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Thursday Halolinks: Mike Trout Could Drop, Winter Meetings Waiting For Greinke and Hamilton

Angels manager Mike Scioscia is thinking about dropping Mike Trout out of the leadoff spot. Most baseball general managers are thinking about Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton.

Angels' manager Mike Scioscia reacts to news that RBI's just aren't that important.
Angels' manager Mike Scioscia reacts to news that RBI's just aren't that important.

I'm sitting here asking myself, "Why did I put up picture of Mike Scioscia instead of more cheerleaders?" I answered, "Because it's an Angels site, not a cheerleader site." To which I replied, "Yeah, but everyone likes cheerleaders, not everyone likes the Angels." Final response, "On this site they do." One of me still votes for cheerleaders. Here are your links:

  • The main point about this post was how are the Angels going to replace Torii Hunter in the 2-hole of their batting order: Angels manager Mike Scioscia looks to fill void left by free agent Torii Hunter - But one of the more interesting things within the post was Mike Scioscia's comments about moving Mike Trout out of the leadoff spot, "I think there's a lot of lineups you can roll around right now. The one thing with Mike that was incredible was really the amount of RBIs he had [83] for really not getting maybe as many opportunities as some guys. That's something you would definitely explore when you're putting lineups together." Uh-oh. Scioscia's looking at RBIs when determining his batting order? I might agree dropping Trout down in the order might be a good idea, but not because he had 83 RBIs in 2012, but because his bat plays better when there are guys who can get on base hitting in front of him. Having both Peter Bourjos and Trout at the top of the order would give the 3-4-5 hitters two speedy hitters wreaking havoc ahead of them. However, if Bourjos can't pick up from where he left off in 2011, batting him 9th and Trout 1st may be Scioscia's only choice...regardless of the number of RBIs he had last year. Yet the real issue is, why is Scioscia even looking at the RBI category? In the new world of reliable statistical analysis, RBIs are not important when making out your batting order, but having a manager who relies on outdated theories could be one of the Angels' biggest problems.
  • At least he's getting this right: Mike Scioscia explains Mike Trout, left fielder - Baseball Nation. ""Mike has the tools to play at an incredible level in center field," Scioscia said. "But Peter had a little more time in the minor leagues to work on some things, and is maybe a little more polished. Peter's very polished on stopping first to third, and he has incredible range." And you know what? He does! Plus, his fielding metrics are off the freaking charts. Yes, ever better than Trout's. There are, in fact, good reasons to think that Bourjos is the better center fielder. He does have even more range than Trout -- stolen homers notwithstanding -- and he does throw better than Trout." I'm looking forward to watching those two play side-by-side next season, but probably not as much as the Angels' pitchers.
  • This would suck. I mean REALLY suck: Zack Greinke Rumors - "There's a growing sense among Dodgers personnel that Greinke will end up with the Rangers, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports. They feel that if Greinke really wanted to pitch for them, he'd have signed by now." So it sounds like the Dodgers have offered Greinke the most money, but have been unable to get the free agent to put his signature on a contract. If Greinke's desire is to play where he likes and not where he gets paid, the Angels still have a chance.
  • But even if Greinke wants to return to Anaheim, do the Angels still have the payroll room to sign him? Deals with lefty Sean Burnett and righty Joe Blanton may have Angels out of Zack Greinke sweeps - "The Angels' already-faint hopes to land Greinke, who many expect to command at least an average annual salary of $25 million over a six-year deal, have seemingly vanished. The likes of Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster and Edwin Jackson -- part of a pitching market that has seen inordinate amounts of money distributed -- would seemingly be ruled out, too." Yikes, they can't even afford one of the second-tier pitchers? Who wants to live in an Angels world where Joe Blanton is the #3 guy in the rotation? Arte Moreno?
  • In my fantasy world Josh Hamilton signs with Seattle (Mariners rumors: Seattle "very close" to signing Josh Hamilton - MLB Daily Dish), Greinke doesn't want to pitch for the Dodgers, and the Angels find room to sign him to a team friendly deal (While Los Angeles Dodgers are aiming for high-priced arms on free-agent market, L.A. Angels' frugality is stunning - FOX Sports). Zzzzzzzzzzzz. Hmm, what? Zack Greinke-Josh Hamilton sweepstakes hits standstill involving Dodgers and Rangers - Yahoo! Sports. "The Rangers and Dodgers are the only known serious players for Greinke. Two presumed suitors – the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels – appear to have checked out. The Nationals opted for Dan Haren earlier this week, and on Wednesday night the Angels agreed to terms with Joe Blanton, five days after trading for Tommy Hanson."
  • I read an article last week about the shortcomings of Marvin Miller. After he died, many wrote about how he should be in the hall of fame, and all of the good he did for professional players, but in that post it was noted how little he did for the minor leaguers. Possibly, but the minor leaguers weren't his client, he was representing the major league players. Yet, think about how different the game would be if he had throw his blanket over ALL professional baseball players, we probably wouldn't be reading articles like this: Is Distribution of Wealth a Problem for MLBPA? - It's About The Money. "As you can see, approximately two thirds of all salaries dispersed last season went to only 226 players (that is, less than one third of the active MLB rosters), while nearly 3000 minor-leaguers competed for just slightly more than the total worth of A-Rod’s most recent contract."