The Angels went out and got themselves Josh Hamilton to go along with Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. DH Kendrys Morales was traded to Seattle in the deal that brought them LHP Jason Vargas. They also moved RHP Jordan Walden to Atlanta to get themselves RHP Tommy Hanson.
Essentially Vargas (14-11, 3.85) and Hanson (13-10, 4.48) replace Dan Haren (12-13, 4.33) and Ervin Santana (9-13, 5.16) in the rotation. Many say the Angels are not as strong as they were last season. Remember, Zack Greinke did not come over in the trade with Milwaukee until the trade deadline and Jerome Williams was the team's fifth starter. Joe Blanton (10-13, 4.71) comes over as a free agent to be the fifth starter. I think, outside of not having Greinke, the Angels have a better rotation than they did at the start of last season. Jared Weaver (20-5, 2.81) is no question the team's ace with Wilson (13-10, 3.83) as the number two. Obviously having Greinke would have made the rotation great, but it looks just fine anyways.
The bullpen will be a question, though it has improved. Free agent signing Ryan Madson will start the season on the disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. They also signed Sean Burnett (1-2, 2.38 in 70 games with over 9.0 Ks per 9 IP) as a free agent from Washington. Ernesto Frieri (4-2, 2.32, 23 saves with 80 Ks in 64 1/3 IP) will start out as the team's closer with Scott Downs (1-1, 3.15) and Kevin Jepsen (3-2, 3.02) providing depth. Starting rotation candidate Garrett Richards, who was one of the organization's top pitching prospects, may be able to establish himself as a solid back of the pen reliever. However, the Angels will probably use Richards (4-3, 4.69 in 30 games, 9 starts) as a long reliever and spot starter.
The offense is going to be tremendous. Trout, at age 20, had as good of a rookie season as could ever be imagined. He hit .326, 30, 83 with 129 RS, 182 hits and 49 SB. If it was not for Miguel Cabrera, Trout would have been the AL MVP. Pujols (.285, 30, 105, 50 2Bs) was said to have had a "down" season but still put up the numbers. Trumbo (.268, 32, 95) will settle into the DH position held by Morales (.273, 22, 73). Hamilton (.285, 43, 128) settles into LF, allowing Vernon Wells to be traded to New York. Peter Bourjos (.220, 3, 19 in 101 games, 168 ABs) will get the chance to be the everyday CF. His numbers were decent in 2011 (.271, 12, 43 with 11 3B with 22 SB). He has the chance to be even better, and may feel less pressure that Trout is in LF. Howie Kendrick (.287, 8, 67) is at 2B with Erick Aybar (.290, 8, 45) at SS and Alberto Callaspo (.252, 10, 53) playing 3B for the whole season. Last season Trumbo spent some time at 3B. Chris Iannetta (.240, 9, 26) played in just 76 games due to injury last season.
With the trades of Wells and Morales, the Angels have a very weak bench. That may be the team's only weakness. Vegas has them at 89 1/2 as their over under. I predict a 96-66 finish, 1st place in the AL West. If the Angels falter this season, Mike Scioscia could possibly lose his job. GM Jerry DiPoto took over reigns recently and the talent on this team will give Scioscia less margin for error. Critics say Scioscia may not be the man for this type of team. I think that discussion will end after this season.