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Thursday Halolinks: Angels are active at Winter Meetings, deal Kendrick

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After speculation that the club was only going to make small moves, Jerry Dipoto pulled off a big deal.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

What the heck...I spend the evening with my daughter decorating our Christmas tree, watch a crappy movie on Netflix (Anchorman 2), and go to bed early (10pm my time, 8 o'clock on the west coast), only to wake up this morning to some big news -- The Angels signed Scott Snodgrass!  That'll teach me.

But seriously, yesterday was a big day for the baseball teams in Los Angeles, more so for the Dodgers as they either acquired or traded away Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick, Brandon McCarthy, Yasmani Grandal, and Dan Haren.  The Angels did themselves well by getting Andrew Heaney and Josh Rutledge, while clearing some salary space for a potential trade/signing.

Post-Howie Twitter edition of Halolinks:

  • To me, this deal hinges on what the Angels do with the added payroll flexibility.  I like this deal so far, as it makes the club younger and stronger in the rotation and added depth, but I hate giving up a player as good as Kendrick.  If the Angels can turn the $9.5M they're saving on Howie's contract into another starting pitcher, this is a complete win.  Angels deal Kendrick, get Heaney, Rutledge -, "The goal is to figure out how to get younger, better, more cost-effective; put yourself in a situation where you can sustain winning," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said from his suite late Wednesday night. "It's not to get a bunch of guys that everybody has heard of all the time and run them out there and let it flame out. We're trying to find a way to turn a veteran roster into a veteran roster that can compete now with the elements that are young and can continue to sustain moving forward."
  • I'll admit it, I didn't know who this kid was until reading about him going to the Dodgers, but so far, I like what I've read: Angels get promising pitcher in Howie Kendrick trade - LA Times, "Heaney, 23, was considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball heading into 2014. A first-round pick (ninth overall) out of Oklahoma State in 2012, Heaney pitched in seven major league games this year and was 0-3 with a 5.83 earned-run average. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Heaney, who features a fastball that sits in the 92-mph range, a slider and changeup, pitched in 24 games between double A and triple A this year and was 9-6 with a 3.28 ERA with 143 strikeouts and 36 walks in 137 1/3 innings."  Plus, he has a sense of humor:
    And says the right things: Looking through his Twitter feed, he also seems like a good person.
  • Victor Rojas seems to like the deal:
  • It looks like the Angels were wise in holding on to Kendrick for a little while longer.  Zach Lee would have been nice, but they had Howie in the line-up longer and got a better pitcher in return: Los Angeles Dodgers trade Dan Haren, Dee Gordon for Howie Kendrick in trades with Angels, Marlins - ESPN Los Angeles, "The Dodgers have coveted Kendrick, 31, for several years and nearly completed a trade for him involving pitcher Zach Lee in July 2013. The Dodgers were in the midst of a historic 42-8 run at the time and elected not to risk disrupting their roll with a trade. "We feel like within the totality of the moves, we made ourselves a better team," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. "Adding Howie Kendrick we felt like fit us really well: right-handed bat, tremendous hitter, really good defender, and then the young players we got should help us in 2015 and beyond."
  • What happens with Dan Haren?  Retire?  Pitch in Miami?  Get dealt to the Angels??
  • As I mentioned above, the Angels are now in a position to sign a pitcher without going over their self-imposed salary cap.  Could it be this guy?
  • I doubt it's this guy: Unidentified owners fly in to meet Max Scherzer's agent Scott Boras -, "Those owners are unidentified, but the Scherzer market will start to develop in earnest now that the other top free-agent pitcher, Jon Lester, is off the board, signed with the Cubs for $155 milion over six years. Scherzer is aiming much higher than that, which has been known for a long time; he turned down $144 million over six years from the Tigers."
  • And speaking of Boras, he does a complete douche move by saying the fans deserve either the Dodgers or Angels should sign Scherzer since they make so much money off of them: Max Scherzer's agent laughs off idea Dodgers, Angels can't afford ace - LA Times, "They’re great places to go watch ballgames. They’re great places to play. And, certainly, we can say that in MLB, if there are two franchises that have choice exponentials before them, and fans that deserve those choices to be exercised, both of them are in L.A."
  • The Angels make a move to potentially fill the hole created by Kendrick's departure: Angels acquire IF Josh Rutledge - Orange County Register, "Rutledge will presumably compete with Grant Green for the second base job. The Angels also may re-sign Gordon Beckham, who they non-tendered earlier this month."
  • Nice, cheap signing: Angels add LHP Scott Snodgress - Orange County Register, "Snodgress, 25, has pitched just 2 1/3 in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, all in 2014. He has a career 3.84 ERA in the minors. The Angels plan to use him out of the bullpen, even though he's pitched almost exclusively as a starter in the White Sox system."
  • The Angels have potentially the greatest lead-off hitter in baseball history on their team, and where does the manager want to hit him?  Scioscia considering Trout in No. 3 spot in lineup -, "The Angels manager, holding court on Day 3 of the Winter Meetings, said that if the season opened tomorrow, Trout would return to the No. 2 spot, with Albert Pujols batting third and Josh Hamilton serving as the cleanup hitter. But that was before the Angels essentially replaced Howie Kendrick with Josh Rutledge at second base, adding a talented starter in Andrew Heaney and saving about $9 million but also losing some punch in their lineup."  Yeah, Scoiscia had Hamilton hitting clean-up BEFORE Kendrick was traded.
  • Yesterday I noted Jerry Dipoto's timetable for Richards' return was by spring training.  Scioscia is being a bit more cautious: Angels' Mike Scioscia cautious about Garrett Richards' return - LA Times, "I don't think we're going to see Garrett on opening day, but I think the prognosis of having him back somewhere in the first month to six weeks of the season looks very good," Scioscia said at the winter meetings. "We'll see. It's not something we can rush." General Manager Jerry Dipoto believes Scioscia is being cautious. "Mike is preparing for the worst-case scenario, which is more his nature," Dipoto said. "We understood it would be a six- to nine-month [recovery]. Mike sleeps better at night planning for it to be the latter of the two. We believe Garrett will be back if not on opening day, then at some point in the not-too-distant future."  It's not a big deal, but I find it interesting Dipoto doesn't have a problem disagreeing with Scioscia.
  • Can we forget the Drew Butera signing, please? Dodgers Designate Ryan Lavarnway For Assignment – MLB Trade Rumors, "The 27-year-old Lavarnway .283/.389/.370 in 257 plate appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2014. He has a strong minor league track record as a hitter, with a .375 career minor league on-base percentage, and could potentially help a team in need of a right-handed bat for its bench."
  • Hey, here's possibly some pitching depth.  Mulder seemed like he was making great progress towards a spot in the Angels' rotation before getting hurt: Mark Mulder waiting to decide on comeback - Orange County Register, "Mulder, who last pitched in the majors in 2008, signed a minor-league deal with the Angels a year ago. Based on impressive workouts, the club gave him a chance to win a job in the starting rotation. Mulder tore his Achilles tendon early in camp, though. Mulder, 37, said via text that he has been throwing off a mound since August, and he will judge how he feels in mid January before deciding if he wants to try to throw for teams."
  • A couple former Angels family members get recognized:
    Scouts of the Year honored at Winter Meetings -, "As a manager, Kotchman has won nine league championships and 1,740 games with a .544 winning percentage in 35 seasons. His most recent league title came this summer in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said his organization was thrilled to add Kotchman in both roles after he resigned from the Angels in 2012 when they asked him to focus on scouting. "There are great development people in the game, and there are great scouts in the game," Cherington said. "Very few people in the game have made the impact in both areas as Kotch has."

    Oh, my! Enberg wins Hall of Fame's Frick Award -
    , "Dick Enberg, the iconic announcer for NBC and CBS Sports who is currently a television voice of the San Diego Padres, is the winner of the 2015 Ford C. Frick Award, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday. "This is the high point of my broadcast life today," said Enberg, his eyes red and choking back tears during a news conference at the Winter Meetings. "It's too good to be true."
  • Here's a wrap-up of yesterday's activities: Winter Meetings: 30 teams, 30 rumors -
  • What were you doing 43 years ago?  From December 10, 1971: The New York Times: This Day In Sports, "You always hate to give up on an arm like Ryan's," Hodges said today. "He could put things together overnight, but he hasn't done it for us and the Angels wanted him. I would not hesitate making a trade for somebody who might help us right now, and Fregosi is such a guy." "Only one of the four would have been with the Mets next season, and that was Ryan," said Bob Scheffing, the general manager of the Mets. "I don't think Stanton could have beaten out our other outfielders, and we have run out of options on him. As for Ryan, I really can't say I quit on him. But we've had him three full years and, although he's a hell of a prospect, he hasn't done it for us. How long can you wait? I can't rate him in the same category with Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman or Gary Gentry."  I think this deal worked out pretty well for the Angels, don't you think?
  • If you're going to be in Houston next October, you might want to hold off buying those Taylor Swift concert tickets...the date might get changed...or not: