The Winter Meeting start December 3rd, and until then, there's not going to be a whole lotta news. So, here are today's Halolinks, scaled down. Enjoy:
- The Angels are pursuing pitching. Starters, relievers, set-up guys, you name it the Angels are interested in it. I have long been an advocate of cheap bullpen pitchers, so the interest the Angels are showing in Fujikawa has me confused. I'm not confused by why the Angels are interested in the Japanese all-star pitcher, but by my thoughts as to if the Angels should sign him. There's a definite need in the Halo pen for a "shutdown" reliever, and since Scot Shields disappeared, the Angels have lacked that sort of 7th and 8th inning pitcher, but would the money needed to sign Fujikawa be better used on a mid-rotation starter? Can we have both? Angels have plenty of company in pursuit of reliever Kyuji Fujikawa - latimes.com. "Upon returning to Japan on Sunday, Fujikawa, a 32-year-old right-hander who has been Japan’s top closer for six years, told reporters, "I was very impressed with the way the Angels welcomed me. I had never been treated like that."
- Anyone else still gun-shy about the Angels third base status ever since Brandon Wood broke our hearts? Beat reporter Alden Gonzalez answers fans questions in his latest Inbox. - angels.com
How can the Angels upgrade at third base? -- Oscar R., Irvine, Calif.
Probably by waiting on Kaleb Cowart, currently the No. 1 prospect in their system, to be ready. In an ideal world, Alberto Callaspo mans third base in 2013 and Cowart is ready by 2014. Wishful thinking? Perhaps, given that Cowart is only 20 years old and will play his first season of Double-A in 2013. But they really like him, elite third basemen are rare and hard to come by, and Callaspo fits for now. He may not be your prototypical third baseman, but he plays solid defense and draws walks. The Angels get their power elsewhere.
- Rob Neyer vents about the recent Blue Jay-Marlin deal: Commissioner Selig approves Marlins-Blue Jays blockbuster trade - Baseball Nation. "Okay, in the next memo I'd like to see a comprehensive list of Baseball's "important social responsibilities". I'm not saying that Baseball should have important responsibilities. But if the Commissioner believes it does, I would love to know what they are. Because apparently "not lying to the fans" isn't one of them."
- Any guesses as to who is the free agent pitcher the Brewers were close to making an offer to and then didn't? Sports medicine gives Brewers edge - Milwaukee Journal. "The Brewers use a 1-5 rating scale in assessing the health of players in whom they have interest, with one being "pristine" and five being "stay away from." "We passed on a couple of guys last year (due to health concerns) and we'll pass on guys in the draft because of that," Ash said. "There was a free agent last year that we were close to making an offer to and decided it was too big a risk. And it turned out it was (the player signed elsewhere and got injured)." I'm going to say Ryan Madson.
- Someone needs to connect an Xbox up to this thing: Seattle’s new $10 million scoreboard will be the biggest in baseball - Yahoo! Sports. "It will have a total viewing area of 11,425 square feet. The Cowboys' 160 by 72 foot display covers 11,520 square feet."
- Susan Slusser explains why she voted for Cabrera and why I'm in love with Brandon McCarthy: Why I voted for Miguel Cabrera - SFGate.com. "Every player I spoke to, and I talked to at least a dozen A’s and other AL players, leaned toward Cabrera – except for one: Brandon McCarthy, the A’s starter and a man with such a deep knowledge of advanced metrics, he has used them to redefine his career. McCarthy is among the smartest, if not the smartest, athlete I’ve covered in 24 years in the business, and I respect his opinion enormously when it comes to sabermetrics. He doesn’t just understand them, he puts them into actual practice. McCarthy argued vehemently for Trout, and he said he tried to find every possible reason to vote for Cabrera as an intellectual exercise, but he just couldn’t rationalize it. Trout’s superiority in two major categories, defense and baserunning, made this a clear choice for McCarthy. He described Cabrera as "unreal" at hitting – and Trout as "unreal at all three."