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Thursday Halolinks: Angels agree with David Freese

The Angels and David Freese agreed on the third baseman's 2015 contract.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I've got an extremely early dentist appointment this morning...so here are your Thursday Halolinks with little commentary:

  • Meh: Angels agree to deal with Freese, avoid arbitration - MLB.com, "The Angels avoided arbitration with third baseman David Freese on Wednesday, agreeing on a $6.425 million salary that stood as the midpoint of the numbers previously exchanged by both sides."
  • This is an Insider piece, but here are the AL West rasnkings: Astros - 3, Rangers - 11, Mariners - 21, and the are at A's - 26: Chicago Cubs No. 1 in farm system rankings for 2015 - MLB - ESPN, "27. Los Angeles Angels They were a lock to be 30th before they acquired Andrew Heaney in the Howie Kendrick trade and signed Cuban amateur Roberto Baldoquin, but after those two and first-rounder Sean Newcomb, the system drops off very quickly."
  • History hurts Shields' chances at landing a big contract - FOX Sports, "Simply put, the history of pitchers who sign big free-agent contracts at age 32 or above is not good."
  • Time for hitters to counter defensive shifts - MLB.com, "Teams shifted 13,296 times in 2014, per Baseball Info Solutions. That's not a perfect calculation, of course, because some teams (the Pirates, for example) use some sort of outfield shading or infield repositioning on just about every pitch of every game. But BIS' own interpretation of what constitutes a shift has been consistent over the years, and the analytics company has calculated an incredible 440-percent rise in the use of shifts since 2010 (2,464 shifts)."
  • I've picked on the Marlins organization a bit over the years, so I feel I need to point out when they do something cool: Marlins go the extra mile to introduce Ichiro - MLB.com, "The Marlins went the extra mile to make a strong first impression on their latest acquisition, with five team executives traveling 18 hours by plane to Japan to properly welcome Ichiro Suzuki into their family."