Seattle Mariners

Giants trade catcher Tom Murphy to Mariners for pitcher Jesus Ozoria

Giants trade catcher Tom Murphy to Mariners for pitcher Jesus Ozoria

One game into the 2019 season, and the Giants already are making moves. 

The Giants traded catcher Tom Murphy to the Mariners on Friday morning. MLB Network's Jon Heyman was first to report the news.

It's the end of an era, and it lasted a whole four days. The Giants claimed Murphy from the Rockies on March 25. 

Murphy, 27, appeared in one spring training game for the Giants. He went 1-for-2, but he was designated for assignment when the team announced its 25-man roster for Opening Day.

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Over four MLB seasons with the Rockies, Murphy is a .219 career hitter and has knocked 10 home runs.

Astros, Angels look like A's biggest competition in new-look AL West

Astros, Angels look like A's biggest competition in new-look AL West

After a busy offseason, the AL West could look a lot different than it did a year ago. Every team in the division lost key pieces and will have to adjust to new faces in the clubhouse.

In 2018, the A's made a surprising run to the AL Wild Card game by winning 97 games. But the Astros won the division with 103 victories and are again the heavy favorites to repeat as AL West champions.

Oakland's run to another playoff berth will be challenging, as they've suffered injuries to slugger Matt Olson and top prospect Jesús Luzardo

Regardless, the A's enter 2019 with the goal of playing October baseball once again. But to do so, they'll have to outlast a remade AL West.

[RELATED: MLB Power Rankings]

Here's a breakdown of the A's competition entering the season:

The Favorite: Houston Astros

Newcomers: Michael Brantley (OF), Robinson Chirinos (C), Aledmys Diaz (SS), Wade Miley (SP)

What they lost: Dallas Keuchel (SP), Charlie Morton (SP), Tony Sipp (RP), Marwin Gonzalez (OF), Martin Maldonado (C), Evan Gattis (DH)

Despite losing Charlie Morton and possibly Dallas Keuchel in free agency, the Astros are once again a heavy favorite to win the AL West crown. Houston added left-hander Wade Miley to join Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Collin McHugh in the starting rotation, and their bullpen is still one of the best in baseball.

The Astros will also feature a deep and dynamic lineup, led by MVP candidates Alex Bregman and José Altuve. Michael Brantley and Robinson Chirinos are solid additions and the club returns Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Yuli Gurriel as well.

Until they are dethroned, the Astros are the team to beat in the AL West.

The Contender: Los Angels Angels

Newcomers: Trevor Cahill (SP), Matt Harvey (SP), Cody Allen (RP), Justin Bour (1B), Jonathan Lucroy (C)

What they lost: Garrett Richards (SP), Jose Alvarez (RP), Blake Parker (RP)

The Angels believe they have addressed their starting pitching issues by signing Matt Harvey and former A's pitcher Trevor Cahill. The two veteran right-handers will join Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, and Jaime Barria in the rotation.

Los Angeles also improved its bullpen by signing former Indians closer Cody Allen. The 30-year-old struggled last season but put together four straight impressive years before that.

The Angels lineup should be productive with Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Albert Pujols, Justin Bour, and Kole Calhoun doing most of the damage. If they find a way to get consistent pitching, they could challenge for a Wild Card spot, if not the division title.

Stock falling: Texas Rangers

Newcomers: Lance Lynn (SP), Jesse Chavez (RP), Shawn Kelley (RP), Shelby Miller (SP), Hunter Pence (OF)

What they lost: Adrián Beltré (3B), Jurickson Profar (INF), Robinson Chirinos (C), Matt Moore (SP), Alex Claudio (RP)

The Rangers could be in for a long season. After winning just 67 games a year ago, Texas lost Adrián Beltré to retirement and Jurickson Profar to the A's.

The Rangers' pitching staff was the biggest problem last season, finishing with a combined ERA of 4.93. That ranked 28th out of MLB's 30 teams. Texas did add starters Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller, as well as relievers Jesse Chavez and former Athletic Shawn Kelley.

The Rangers may be slightly better than last year, but it will be a massive surprise if they end up anywhere near .500.

Roster overhaul: Seattle Mariners

Newcomers: Yusei Kikuchi (SP), Hunter Strickland (RP), Cory Gearrin (RP), Edwin Encarnación (DH), Mallex Smith (OF), Jay Bruce (OF), Domingo Santana (OF), Tim Beckham (SS)

What they lost: Edwin Diaz (RP), James Paxton (SP), Nelson Cruz (DH), Robinson Cano (2B), Jean Segura (SS), Juan Nicasio (RP), Alex Colome (RP), Mike Zunino (C), Ben Gamel (OF)

Despite winning 89 games last year, the Mariners completely overhauled their roster with an eye on the future. Seattle cut ties with stars like Edwin Diaz, James Paxton, Nelson Cruz, and Robinson Cano.

The Mariners did add highly-touted Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi and former Giants closer Hunter Strickland, both of whom pitched well against the A's last week in Tokyo. Seattle's lineup was also productive in the season-opening series against Oakland.

While the Mariners are a long shot to contend, they certainly have talent and could surprise teams in the AL West.

Ichiro began, ended 19-year MLB career with 5-4 Mariners wins over A's


Ichiro began, ended 19-year MLB career with 5-4 Mariners wins over A's

Yusei Kikuchi couldn't keep himself together. 

When Ichiro Suzuki, the man he recently called "like a god in Japan" in an ESPN article, reached the 27-year-old Mariners rookie outside of the dugout at the Tokyo Dome, Kikuchi shook his hand, looked him in the eyes, and tears quickly came out. That lasting image is one that defines how so many, from Japan to the United States and beyond, feel about Ichiro hanging it up. 

The 45-year-old played his final MLB game on Thursday, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the Mariners' 5-4 win over the A's. From his 20s to his 40s, the opening pages and final chapter of this Hall of Fame career came against the A's, and with the same final results of the game. 

On April 2, 2001, Ichiro made his MLB debut in Oakland against the A's. After starting the game 0-for-3, he hit a shot up the middle out of the reach of Miguel Tejada. The sharply-hit single was No. 1 of 3,089 MLB base knocks. 

Ichiro's MLB debut was Game 1 of 238 he played against the A's. The A's honored him throughout the Opening Series in Japan, but they certainly won't miss the kind of numbers he produced against them.

Over his 19-year career, Ichiro totaled 320 hits against the A's with a .324 batting average. 

[RELATED: A timeline of A's season-opening watch party]

A legend has laced his cleats for the final time. From his signature swing, to his rocket of an arm, Ichiro will live on in the hearts of baseball fans.