Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The Champs of the AL West in 2008 have offered Mark Teixiera a 8 yr/$160 million contract. Their hope is that their first baseman stays in southern California. If not, they, like other teamshave Manny Ramirez as a contingency plan in case they fail to re-sign Tex. They're rumored to be interested in Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami as well. Jon Garland is a FA, as well. Basically, how Tex goes, so goes the Angel's offseason.
Texas Rangers: While the Astros cite the poor economy as reason number one why Ben Sheets won't be in Houston next year, the Rangers have taken the lead in the Ben Sheets derby. Stud catching prospect Max Ramirez has seen interest from the Marlins, who have offered pitching prospect Ryan Tucker. In an interesting move, Nolan Ryan has shown some enthusiasm for signing Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara sight unseen.
Oakland Athletics: The teams that finished at the bottom of the AL West in 2008 have made the biggest moves thus far. Oakland landed the first big fish of the offseason, trading Huston Street, Carlos Gonzales and Greg Smith for Matt Holliday. How much will this deal mean to Oakland? If the team can land a Nick Johnson or Jason Giambi to pair with Holliday, the move may provide a shot in the arm to Oakland's chances at competing in 2009. Rafael Furcal would have made a nice shortstop, but just today Furcal signed with Atlanta. How will Holliday react to moving from a top five hitter's park to a top five pitcher's park? He does have a pronounced home vs. road split, but I don't think anyone believes Holliday will be in Oakland any longer than this season, if not the trade deadline..
Seattle Mariners: An overhaul, indeed. JJ Putz, along with outfielder Jeremy Reed and pitcher Sean Green were sent to the Mets last week, with Endy Chavez, Jason Vargas and former Indian Franklin Gutierrez coming to the Emerald city. Gutierrez is a nice player with some upside (youth), but this seems to be a move to shed payroll, and look to the future. Raul Ibanez was not re-signed, and was subsequently overpaid by the Phillies. Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard and converted reliever Brandon Morrow offer a superb top three in the rotation, but the cupboard seems to be bare after them.