the Yankees and the Angels becoming the Red Sox. Coming off two straight losses in the World Series, the Rangers signed regarded Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish in the offseason, who has worked out very well for them this year. The Angels got off to a rough start after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, but turned their season around with the call-up of Mike Trout. With Colby Lewis needing Tommy John surgery, the Rangers are in need of another arm. Unfortunately for Rangers, the Angels just traded for one of the few quality pitchers left on the market. Zack Greinke is an ace and could turn out to be the difference maker in the A.L. West.

With Zack Greinke on board, the Angels have become an even more completely balanced team. With Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and C.J. Wilson, the Angels had arguably the best pitching staff in the AL West. Now with the addition of Greinke, the Angels have four top-of-the-rotation starters that will undoubtedly lead them to the playoffs. Their hitting lineup is stacked with Albert Pujols and Mike Trout leading the way, along with Mark Trumbo also providing some power. The Angels are all set up to catch the Rangers, and if not, take one of the Wild Cards. Even if they end up in the Wild Card game, I trust Jered Weaver over any other American League starter. He’s having a better year than Justin Verlander, and I think the Tigers should end up winning the Central anyway, taking away a possible Verlander/Weaver matchup in the Wild Card game. Now, the Angels have a good chance at sweeping the ALDS with Weaver, Haren, Greinke, and Wilson. They could even win three out of the first four games of the ALCS and World Series. I know it’s a bit early to be predicting how the playoffs will go, but the Angels sure do look strong.

With a starting staff like the Angels already had (Weaver, Haren, Wilson), I didn’t think they needed anything else. But, for some reason, they swiped Greinke off the market, perhaps to keep the Rangers from taking him. What a ridiculous staff they have now. If they really need to, they could go with a four-man rotation. I would hate to be any team that would have to face them in a four game series. In the playoffs, teams won’t get a break. The Angels are definitely the favorite in my mind for the World Series now.

For the Rangers, they must get another arm. Ryan Dempster and James Shields look to be the best options with Cliff Lee most likely not getting traded. The Rangers apparently have never made a trade with the Rays, so it will be interesting to see if that affects anything. If the Rangers don’t acquire any pitching, they must hope that Neftali Feliz returns healthily to the rotation and Yu Darvish doesn’t lose it. If needed, the Rangers could move Alexi Ogando to the rotation.

I can’t really remember a time when this many teams had so much talent. The Tigers have Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera with Justin Verlander, the Angels have Pujols, Trout, and pitching, the Rangers have Hamilton, Cruz, Andrus, and Darvish, the Yankees with Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira, Ichiro, Cano, Granderson and Sabathia, and the Dodgers have Kemp, Ethier, Hanley Ramirez, and Kershaw. The Yankees have been a powerhouse for the past 15 years, but now it seems like a lot more teams are landing the big free agents and trading for available stars.

It will definitely be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out with the Rangers and Angels emerging as two American League superpowers. Don’t forget the A’s, who are absolutely on fire and could also make a move before the deadline. The A’s are five games out of first and are slotted as one of the Wild Cards with the Angels (yes, it’s July and a lot can happen). With Greinke now off the market, Dempster and possibly Shields seem like the next ones to be moved.

As of today, (I know it’s very early) I see the American League playoffs (before the Wild Card game) as the Rangers and Angels, the Tigers, and the Yankees. These are the top four. For the second Wild Card I see either the A’s (so hot right now) or the Orioles, maybe the White Sox. The Wild Card game will be the Rangers or Angels and A’s/Orioles/White Sox/Red Sox. The top four teams are just too strong to lose.

I feel bad for the Astros next year.

***Today’s feature was prepared by Bernie Olshansky, MLB reports Intern & Facebook Administrator.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky)***

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About bernieolshansky

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve experienced some exciting times with the local baseball teams—the Giants winning the World Series being the most memorable highlight. Some of my favorite players include Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, and Cliff Lee among others. I played baseball up through my freshman year of high school and transitioned into being a full time fan. I regularly attend major and minor league games when I have free time. I enjoy working at a baseball store. I’m in my senior year of high school and hope to major in Journalism or Sports Administration in college. Follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky).

Posted on July 27, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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