Halolinks: Tony Reagins would never approve.
- No surprises when the MLB announced the finalists for the A.L. MVP, but sorry to say I agree with Rob Neyers take on who will win. I'm not sorry because I agree with Neyer, but because he thinks Mike Trout won't win...but should: BBWAA names major award finalists in the American League - Baseball Nation. "Should win: Trout, because he played the best and added more wins to his team's ledger than anyone else, despite not arriving for good in the majors until late April. Will win: Cabrera, because he won the Triple Crown and BBWAA voters are attracted to shiny objects." Each of the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association should receive a copy of this video while they are making their choice for the MVP...that is to say, if they even do any research prior to voting: High Heat compares Trout and Cabrera for MVP - MLB.com (I would have embedded the video if MLB allowed it, but that's another gripe for another time). Not surprisingly, they come to the conclusion that Trout was easily more valuable than Cabrera in 2012.
- I know this has shades of Buzzie Bavasi and two 8-7 pitchers, but at some point the cost of re-signing Zack Greinke could become unwise, especially when the Angels could possibly sign two other starting pitchers for the same price. Angels assess cost-benefits of Zack Greinke - latimes.com. "There's always a concern that the market will spin," Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said. "You have to understand where you value a player, where it fits for you, and where your walk-away point is." One of the other teams looking at Greinnke are the Texas Rangers. If the cost gets too high for the Halos, let the Rangers get saddled with the 5-year, $125M contract. "To me, he is the other big sign out there," (Nolan) Ryan, speaking of Greinke and Josh Hamilton, told reporters in Texas. "I don't get concerns about him breaking down because he has a good delivery and it's effortless and he has a feel for pitching." One of the biggest issues besides salary is contract length. Other available free-agent pitcher may require less of a commitment from a team, especially for pitchers sucha s 37-year-old Hiroki Kuroda and 33-year-old Kyle Lohse: GM meetings buzz centers on Josh Hamilton and potential trade of Justin Upton - Yahoo! Sports. "The issue in Anaheim is pitching, and whether the rotation can be rebuilt when the free-agent options behind Greinke are Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, Hiroki Kuroda, Kyle Lohse and, one supposes, Dan Haren.The competition for Greinke would seem to be thick and coming from – for the Angels – uncomfortable directions. The Rangers could sign him and make the AL West more miserable for the Angels than it already is. Or the Dodgers could sign him and continue to win back Southern California."
- While looking for some interesting stuff to add to Halolinks, I came across this older interview Mike Trout gave GQ magazine back in September: Baseball's New King Fish: A Quick Chat with Rookie of the Century Mike Trout- GQ
GQ: What drives that aggression?
Mike Trout: Just always trying to win. Everything I can do and everything I force myself to do there's one goal: to win.
- I had heard rumors of the offer the Angels gave Torii Hunter, but hadn't found anything to confirm it...until now:
- Adding starting pitching remains top priority for Angels - angels.com. "Torii Hunter is unlikely to return because the Angels, a source said, haven't been offering more than a one-year, $5 million contract." Although Hunter is definitely worth more than $5M, I think that's about the true value to the Angels considering he'd be a part-time player with the club. It looks like he'll have to go elsewhere if he wants to add to his bankroll.
- We kinda already knew this, but now it's confirmed: Kap: Medical concerns caused Marmol-Haren trade to fall through - CSNChicago. "However, a long-time AL source who has watched Haren over the past several seasons confirmed to me that medical questions were the main reason the trade fell apart, with the Cubs having serious concerns over Haren’s back stiffness that sidelined him for a part of the 2012 season." Haren's health is probably the main reason the Angels also had little interest in exercising the option. It looks like Haren will be signing a low-guarantee, incentive-based, make-good contract.
- Here's an interesting interview of former Angels scout Eddie Bane, where Bane explains why he left the organization: Eddie Bane Talks Baseball, Tony Reagins, Mike Trout, MVP and much more - Angelswin.com. "A: Eddie Bane - Tony and I did not like each other. I was told my contract was not being renewed. I asked why and he said he did not like the past couple of drafts (I assume he meant the '08, '09 and 2010 drafts). I said nothing and simply walked out of the room. A couple of days later I came to the ballpark and cleaned out my office. I was not very happy at the time because I loved my job and the Angels, so it was best if I just stayed away. But, I never wanted to pretend that Tony and I were buddies. We were not and there was a lot of tension in the office at that time." Tony Reagins: The gift that keeps on giving.
- The Diamondback organization seems like a really strange group of strange-thinking strange people: Trevor Bauer "has fallen out of favor" with Diamondbacks, is available in trade talks - HardballTalk.. "Rarely does a team try to trade a 25-year-old talent like Upton or a 21-year-old talent like Bauer, let alone both in the same offseason. This must be a very weird time to be a Diamondbacks fan. On one hand you can start fantasizing about acquiring basically any player you want. On the other hand you better have an awful lot of faith in Towers." they seem like the Seinfeld-ish neurotic guy who keeps finding reasons to breakup with their girlfriend. Bauer must have "man-hands".
- GMs discussing head protection for pitchers - NBC Sports. "Major League Baseball staff have said a cap liner with Kevlar, the high-impact material used by military, law enforcement and NFL players for body armor, is among the ideas under consideration." How about construction hardhats? Someone photoshop this immediately!
- MLB considering wider expansion of video review for umpires - ESPN. "He was talking about really basically fair-foul, trap plays. But we're looking into more than that," Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, said Wednesday at the general managers' meetings. Is this what they're discussing over hands of Euchre?
- Sorry, I just don't see it: Reality Check: Jeremy Guthrie - Baseball Nation. "So we've got, roughly speaking, a pitcher who's been a $10 million pitcher in each of the last three seasons, and is now reportedly hoping to earn $11 million in each of the next three seasons. Is that really so crazy? Considering salary inflation, and all the money that teams will have to throw around in those three seasons?"
Photos: First look at Petco Park’s new dimensions - Yahoo! Sports. "When looking at the photos, pay no attention to the temporary construction wall. Obviously the fences aren't coming in that far. But you can clearly see where the new warning track will be." It looks like they're putting in bullpens much like the tiered version in Angels Stadium.
- Using WPA to grade bullpen management, part one - The Hardball Times. "With a little tinkering under the hood, we can modify WPA's Clutch score to grade bullpens."
- For you movie junkies ( like me), here's a review of the new James Bond flick: James Bond, The Dark Knight. Skyfall, Reviewed. "It's not just the international locations that give the movie its impressive look: It's Roger Deakins, the longtime cinematographer for the Coen brothers, who rather brilliantly merges the demands of the sleek modern-day blockbuster with more artistic concerns such as arresting images and beautiful compositions. (I don't want to reveal anything about the third act, but it contains some of the most striking pure-cinema moments in any Bond film.)" I really like Bond movies and am looking forward to catching this one soon.
- Funny headline: Art Howe: I Should Manage The Blue Jays Because I Am Not As Fat As Philip Seymour Hoffman