Since bringing an end to a long history of setbacks and tragedy by winning the 2002 World Series, the Angels have had a stranglehold on the AL West, winning the division four of the last five years.
After winning the division by 21 games in 2008, things tightened up considerably last season. The hard-hitting Rangers finally got some pitching, riding the Angels' coattails into September.
Additionally, the Seattle Mariners caught everyone by surprise and posted a 24-win improvement from the prior season.
With the M's relevant again, GM Jack Zduriencik wasted no time ensuring the team's continued improvement. Zduriencik acquired Cliff Lee, traded the useless Carlos Silva for Milton Bradley, and signed Chone Figgins away from the Angels.
Figgins wasn't the only player Anaheim lost to a division rival, as former franchise player Vladimir Guerrero signed a one-year deal with the Rangers.
The Angels made moves of their own, signing World Series MVP Hideki Matsui, a resurgent Joel Pineiro, and former Tigers closer Fernando Rodney. Whether or not those moves will be enough to hold off the hard-charging Rangers and Mariners, only time will tell.
No matter what, the AL West race is set to be one of the tightest and most interesting this coming season.