I hope you received everything that was on your Christmas list, that is, assuming you were a good boy or girl. For those of us who were ignored by Santa, here are a couple Halolinks to help fill that hole:
- To me, this is the biggest question surrounding the Angels this season: 10 questions in 2014 for Los Angeles Angels - angels.com. "7. Can Calhoun handle an everyday role? The trade that sent Bourjos and outfield prospect Randal Grichuk to the Cardinals for Freese and reliever Fernando Salas was made for three reasons: 1. The Angels needed a third baseman; 2. Parting ways with Bourjos allows Mike Trout (center) and Hamilton (left) to move to the outfield spots where they're most comfortable; 3. They believe Calhoun is an everyday player. Calhoun always mashed in the Minors, and in 58 Major League games last year, the 26-year-old, 5-foot-10 sparkplug batted .282/.347/.462. Now we'll see how he fares when the sample size stretches out." Of course we're worried about how well Pujols and Hamilton will bounce back from last season's disappointment, and the questions with who's going to be in the Halo rotation, but if Calhoun can handle an everyday role with the club, it'll reduce the need for Pujols and Hamilton to produce. If Calhoun can replicate his 2013 numbers, the Angels line-up will be strong from top to bottom.
- This Trout guy looks pretty good: Second helping of Mike Trout turns out even better for LA Angels - angels.com. "Trout led the AL in runs (109) and walks (110) in 2013, while tallying a .323 average, 27 home runs, 97 RBIs, 75 extra-base hits and 33 stolen bases. With those numbers, he became the first player in AL history with 100 walks, 70 extra-base hits and 30 stolen bases in the same season, as well as the first AL player with 25 home runs in addition to those 30-plus steals and 100-plus walks. Trout was also the youngest player in big league history -- and the first in Angels franchise history -- with back-to-back 20-homer, 30-steal seasons." Pretty amazing.
- Okay, here's the big news we've all been waiting for: Masahiro Tanaka of Rakuten to be posted, made available to Major League Baseball teams - ESPN. "The posting period for Tanaka begins Thursday and the 30-day negotiation window will close Jan. 24 at 5 p.m. ET, MLB spokesman Mike Teevan said." Get ready for constant "he's rumored to be in negotiations with (INSERT ANY TEAM HERE)" posts for the next 30 days.
- At least the Angels are on the list: Five teams with best shot at Masahiro Tanaka - ESPN. "2. Los Angeles Angels The Angels' entire offseason was designed to rebuild the pitching staff -- and that included saving enough money to sign either Tanaka or Matt Garza. Owner Arte Moreno has proved over the years that he's not afraid to outbid everyone when he wants to. However, like the Yankees, the Angels are dangerously close to the luxury-tax threshold and have only between $15-16 million per year allotted for one of these two pitchers. (And remember, they have to save room in the budget for a potential Mike Trout extension.)". Jim Bowden has it Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Dodgers, and the Braves.
- Poll: Which Team Will Sign Masahiro Tanaka? - MLBTradeRumors.com. This poll has the Yankees leading the way (as of Thursday morning).