Tuesday Halolinks: Will Tommy Hanson Be Ready? Oh, And Vernon Wells Was Traded.

"See what you forced us to do?" - USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Hanson skipped his spring training start so he could pitch in an intersquad game. The club says that was to keep better control on his pitch count, but is there another reason?

While he's playing in intersquad and minor league games, the Yankees haven't been playing shortstop Derek Jeter in any spring training games lately so they can backdate any disabled list stints to the last day he participated in a "real" game. Is this what the Angels are doing with Tommy Hanson? Angels 11, White Sox 5 - FOX Sports. "Los Angeles held out scheduled starter Tommy Hanson, pitching him in an intrasquad game instead, and used eight pitchers. A.J. Schugel, who will begin the season in Triple-A, started and tossed two scoreless innings before leaving with a blister." Some good news for the Angels relief pitching, "Left-hander Sean Burnett pitched a scoreless inning, his second in a row after a shaky start this spring. ''The first couple of hitters (Burnett) was great,'' Scioscia said. ''The outing before this one he was really on the money. He's getting close.''

It seems like there's nothing wrong with Hanson in terms of pitch-count and velocity, but there's that cloud of possible injury hanging over the starter's pitching shoulder. Hanson on track after solid intra-squad start - angels.com. "Hanson gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits, but he walked none, struck out nine, threw 60 of his 88 pitches for strikes, featured a good curveball and was sitting at 88-91 mph with his fastball. The 26-year-old right-hander has one spring start left, then lines up to start at Rangers Ballpark on April 6." We'll see how things shake out when Hanson's next turn comes around.

Andrew Romine and one of three catchers will get two of the Angels four available bench spots, who will get the remaining two? Few roster decisions left for Angels - The Orange County Register. "Outfielders Kole Calhoun and J.B. Shuck and infielders Brendan Harris, Luis Jimenez, Luis Rodriguez and Efren Navarro are the remaining players for the other two spots." MLB TradeRumors has an interesting post about free agents signed to minor league contracts. None of this applies to the Angels club once they released Bill Hall, but it's still an interesting read: Article XX(B) Free Agents Update: Monday - MLBTradeRumors.com. "Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement contains a provision that allows certain free agents who are signed to minor league contracts to receive a $100K retention bonus if they are not on the team's 25-man roster or the Major League disabled list five days prior to the season. Free agents who qualify for this distinction are those who have at least six years of Major League service time and had a Major League contract expire at the end of the previous season, but signed a minor league deal ten or more days prior to Opening Day.

He finally signed...and for three years. Kyle Lohse’s three-year contract with the Brewers is official - HardballTalk. "Adam McCalvy of MLB.com has passed along the contract details. Lohse will earn just $4 million this season while he’ll get $7 million in deferred payments from 2016-2018. He’ll make $11 million in 2014 and 2015."

You know things are bad when you're having a tough time selling tickets to Opening Day: Miami Marlins latest ploy to sell tickets? Groupon - Yahoo! Sports. "Now, the Marlins have started selling tickets on coupon site Groupon, giving their "fans" the chance to get tickets for 52 percent off. But wait, there's more: Buy this deal and you still get the buy-one-get-one-free tickets for another home game in April or May. Act quick and the Marlins will also throw in a $10 merchandise voucher, perfect for buying that "I went to a Marlins game and didn't get traded to Toronto" T-shirt from the gift shop."

Scott Kazmir picked as Cleveland Indians' No. 5 starter - ESPN. "He will make $1 million this season with a chance to earn another $750,000 in incentives. In six appearances this spring, Kazmir allowed eight runs and 29 hits in 21 innings. However, five runs and 13 hits came against Seattle in his most recent outing. Kazmir was worried the rough appearance might have cost him a shot winning a starting spot, but the Indians felt he had already shown enough to get the job."

Hey, did you hear? The Angels traded away Vernon Wells. And they did it without having to pay his entire salary! Angels close to trading Vernon Wells to Yankees - angels.com. "Prior to the trade, the Angels' payroll was at about $160 million, but their CBT payroll -- which takes into account the average annual value of all 40-man roster salaries, plus benefits and performance bonuses at the end of the season -- was $178 million, the threshold at which first-time offenders are taxed 17.5 percent by Major League Baseball. The Wells trade -- agreed to Sunday afternoon -- has the Angels' CBT payroll at about $172 million in 2013, giving them wiggle room to add players to their roster without reaching that tax threshold." It looks like the Yankees are going to pay $14M of his remaining $42M salary. That's very nice of them, but another way to look at it is; the Angels paid Wells $60M (2 years @ $21M + the other $28M for the remaining two years of his contract) for his two seasons in Anaheim.

Yankees Acquire Vernon Wells on Purpose - FanGraphs Baseball. "It’s not that he’s the most dreadful player in the world, but it’s almost impossible to separate Wells from his contract. In this instance, however, it’s critical to separate the two, because the Yankees aren’t actually on the hook for everything. The Yankees are on the hook for about $13 million over two years, the bulk of which they’ll pay in 2013. How does Wells look for two years and about $13 million, instead of two years and $42 million?"

Rob Neyer has some numbers that show one of the reasons Wells was so bad in Anaheim...he just couldn't grasp the "Angel way" of hitting philosophy...going the other way: Trading for Vernon Wells: A desperate cry for help - Baseball Nation. "I have some statistics I would like to share with you, and they are numbers. According to FanGraphs, last season Vernon Wells batted .088 -- three hits in 35 at-bats -- when hitting to the opposite field; the year before that, he batted .182 when going the other way. Basically, Wells has demonstrated approximately zero ability to go the other way with any authority at all. And there's little reason to think he's going to start now."

Freeing up $14M is probably the best reason for dealing Wells, but it's been written that another purpose of getting rid of Wells was so that Mike Scioscia couldn't play him. Much like trading Jeff Mathis, he had to go so he wouldn't be written into the lineup: Trade of Wells won't change Bourjos' outlook - angels.com. "Bourjos, one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball, batted .271 with 12 homers, 22 stolen bases and 11 triples in 2011. But he batted .167 last April, rode the bench when Mike Trout established himself and received only 15 plate appearances from the start of August to the end of the season. The 25-year-old has had a nice spring, batting .333, but so had Wells, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia has said -- without providing specifics -- that Wells would get his opportunities to play. Now, it appears, that option is gone."

Vernon Wells and redoing the Yankees' offseason - Baseball Nation. "Looking down at a major-league roster at the end of the offseason and seeing Vernon Wells's name is like looking down at your roster at the end of a fantasy draft and seeing Vernon Wells's name. How did you get there? What happened? Was there anything you could have done diff-- well, of course there was. Why are you even doing this? Aren't those grown men playing a children's game? Goodness, the choices you've made in your life …"

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