AL West Roundup: Zack Greinke, Grant Balfour, Mark Hamburger

Jeff Golden

Taking a look at the day's news in the AL West.

The AL West had a tumultuous offseason, which saw a good deal of turnover. The Rangers lost Josh Hamilton, the Angels SIGNED Josh Hamilton, the Astros moved in and got comfy, and much more. Let's take a look at what this division has been up to.

Rangers had a final shot at Greinke?

Despite many thinking that the Dodgers had trumped all other offers for the right-handed pitcher, it sounds like the Rangers were given a chance to make a better offer for Greinke at the end. The pitcher had said that money was the biggest factor, so the offer was likely higher than the one he took from the Dodgers. He was linked to the Rangers for most of the offseason, but ultimately the team decided to go in a younger direction.

The Rangers appear to be committing to getting younger, which means that not signing Greinke might have been a blessing in disguise for the franchise. They now get to try out some younger arms, and see what they can get from guys like Martin Perez, Justin Grimm, and Cody Buckel.

Balfour on track for Opening Day

After injurying his knee early in Spring Training, there was some doubt as to if Grant Balfour would be ready for Opening Day. It appears now that Balfour is ahead of schedule and could be ready for the Athletics' first game of the season.

Balfour reportedly threw 30 pitches on flat-ground, which went well. If he can be ready for Opening Day it would be huge for the Athletics, as they would not have to carry anyone North with them that they did not plan on keeping on the roster.

Hamburger suspended

Right-hander Mark Humburger was suspended for using a "drug of abuse," which means that it will be difficult for the right-hander to latch on with a team. It is reportedly for similar reasons to when Jonathan Singleton was suspended for failing two drug tests. Both were in the Astros' system last year.

Other than his awesome name, this is notable because Hamburger is actually decent pitching depth, and it will hurt any teams that were looking to acquire him. The suspension also will not begin until he signs with a new team, which sets him back even further.

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