Overly optimistic Halolinks:
- Would it sound creepy if I said one of the newest additions to the Angels' roster makes my mouth water? Well, color me creepy because everything I've read about Andrew Heaney has gotten me pretty excited: Heaney's path has led him to Halos' rotation competition - MLB.com, "Scouts love Heaney's makeup -- "stoic, no-nonsense, business-like guy," said one scout -- and believe he can establish himself in 2015, kind of how Tyler Skaggs did before Tommy John surgery this past season. The Angels will give Heaney that chance in Spring Training, putting him up against Tropeano and Hector Santiago for the fifth spot of their rotation. "As long as he takes care of the things he needs to take care of, he should be fine," DeSclafani said. "He definitely has the stuff to pitch up there. There's no question about that." Of course it's a big "if", but if he develops into that number 2-type pitcher, this is such a big win for the Halo club.
- Here's another post about an Angels' minor leaguer, Eric Stamets. He could be one of the reasons the Angels felt it was okay to deal Howie Kendrick, as Stamets could be his (or Erick Aybar's) eventual replacement: Scouting profile: Angels infield prospect Eric Stamets - angels.com, "The right-handed hitter is 6-foot and 190 pounds. The Los Angeles Angels selected him in the sixth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He is now No. 18 on the Halos' Top 20 Prospects list. He may well be the best defender and fastest player in the Angels' organization. Stamets' defense fulfilled his advance billing. He played seven games at shortstop, four games at third base and two games at second base. In Stamets' 59 defensive chances, he made only one error. I saw his quick feet, excellent reaction time, and very good range. His arm is strong and accurate, and he makes every play look easy."
- I'm fascinated by how deals like this done. Eleven players were exchanged yesterday between three teams. Does one GM say, "I like Player X", And then GM 2 replies, "Yeah, but you don't have anyone we like." GM 1 then gets GM 3 on the phone and says, "Remember what you said at last year's Christmas party? Yeah, the bit about the manage-a-trois? Now's your chance." Rays, Padres, Nationals agree to 11-player trade - HardballTalk:
RAYS GET …
Steven Souza, outfielder, from Nationals
Travis Ott, pitcher, from Nationals
Rene Rivera, catcher, from Padres
Burch Smith, pitcher, from Padres
Jake Bauers, first baseman, from Padres
PADRES GET …
Wil Myers, outfielder, from Rays
Ryan Hanigan, catcher, from Rays
Jose Castillo, pitcher, from Rays
Gerardo Reyes, pitcher, from Rays
NATIONALS GET …
Joe Ross, pitcher, from Padres
Trea Turner, shortstop, from Padres
- Although the Padres are getting the biggest "name" in Myers, it sounds like the Nationals got the better deal: Nats could be big winner in 3-team trade of Padres getting Rays' Myers - FOX Sports, "The Rays, meanwhile, evidently view outfielder Steven Souza as superior to Myers — an assessment that, if accurate, could make the deal a winner for them before even factoring in the contributions of the other four players they will receive." Crowded 11-player trade features top young talent - MLB.com, "Player to be named (Trea Turner, SS) (SD): As a 2014 Draftee, Turner can't be officially moved until the summer. But the Padres' No. 5 prospect might be the best prospect who changed hands in this deal. Taken No. 13 overall out of North Carolina State, Turner has as much speed -- he's given an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale -- as just about any prospect in baseball."
- Another free agent pitcher is off the board, but that might not be any loss for the Angels: Royals hoping Edinson Volquez's 2014 was no fluke (but it probably was) - CBSSports.com, "the Royals and right-hander Edinson Volquez have agreed to a two-year contract worth $20 million, pending his passing a physical."
- Here's a story I missed from earlier in the week (thanks Deadspin.com). Sy Berger, Who Turned Baseball Heroes Into Brilliant Rectangles, Dies at 91 - NYTimes.com, "Mr. Berger did more than conceive the layout of his cards. As vice president for sports and licensing at the Topps Chewing Gum Company, he had to persuade players to sign contracts allowing Topps to use their images." (Nice jacket, Keith)
- This is a short, but very entertaining video: Mike Piazza looks back on the best and worst hairstyles of his career - For The Win, "The 12-time MLB All-Star joined For the Win to discuss very important tonsorial matters."
- I don't know why more teams don't do these kind of contracts...
brandon mccarthy $48M deal has conditional club option in '19: $5M if > 179 dl days due to specific injury, $8M if 119-179— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 17, 2014
- Today's graph/numbers post: Evaluating The 2014 Projection Systems – The Hardball Times, "Projections are key to our understanding of both the offseason and upcoming 2015 season. There are a lot of systems to choose from, and if you’re like me you have used all at one point or another, often interchangeably. We should however, be sure we have a good understanding of each system and how they actually work and perform. I will take a look back at 2014 and evaluate which projection system can be crowned the 2014 champion."
December 18 - BR Bullpen
1903 - At the league meeting, Ban Johnson is reelected American League president and given a raise to $10,000. Also, the AL votes to allow coaches at third base and first base at all times: till now, only one coach was permitted except if there were two or more baserunners. The AL also institutes the "foul strike" rule, used by the National League since 1901: a foul will be counted as a strike unless there are already two strikes.