AL West Links: Mariners, Cruz, Napoli, Preller, Angels

"The expectation is" that the Mariners will target right-handed hitters such as Jhonny Peralta, Marlon Byrd, Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz this offseason, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.  The M's were particularly weak from the right side of the plate last season and will look to upgrade their right-handed bats, though really, Seattle will look to add hitting in any form.  Ken Rosenthal also noted that the Mariners were looking at right-handed hitters earlier this week, though he noted that the M's were in on Napoli.  Here's some more news from around the AL West…

  • Cruz declined his qualifying offer from the Rangers today and Adam Katz, Cruz's agent, told ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett that he will continue to talk with the team about his client's possible return to Texas.  "We've always been engaged with the Rangers and continue to be," Katz said.  Durrett notes, the draft pick compensation tied to Cruz may hurt him in free agency, though MLBTR's Steve Adams recently predicted Cruz would find a three-year, $39MM deal on the open market.
  • Brian Grieper, Napoli's agent, is scheduled to meet with Rangers GM Jon Daniels during the GM Meetings, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets.  The Rangers are known to be looking for an upgrade at first base and Napoli, a former Ranger, would definitely fit the bill.
  • The Rangers have promoted A.J. Preller to assistant general manager, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports (Twitter link).  Preller had previously worked as the team's senior director of player personnel.  Texas also named Mike Daly, formerly their director of international scouting, as the franchise's new senior director of minor league operations.
  • The Angels have been opposed to going over the luxury tax limit under Arte Moreno's ownership and that's not likely to change, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez writes.  Gonzalez also looks at Mark Trumbo trade rumors and a possible Mike Trout extension as part of his all-Angels mailbag.
  • In another item from Gonzalez, he speculates about what the Angels might have to give up (and what the Rays might want) in order to facilitate a David Price trade.
  • Earlier today on MLBTR we collected another set of AL West notes earlier today on MLBTR, a set of Astros-related notes and learned that the Angels signed Wade LeBlanc to a minor league deal.

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