Opening Day 2014: Previewing The American League West

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The Angels are banking on David Freese finding the form that made him a postseason hero three years ago. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

3. Los Angeles Angels of Greater Orange County, Planet Earth

Last year: 78-84, third place
Projected finish: Third place
What’s New: 3B David Freese (St. Louis), OF Raul Ibanez (Seattle), 1B Carlos Pena (Houston), RHP Fernando Salas (St. Louis)(, LHP Hector Santiago (White Sox), LHP Tyler Skaggs (Arizona), RHP Joe Smith (Cleveland)

Who’s Gone: OF Peter Bourjos (St. Louis), 1B Mark Trumbo (Arizona), LHP Jason Vargas (Kansas City), RHP Jerome Williams (Houston).

Who’s Down: LHP Brian Moran (15-day DL, left elbow inflammation), RHP Dane De La Rosa (15-day DL, right forearm inflammation), LHP Sean Burnett (15-day DL, recovering from left forearm surgery), RHP Ryan Brasier (15-day DL, right elbow strain).

Outlook: The Angels jumped into free agency with both feet in each of the last two seasons, landing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in 2012 and Josh Hamilton in 2013. Wilson’s worked out well. But nothing says “we’re confident Pujols will make a complete recovery” than signing Carlos Pena as a Band-Aid at first base. But at least the Angels don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars tied up in aging superstars who are in steep declines … oh, wait.