I think the AL West will be pretty competitive, as it has been in years past. However, for the first time since the Mariners have had their string of success, I'm betting against them.
The Mariners didn't have a lot of success this offseason, aside from acquiring Eddie Guardado and Raul Ibanez (and addition by subtraction in ridding themselves of Cirillo, I 'spose). Rich Aurillia may turn out to be decent, but I don't consider him much of an upgrade over Carlos Guillen, and I really wish the Mariners would have pushed harder for Miguel Tejada (I could go on and on about my hardships with the Mariners free agency decisions, but I'll leave that for another topic). Scott Spiezio is decent, but I'm worried about his defense at third base. A lot of Seattle's pitchers aren't strike out kind of guys and really rely on their defenders to get their outs.
I'm worried about Freddy Garcia (for obvious reasons), Edgar's health, Olerud's batting average, Aurillia sucking, Ichiro's annual post All-Star slump, etc., etc. If the Mariners avoid those, things should be just peachy in Seattle.
However, even if things are just peachy in Seattle (unlikely, IMO), they still have to contend with the improved Anaheim Angels and the always competitive Oakland Athletics. Anaheim could be extremely dangerous if their pitching is decent (their offense is crazily scary) and with the big four (I'm including Harden) Oakland shouldn't have a lot to worry about.
[size=9]"You will be a king here, instead of a peasant at the Cafe."
Madison hates The 'Cuna...[/size]