Thearon W. Henderson
Offseason MLB power rankings are out and the Athletics checked in at No. 5.
The Oakland Athletics captured the American League West title with a late-season surge last season and while the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels have been more active in the free agent market, at least on baseball analyst pegged the A's as the top team in the AL West.
ESPN's Buster Olney posted his first offseason power rankings on Tuesday and the Athletics checked in at No. 5 overall. Olney cited a more experienced Yoenis Cespedes as well as a full season of Brett Anderson as two reasons for the lofty ranking. The Athletics finished second in the American League in team ERA last season and led MLB in runs scored during the second half. Those two facts, as well as improved defense from new centerfielder Chris Young are other reasons Olney is high on the A's.
The Rangers are always looking to make a splash and the Angels singed Josh Hamilton this offseason, but despite having a smaller payroll Olney said the Athletics still appear to be the team to beat in the division.