Thursday Halolinks: A healthy Albert Pujols could inspire Halos

USA TODAY Sports

Albert Pujols says he's excited about the upcoming season, but does that translate into success?

Over $30,000,000 a year?  If Clayton Kershaw throws 200 innings next season, he'll make $150,000 an inning.  If he makes 35 starts, that'd be almost $860,000 a game...or roughly $8000 per pitch.  Nice work if you can get it.  Have your free Halolinks:

  • I've written before that I think there are other players whose performance is probably just as, if not more, important than Albert Pujols'.  For example, if Kole Calhoun can continue to put up the numbers he did last season, the Angels' batting order will have the potential to be strong top-to-bottom.  However, if Pujols starts the season hot, I can see the entire team feeding off of that.  The sense that the best hitter of this generation is back could be the one thing that instills so much confidence within the club that who cares if there's any pitching, this team is going to beat the crap out of anyone with their bats.  So, a healthy Pujols is one of the keys to the 2014 post season: Albert Pujols of Los Angeles Angels happy with offseason progress - ESPN Los Angeles.  "Pujols says he is "really excited" about how things are proceeding in preparation for the upcoming season. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said at last month's winter meetings that he thinks Pujols is ready to rebound from the difficult season."
  • Morosi published a bunch of tweets about his conversation with the Angels' owner, but I haven't been able to find where he's written anything else.  Here are a couple of the tweets:
    And...
  • The money factory up the freeway from Anaheim just signed their most valuable asset to a long-term deal: Dodgers make the right and smart move on Clayton Kershaw - latimes.com.  "For all the good Walter and his ownership group have done — close to $1 billion in player investment and luxury-tax payments, $150 million in Dodger Stadium renovations, the launch next month of an all-Dodgers, all-the-time TV channel — that could have rung hollow if Kershaw had left the building. Kershaw is the face of the franchise, and of the strategy for Walter and Co. to turn the Dodgers from a machine that spits out cash into a machine that spits out prospects. You cannot import high-priced talent from Boston and Miami, from Cuba and South Korea, then draw the line at the guy who might turn out to be the best pitcher ever produced by the Dodgers' distinguished player development system."  And of course it leads to the "What's Mike Trout Worth?" question: NEWHAN ON BASEBALL: If Best Pitcher Gets Record Contract What About Best Player?.  "Trout has achieved his generally recognized stature as MLB's best all-around player after just two plus years. He will need another year before becoming eligible for aribtration and another four before free agency. The Angels don't have a gun at their head yet, but yet they do. Trout wasn't happy when they renewed him at $510,000 last year, only $20,000 above the big league minimum, and they can hardly afford to further antagonize their center fielder and MVP runner-up. They owe Albert Pujols eight more years and Josh Hamilton four--a potentially tough financial slog despite their TV billions--but can they risk not getting ahead of the Trout Express at some point over the next two seasons? Can they risk anything short of a seven to 10 year agreement eclipsing anything that has come before (or has Trout's displeasure over last season's renewal already left him of a mind to take it a year at a time until closer to free agency)?"
  • Have no fear, Raul Ibanez is officially in the fold:
  • I'm a little worried about the team's depth if Ibanez gets 400 plate appearances.  Besides, can Ibanez do this?  Mike Trout shows off ridiculous leaping ability in new video - Yahoo Sports.  "Basically, he's the blueprint of what the perfect modern day baseball player should look like. But even as impressive as all of that sounds, it still doesn't capture just how athletically gifted this 22-year-old physical freak is."
  • Ha-ha: Nationals, Mariners and Rangers among teams left off early Sunday Night Baseball schedule - Yahoo Sports. "On a grander scale, the AL West is only represented once, and it may not be the first team you'd guess. The two-time defending division champion Oakland A's are nowhere to be found. Neither are the Texas Rangers despite their status as perennial contenders. And the Seattle Mariners? You know, the team that scooped up Robinson Cano from the Yankees, already employs Felix Hernandez, and may not be done adding piece. No spot for them either. The Los Angeles Angels, though? Sure, why not? Hey, we all love to watch Mike Trout do everything, including jump flat-flooted onto a high platform. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are still attractions, too, if only to see how much they have left in the tank. But the luster has sort of worn off on the team as a whole." You can catch the Angels play the Yankees on April 27th.
  • Official: Alex Rodriguez's PED use 'most potent we've ever seen' - CBSSports.com.  "According to U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, it was "probably the most potent and sophisticated drug program developed for an athlete that we've ever seen," Tygart told Associated Press columnist Jim Litke."
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