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Thursday Halolinks: Angels to show restraint in big signings

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Don't expect too much too happen from the Halos during the upcoming winter meetings.

Don't expect to see Lester in Angels' red next season.
Don't expect to see Lester in Angels' red next season.
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

This is the last thing fans want to hear coming out of their favorite team's mouth..."restraint".  We're always looking for our club to make that one big move to potentially put them over the top, but as we've seen over the last couple of years, "potentially" is the key word in that sentence.  We get our hopes up after Angels have won the offseason with their big splash signings, and watched as the season ended much too early.  It's hard to be patient.  Really hard.  Especially when it seems like such a no-brainer the impact of a pitcher such as Jon Lester to the Halo rotation.  That one last piece to the puzzle.  But how recent was it when we were saying all the Angels needed was that "big bat"?  How'd that work out for the club...and us fans?

Restrained Halolinks:

  • How many fans will feel the restraint when it comes to buying tickets next season? Angels expected to stay the course at Winter Meetings -, "Restraint will be their motto. That, essentially, is what this offseason is all about. With a payroll that's already less than $10 million below the luxury-tax threshold that acts as their spending limit, and most of their 98-win team already in the books, the Angels don't figure to make any radical changes to their Major League club this winter. And while that may be frustrating to fans of a team they feel is one major piece away from getting over the hump -- particularly a top-of-the-rotation starter -- the Angels sound determined to stay on course."  One tidbit I got from this linked post is this: "All eight of his position players -- all of whom had an OPS-plus over 100, making the Angels the fourth team in history to do that -- are returning"  Let's repeat that, "the fourth team in history to do that".  That's pretty impressive don't you think?  And all of those players are returning next season!  But wait, can any of them pitch?
  • This seems to be getting out of hand.  Mystery teams.  Escalating bids.  Multi-multi-years (okay, I made that one up), Hundreds of millions of dollars.  Jon Lester bidding includes fourth team - ESPN, "The identity of the fourth team isn't known to the other clubs involved. But there is speculation among rival teams that the St. Louis Cardinals remain interested in the free-agent left-hander."  But wait, there's more!  Full Count " Sources: Dodgers have serious interest in Jon Lester, poised for potential late negotiating push, "But, multiple sources connected to teams interested in Lester have told that the Dodgers are a late entrant into the sweepstakes, with both serious interest in the top left-hander on the market and the resources to make a hard, late charge."  We're not going to stop now, there's also this!  Dodgers look like fourth team in for Lester, joining Cubs, Red Sox, Giants -, "The Dodgers have expressed interest in both top free-agent starters Jon Lester and Max Scherzer, and it appears they may make a late try for Lester, who's expected to make a decision among four or so teams within a week or so."
  • Do you think it's possible when these "sources" mentioned "Los Angeles" they were talking about the Angels and not the Dodgers??  You know, the other LA team.
  • And now there's speculation the Dodgers are going to move Zack Greinke in order to free up money and roster spot...which doesn't really make much sense since Greinke and Lester are pretty comparable players: Sources: Dodgers may shop Zack Greinke to make room for free-agent starter - MLB Daily Dish, "If the Dodgers were to trade Greinke, they would ensure that they would receive a great haul of prospects in return for him instead of allowing the possibility of him walking next offseason in search of a larger deal. Greinke does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, eliminating one potential obstacle in a deal."  Sure, Greinke doesn't have a no-trade, but according to Cot's, he gets an additional $3M tacked onto his $23M salary if he gets traded:
    6 years/$147M (2013-18)
    signed by LA Dodgers as a free agent 12/10/12
    $12M signing bonus (paid in multiple installments, 12/2012 – 2/2014)
    13:$17M, 14:$24M, 15:$23M, 16:$24M, 17:$23M, 18:$24M
    Greinke may opt out of contract after 2015 season if traded,
    Greinke receives $3M assignment bonus and may opt out of the contract at season’s end
  • Here's today's must-read article: Rico Brogna: Quality Control in Anaheim - FanGraphs Baseball, ""Basically, I was matching data with what my eyes told me," said Brogna. "I worked with a lot of the data that’s provided to us. I’d study video and compare it to the statistical data in respect to how we might use it. I’d also go behind the plate during games and look for things our team was doing, or should be doing. At times, Mike Scioscia or one of coaches might say, ‘Hey Rico, keep an eye on this for us tonight.’"  This is the way sabermetrics and scouting should be used, and the Angels are a team who are doing this.  They have a touch of Lyle's 400 game eye test, mixed with the backroom nerd sitting in front of their laptop pouring over numbers.  Kinda makes me proud [wipes away tear]
  • What Can We Learn from The Josh Hamilton Contract? - FanGraphs Baseball, "With two years of history on our side, we can see flippantly say this contract was doomed from the start. The biggest question is this: did Jerry Dipoto and the Angels front office offer Hamilton this deal knowing it was bad the moment he signed it?"  At first, I thought this was the dumbest question ever.  Seriously, why would a team intentionally waste $125M on a player they knew wasn't worth it?  But then after a little thought, maybe Dipoto did know it was a crappy contract, but didn't have a choice.  Someone higher up was directing him to get it done.
  • No surprise here: A day later, Yoslan Herrera is back with Angels - Orange County Register, "The Angels re-signed right-hander Yoslan Herrera to a minor-league deal Wednesday, a day after they non-tendered him. By non-tendering Herrera, they opened up a spot on the 40-man roster, which they may need for a new acquisition the rest of the winter."  I hate to admit it, but I was unaware of how good Herrera did last season: Source: Herrera returns to Angels on Minors deal -, "Herrera, who will be invited to Major League Spring Training, made 20 appearances out of the Angels' bullpen in 2014, posting a 2.70 ERA, a 1.86 WHIP and a 1.44 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 16 2/3 innings. The 33-year-old native of Cuba also had a 2.52 ERA and struck out 8.5 batters per nine innings in 41 appearances at Triple-A Salt Lake." 
  • Oh, that clears everything up:
  • How can this actually happen...a player gave away a wench for a uniform number?  Why isn't anyone saying anything about this?!?  Feminists, where are you?  Since when is it okay to trade a person for a number?
    What did Billy Butler give Josh Reddick for his number? A winch - Yahoo Sports, "Most people use winches like this one for four-wheeling, pulling your vehicle or someone else's out of the mud or up some tough terrain. They can also be used for towing. You can buy one of these on Amazon for $940, but the list price is $1,356. Butler just signed a $30 million contract with the A's, so neither is too rich for his blood."  Wait, what?  Oh, a winch?  Never mind.
  • Torii, Torii, Torii.  Anti-Gay Bigot Torii Hunter Calls Reporter "Prick" Four Times, "A few seconds later, during a lull in the press conference, Hunter decided to tell everybody what he thought of Berardino and his questions (at the 1:47 mark of the video): Hey Mike is kind of a prick huh? No, seriously, you're a prick man. I don't even know you. You're a prick. Seriously. Ain't nothing wrong with that man, that's your job. He's definitely a prick though."  IF you watch the video, Torii's response seems a bit more good-natured then how the headline can make it seem, but still, you'd think Hunter who have known better.