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The Josh Hamilton signing has not worked out how the Angels hoped.
As the rebuilding continues in Houston, the Astros have posted a third straight 100-loss season, but they have done what needed to be done by rebuilding the team from the ground up. Trading Bud Norris was necessary, and they got a decent return for him. A talented young farm system is also getting closer to making contributions in the majors.
From a financial standpoint, one report had them walking away from the season with a $99 million operating income. While the accuracy of that has been called into question, the team has nonetheless made some shrewd financial decisions since the new ownership group has taken over the team.
Los Angeles Angels
A year after spending big to sign Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, only to come up short of the postseason, the Angels opened up their wallets again this past offseason and inked Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal. The results were more of the same, as Hamilton struggled and the Angels pitching staff behind C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver was nothing short of a disaster. With the money they have invested in their roster, they'll remain in win-now mode, but they have a lot of questions to be answered.
The A's were among the biggest surprises of 2012, and they proved that performance was for real this season, as they again made a late-season push to capture the AL West title. After a solid season last year, Bartolo Colon has been a legitimate Cy Young candidate this season, and the young rotation behind him has stepped up once again. The offense again lacks a true household name, but it continues to pile up runs, and Bob Melvin plays the matchups as well as any manager in baseball.
The offseason acquisitions of Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez have kept the Mariners from finishing last in the American League in runs scored for a fifth straight season. However, they have an eye on the future and have seen a number of their high-end prospects make a big-league impact this season. The emergence of Hisashi Iwakuma alongside Felix Hernandez in the rotation, and the experience those prospects have gained, makes this season a success for Seattle.
The Rangers entered the season with lowered expectations following the offseason departures of Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Koji Uehara, among others. Instead, they came out of the gates hot, and in the middle of May, they were 27-14 with a seven-game lead in the AL West. They looked to be safely entrenched in a postseason spot heading into the final month of the year, but a 10-15 September has left them on the outside looking in for an AL wild-card spot.
Grade: C (B if they make the playoffs)