2012 Record: 89-73
Key Additions: Josh Hamilton, Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton, Sean Burnett, Ryan Madson
Key Losses: Ervin Santana, Dan Haren, Torii Hunter, Kendry Morales, Zack Greinke, Jordan Walden
For the second consecutive offseason, the Los Angeles Angels made a jaw-dropping acquisition. This time, they landed Hamilton and stole him away from the Texas Rangers in the process. A lineup featuring Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo will give pitchers nightmares. The lineup could still use more depth though, especially at the catcher and third base positions.
The Angels also shored up their biggest weakness last season, the bullpen. By acquiring Madson and Burnett, they added two late inning relievers who can get big-time outs. Pairing them with Ernesto Frieri and Scott Downs turns this weakness into a strength.
The biggest question for the Angels has to be their starting pitching. They have two aces in Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson, but lost three-fifths of their 2012 rotation. That could kill a team, even if Santana was extremely ineffective the past year. However, while Vargas, Hanson and Blanton each have their fair share of negatives, they can easily give the Angels a nice back-end to their rotation.
The Angels have to be considered favorites to win the division this season, even with their major rotation shake-up.