WANTED: Possible playoff contender looking for cheap, reliable power hitter. Preferably left-handed and comfortable in either the outfield or first base. Must be willing to relocate. Former druggies and/or Red Sox need not apply. Oh, and you must read your daily Halolinks:
- I'm not really sold on the idea of signing Raul Ibanez, but if the deal is just for one year at a reasonable price, I suppose it wouldn't hurt: Angels pursuing Raul Ibanez - MLB Daily Dish. "With an outfield of Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, and Kole Calhoun, and Albert Pujols projected back at first base, the Angels' only real hole in their lineup is at the DH position, which had been filled by Mark Trumbo prior to yesterday. On a one year deal, Ibanez would be of decent value in a role where he is restrained from entering the field in a defensive role. His presence would allow the Angels to ween off the idea of starting JB Shuck at DH, a big win in its own right." LA Angels eye free agents Matt Garza, Raul Ibanez as Winter Meetings wind down - angels.com. "There's mutual interest in a pairing with starter Matt Garza, a source told MLB.com on Wednesday, and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported that veteran outfielder/designated hitter Raul Ibanez "appears headed to the Angels." The Angels have expressed interest in the 41-year-old left-handed hitter, who posted a .242/.306/.487 slash line with 29 homers for the Mariners last season, but no deal had been struck.
- Thank you Seattle Mariners for saving us from having to endure a season of "sun-glasses at night" comments! In spite of that, I thought Cory Hart would have been a nice grab for the club, had his price been right. When I heard he signed for $5M, I thought that was justifiable, but the incentive part probably priced him out of the Angels' plans: Corey Hart to sign one-year, $5M deal with Mariners - CBSSports.com. "Free-agent first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart is headed to Seattle to provide Robinson Cano protection in the batting order, as he has agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Mariners, according to Jon Heyman. The deal guarantees Hart $5 million, but he has the chance to run it up to $13 million if he reaches various incentives."
- Too bad the Halo farm system is so bare, as Ike Davis would be a nice replacement for Trumbo. He was awful last season, but Davis bats left-handed, and just 2 years ago hit 32 home runs. He's projected to make a little over $3 million in arbitration, but I don't think that's more than what it's going to take to sign Ibanez.
- The more important (and costly) free agent signing for the Angels will be a pitcher: D-backs, Angels, Twins among teams pursuing Matt Garza - CBSSports.com. "As for Garza, he's a reasonable mid-line starter. This past season, the 30-year-old pitched to a 3.82 ERA (106 ERA+) and career-best 3.24 K/BB ratio in 155 1/3 innings for the Cubs and Rangers. His 2013 campaign didn't begin until late May because of a shoulder/lat strain."
- You know what's frustrating for me? Regardless of how many, or how great the players signed as free agents or traded for to improve the ball club, if they aren't used right, what's the point? I suppose it doesn't make that much difference in the whole scheme of things since line-up composition doesn't really have a huge effect on scoring runs, but wouldn't it make sense to give your best hitter more at-bats over the course of the season? Sure, RBI's are nice, but I'd rather see Trout score 125 runs, than worry about how many RBI's he has: Mike Scioscia leans toward Mike Trout hitting second in LA Angels lineup - angels.com. ""It's always sexy to talk about that type of leadoff hitter," Scioscia said, "but I don't know if it's as functional for Mike or our team if you're not setting the table for him. So that's probably why it bodes better for him to hit at least two, and then see where it goes from there." Scioscia often talks about the importance of "feeding" Trout with RBI opportunities, but as the skipper said Wednesday, "your on-base guys usually aren't [batting] eighth or ninth in the American League." Two things about this Scioscia quote; 1) Rickey Henderson was the best lead-off hitter in baseball history. Mike Trout is better than Rickey Henderson. 2) Uh, Mike...your on-base guys usually aren't [batting] eighth or ninth in the National League either. How does this even matter? Does putting another inferior bat ahead of Trout make the situation better later in the game? No, it doesn't.
- The guy talks to the press one day, so we get to bash on him the next day: Lyle Spencer: LA Angels manager Mike Scioscia seeks chemistry on field - angels.com. ""You never go into a season not paying attention, not wanting good clubhouse chemistry," Scioscia said. "For the most part we have that. That pales in comparison to the on-field chemistry that wins you games. You need mentoring, you need leadership, a lot of things in the clubhouse." In this post, Scioscia kind of admits winning creates chemistry, and even bad chemistry isn't important as long as you're winning.
- New rule, and the Angels' skipper has a thought about it: Clean plate: MLB intends to ban collisions at home - Yahoo Sports. ''When I was growing up as a kid in Philadelphia, it was a badge of honor. You were expected to hang in at the plate, and the runner was expected to do everything he could to tag the plate. We're going back 40 years ago, but the mindset has changed a bit.''
- And finally, the big guy is doing his job by pumping up his players: Scioscia: Expect big years from Pujols, Hamilton - Yahoo Sports. "''I think Josh is going to move back to left field and just stay in left field. And I think he'll be more comfortable with that aspect as opposed to switching him to right field,'' Scioscia said. ''But I do feel, from the way he finished up the second half of last season and made some adjustments that he understands what his role is a little more, what our team is about and what he can bring. And Josh is going to have a big year for us next year.''
- This Rob Neyer post doesn't address the Grich for the Hall thing, it points out how the veteran's committee voting is flawed: Why Bobby Grich will never be a Hall of Famer - Baseball Nation. "The problem is that Bobby Grich should have been on that ballot, but wasn't. The problem is that if Bobby Grich had been on that ballot, he almost certainly would have been dismissed out of hand by Jenkins and nearly everybody else on the committee. Because nearly everybody on that committee honestly believes that everything they need to know about baseball, they learned in kindergarten." But the point is, Bobby Grich belongs in the Hall of Fame.
- Two years? Oh, man, the Mets are just...just...weird: Mets agree to two-year contract with Bartolo Colon - CBSSports.com. "The Mets and right-hander Bartolo Colon have agreed to a two-year contract worth $20 million, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has confirmed." At least they'll get a couple of years of this:
- This looks like a win-win deal for both teams: New York Yankees turn down offer of Brandon Phillips for Brett Gardner - ESPN New York. "The New York Yankees rejected the Cincinnati Reds' trade offer of All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips for outfielder Brett Gardner, according to multiple reports."
- So they arrested the guy who stole the documents from the guy who stole the documents? Boca Raton police make arrest in theft of documents related to Biogenesis PED clinic - ESPN. "Reginald St. Fleur, 20, a tanning salon employee, was charged Wednesday by Boca Raton police with armed burglary. The charge stems from the March 24 break-in of a car rented by Porter Fischer, a former Biogenesis client and investor. Documents that Fischer had previously taken from the clinic were stolen and would later be used to bolster player suspensions levied by Major League Baseball."
- And, here's a roundup of yesterday's Winter Meeting news: Winter Meetings Review: Day 3 - MLBTradeRumors.com
#Angels have talked parameters of a deal with Raul Ibanez, but no formal offer yet. Ibanez had higher OPS than Morales last season.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 11, 2013