Blog Entry

AL West will be the new AL East

Posted on: February 13, 2012 6:23 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 6:41 pm

By Matt Snyder

The AL East has been pretty widely regarded as the best division in baseball for a while. And with good reason, as the numbers don't lie. In the past 15 years, the AL wild card has come from the AL East 11 times. The best record has also come from the AL East 11 times. The American League World Series representative has come from the AL East nine times, while the World Series champion was an AL East team six times. Also note the '96 Yankees won it all, 16 seasons ago. Simply, it's a dominant division.

But with the events of this offseason, we're liable to see a shift in power to the west coast. Monday's Yoenis Cespedes signing for the A's wasn't a seismic shift type deal, but it shows they're focusing on winning within the next four years. Also note that the extensions of general manager Billy Beane and club president Michael Crowley are a true sign the A's will eventually get their new stadium in San Jose. When that happens, they'll start to have some extra revenue. So things should be looking up for the A's in the next few years, right? Well, not so fast.

AL West offseason
In fact, the A's might be looking like the AL West's version of the Baltimore Orioles. Since 2000, the Orioles haven't finished better than third -- which happened only once -- and have come in last the past four seasons. They've also had a payroll of at least $72 million seven of the past 11 seasons. They aren't poor by any means. They just can't keep up in the monster of a division that is the AL East.

Let's see what's in store for the A's in the next decade or so, in terms of their divisional competition.

• The Angels have an owner who just shelled out over $300 million to land Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in free agency. It probably didn't seem like much of a big deal to Arte Moreno, considering he's looking at a local TV contract of 20 years for $3 billion. Plus, the Angels play in the mega-market that is Los Angeles. They aren't going away.

• The Rangers paid over $50 million just for the right to negotiate with Japanese phenom Yu Darvish and then paid him over $50 million more to sign. The have a front office and ownership group that can compete with anyone in terms of brains and most teams in terms of dollars. The Dallas area is a large market and the fan base is continuing to grow after two straight World Series appearances. They aren't going away, either.

• The Astros are moving to the American League West, and while it's gonna be a few years before they can compete, remember they have a new owner, Jim Crane, who likely didn't pay $680 million to own a doormat of a baseball team. Plus, Houston is one of the largest markets in America -- and the Astros had a nine-figure payroll in 2009. Don't discount how they'll play in this division come 2015 or 2016. They can spend, and will have to in order to keep up.

• The Mariners are in the 12th biggest market in MLB, which isn't bad at all. But they'd be at risk of falling far behind if not for a lucrative TV deal in their near future. Last week, a USA Today report noted the Mariners are among a handful of teams ready to cash in with a mega-TV deal like the Angels just did. Prior to the 2015 season, the Mariners can opt out of their current local TV deal with Root Sports and hit the open market. The Seattle Times also pointed out that the Mariners have trimmed their bottom line to the point that the only long-term investment is the reliable ace Felix Hernandez. So they could be positioning for a major strike within the next few years, after landing the aforementioned lucrative TV deal.

The process is going to be gradual, especially and obviously with the Mariners, Astros and A's.

Just don't be surprised if a decade from now the AL West is viewed as the best division in baseball. The resources are all falling into place for a westward move in the balance of league power.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:51 pm

AL West will be the new AL East

Im sure your vagina DOES hurt Sharon. Thats what happnens when...

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:53 pm

AL West will be the new AL East

I'm curious to see how the Angels will do. Pujols is a great player, but his age is bound to catch up with him soon. Maybe not this year or next year, but I wouldn't be surprised to see his performance to start dropping when he hits 35 in a couple of seasons.

I'm also interested in seeing how Yu Darvish will perform. He was dominate in Japan, but that is Japan. The best players in the world play in the US, not in Japan. Since he'll be pitching in the AL which normally has more offense due to DH, it'll be interesting to see how responds in a different league with better players.

I can see how the AL West teams are going to be favored to dominate in the next few years, but there are still question marks like every other team and division has when Opening Day comes around.

Since: Mar 13, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:29 pm

AL West will be the new AL East

Jeeeaaaaaaloouussss....   The Bills lost 4 in a row and were rolled by the Cowboys two years in a row. Ther Rangers lost a close series and are stocked with the best farm system in baseball. This is just the start,,,   Once again an obvious homer making stupid comparisons that make no sense....  

"Waaaa waaaaa ... my vagina hurts.. waaaa waaaa" What a moron...

Go Rangers !!!! 

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:27 pm

AL West will be the new AL East

The Rangers are the Buffalo Bills of MLB.  'nuff said!

Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:32 pm

AL West will be the new AL East

You do realize I was arguing that the AL East IS much better than the west (see below)...your comment didn't read that way.  And last time I checked no one won the up-coming world series yet, therefore speculation of who is the best Team in the AL this NEW (please see article title) year does not require a ring in the past....Please stop me if you have trouble keeping up

Since: Aug 8, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:29 am

AL West will be the new AL East

We have the M's, Oakland, and now HOUSTON!!! There is really no comparrison.  The Rangers are the best team in the AL..."nuff said"...

...evidenced by the 2 World Series they've lost. They did get there, but a third time in a row...doubtful. The AL East is far stronger than the AL West, even with the Dead Sux in disarray. Texas can crow about how great they are, but it don't mean a thing if you ain't got a ring.

Since: Apr 8, 2010
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:25 am

AL West will be the new AL East

you do realize in 4-5 years felix will be 29-30 right?

Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2012 8:56 pm

AL West will be the new AL East

Agreed - AL East > AL West

We have the M's, Oakland, and now HOUSTON!!! There is really no comparrison.  The Rangers are the best team in the AL..."nuff said"... - but that doesn't make the entire AL West better then the AL East. Enjoy!

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: February 15, 2012 4:46 pm

AL West will be the new AL East

Hey crds fan, grats on the WS win!!!!!

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: February 15, 2012 4:43 pm

AL West will be the new AL East

In 4-5 years King Felix and Pujols will be showing their age. the Mariners may get their offense up but will their pitching be any good? hopefully. Thery may have some good pitching prospects but am unfamiliar with their organization so have to go blindly. But rookies dont pan out as expected all the time.
The Angels have a good front office but thwy let their core get too old before trying to upgrade.Pujols is the answer NOW as is Wilson , whom I believe will fail.
The Rangers , we own them. nuff said.
If either Boston or New York fail, the Rays and the Jays are waiting in the wings, like hungry cats waiting to pounce
Baltimore, they need their owner kidnapped by aliens and replaced by one. maybe then you can compete for real. Sorry Bmore, I remember when yall were a real threat, wow. Palmer, Ripkin, both the Robinsons, Eddie Murry, wow, yall have a great history!!!
who can forget Earl Weaver?
Nah, I dont see this happening as I know every team in the east will try to upgrade as the west will also.Nahh. Not for a while will the they take us from being "the Beast in the East[meaning the conference]

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or