So. Here we are. The offseason is just starting to roll, options are being exercised/declined across the league and we have to live with the fact that the Kansas City Royals really are World Series champs. I jest, of course. Congrats to them, they certainly earned it. But enough about them. What about the Angels? Where do they go from here? They certainly have some major holes to fill--in no particular order: LF, Relief Pitching, 3B, 2B. Actually, that is an order, the exact order of importance, in my eyes. Luckily, the market is rife with outfield help and bullpen help. I love pitching, it's my favorite part of the game, which is why blown saves are daggers to my heart. So, I, for one, will be most interested in how new GM Billy Eppler constructs a bullpen. After all, he comes from an organization that is pretty darn good at that.
What do you think? What are the biggest areas of need? Which free-agent signing would have you the most pumped for 2016?
It's Hard Bein' GM: Alden Gonzalez looks at how Billy Eppler will have some serious financial constraints with which to contend in his first year at the helm. However, Alden also mentions that owner Arte Moreno seems open to, well...opening up the purse. After all, the Angels have a LOT of money coming off the books next year. And Arte has a LOT of money in his bank account.
Li'l Halos: Caleb Adams, a 2015 draft pick for the Angels, is one of eight minor-league players who was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League. While he's only playing twice a week as part of the Mesa Solar Sox taxi squad, he's still psyched to be part of the experience. (Keep scrolling after clicking the link above to see how the other Angels' AFLers are doing.) Adams killed it in his first full season of pro ball, so I'm excited to see what he does next year.
Not-Quite-The-MVP Trout Porn: Mike is up for "two of the most prestigious Esurance MLB Awards", Best Major Leaguer and Best Overall Player. Cool...I guess?
Elsewhere in Baseball
It's Good To Be Kings: I've been seeing quite a bit of commentary about how the Royals aren't a "SABR-friendly" team. I disagree. No, they don't go the "normal" SABR route, as they tend to be aggressive with the bat early in the count, but when you make contact at a historically fantastic rate, that doesn't really matter, does it? Also, it doesn't help that one of the Royals' main strengths--defense--is an area not totally quantifiable...yet. However, Alex Skillin at Hardball Times makes the case Kansas City are, indeed, a Sabermetrics team.
Second Time's A Charm: What say you, should we go after Zack Grieinke for a very, VERY expensive reunion? He's officially on the market now.
So Many Free Agents: MLB.com analyst Jim Duquette goes over the deep pool of free agents available this offseason. See anything you like? Fangraphs offers their take by ranking the top 82 free agents.
They Gone: Up in Oakland, Billy Beane "cannot see" trading Sonny Gray or Josh Reddick. Expect them to be traded in the next two weeks.
Who cares? We got Nagy: Pitching coach Mike Maddux is off the market. The Nationals signed him. I wonder if he knew Dusty Baker would be his boss when he signed on the dotted line. Speaking of Dusty, Dave Cameron writes at Fangraphs that he is not a bad hire. At least, not as bad as everyone is making him out to be. I agree with Cameron's assessment that some of the backlash against Dusty has to do with how the Bud Black negotiations were handled before Baker got the job. I disagree that Dusty Baker isn't a bad hire.
Balls: Kole Calhoun was part of history in 2015. He was the recipient of a fantastic call and that call was named The Worst Called Ball of the Season by Fangraphs.
And now, being the full-service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Thursday...for beer...
Friday: San Diego Beer Week kicks off today, running through 11/15. Check here for events..........Rare Beer Breakfast 2015 at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido..........Mendocino Mushroom, Wine & Beer Festival also runs from today through 11/15. It's all over the place, so pick your poison here..........
Saturday: Savor The Flavor Beer & Tequila Extravaganza at Hermosa Beach Kiwanis Club..........San Diego Beer Week Continues..........Lancaster Field of Drafts at Lancaster Municipal Stadium..........Mendocino Mushroom, Wine & Beer Festival continues..........
Stay safe, everyone!