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TuesdoLinks:'Tis now the season

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December is upon us, and it is ripe with gift-giving holidays and traditions, Will the Angels be gifted the talent to contend in 2016?

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Welcome to December, that hurly burly time of celebrations, festivals, songs, spirits and - oh yeah! - the gift of player movement that resets Major League Baseball for the next season.

Does it seem to you that we are already seeing signs of a near-future feeding frenzy among a larger number of teams than usual? It does to me.

Detroit has already started to bolster their pitching rotation. Minnesota has already trumped the Far East market. Arizona is literally chasing free agents across oceans. Miami (again) and Atlanta are dealing while Seattle is sucking up loose change everywhere.  And the big names - Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, Giants, Angels, Red Sox, Nationals, Cubs - are just getting started. Even out on the fringe where the Blue Jays, Rays, Padres, Astros, Pirates, Rangers and Royals are residing can be found signs of life scurrying about in hot pursuit of opportunity. I wonder if we are seeing some evidence of, overall, an enterprise that is far more economically healthy than it wants us to know?

Honestly, for a guy like me who has to invent his own news wire service system in order to stoke the daily fires here I am finding that there is surprisingly more news than will fit to post. This could end up being a great month. And it is only the first day. Welcome to December. Have some Happy Eat a Red Apple Day Links:

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Angels Baseball

Green Be Gone: Grant Green has found himself a home, and it won't be in Anaheim. Green signed on with the SF Giants, the team that seems to win the World Series every even year. He will still start as a minor leaguer, but 2016 might be very, very good to Grant..........

Kumbaya: Ron Roenicke was chatted up by Alden Gonzalez and if there is one takeaway, it's how hard everybody is working to pump out to the media that all the coaches are on the same page with their General Manager. From Roenicke himself: "Some people don't think experience is important, and I think, with the conversation I had with Billy [Eppler], the things that he had to say were right in line with the way I think. I know Mike has also been really impressed with the conversations that he's had so far with him."...And then this follow-up from Gonzalez: "But he also trusts Eppler's vision. And he believes there will be synergy between the front office's ideas and the coaching staff's methodology, which was sorely lacking in the time Roenicke was absent."..........

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Elsewhere In Baseball

Nice Payday: MLB announced player payoff pool numbers for 2015. Each KC Royal earned $307,069.03 per share for winning the World Series, while each Met earned $291,667.68 per share for not winning..........

Bonding Out: Don Mattingly is building himself a new coaching staff in Miami and is in need of a hitting coach. Miami, as you might recall, was home to Biogenesis. (Coral Gables, technically, but close enough.) So if ever there was a town not named "San Francisco" that would open their loving arms to Barry Bonds, Miami would be it. Now, certainly, there are going to be a lot of people who feel that Barry Bonds was such a stud hitter, even before PEDs, that he is a natural choice. I disagree. Well before PEDs, Bonds was infamous for being a clubhouse loner and all-around douche. Even a cancerous teammate, going way back. And now he is suddenly to be considered a clubhouse leader of young minds? Does anybody have any actual evidence that Bonds has spent even a fraction of a second trying to impart any special knowledge to anybody else? And how does a guy who was born with such blessed genes and raised in such a special cocoon (being Bobby Bonds' son and around MLB all his life) gain insight to how to tweak any other guy who is merely mortal?..........

Music to Somebody's Ears: Taking a page of sheet notes from Jay Z, singer Marc Anthony has decided to get into the sports agent business. And, just in time for a pending Big Trade, he has signed his first named client: Aroldis Chapman of the Reds. Considering how successful Anthony has been in marketing himself to members of the opposite sex, I would say that his clients have a strong voice on their side............

MiLB: Minor League teams go crazy with their names and uniforms and logos because, well, they can. When you are already well known for being crazy, you can celebrate crazy unencumbered..........

HoF: It's a question that startles me with its dissonance with reality. How likely is it that a subset of a community that has failed to elect Mike Trout as AL MVP more than one time when at least three of his four years were the best in all of baseball, might be expected to make Ken Griffey, Jr. the very first completely unanimous Baseball Hall of Fame inductee in the history of sports? Anybody who would leave them off their ballot is a fool, of course, but BBWAA voters for the HoF have been loaded with such fools since day 1. Some years, it is sheer stupidity (forgetting to include the obvious). Some years, stupid logic (player "A" is so obvious a voter gives their vote to another player more in need). Some years, sheer asshattery (at least 1 voter declaring that if Babe Ruth was not unanimous, nobody is ever allowed to be). But we know first hand that the BBWAA remains chock-a-block full of fools to this day, so why can there be any doubt that Junior won't exceed 99%?..........OTHER POINT: In that link there is a table of first-time candidates. It occurs to me that, except for Griffey hitting a shitload more home runs than Jim Edmonds (over 5 more seasons), their numbers are not as far apart as I would have imagined. One has a line of .284/.370/.538/.907 and the other finished at .284/.376/.527/.903. One got a hit every 3.4 at-bats and the other got a hit every 3.5 at-bats. One homered every 15.6 at-bats and the other homered every 17.5 at-bats. One played 5 more seasons and we have talk of first-ever unanimous first-ballot HoF'er, while the other is up for debate for making it all, ever.........


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Hot Stove Season

Greinke: When Zack Greinke opted out of the back-end 3 years of his contract with the Dodgers, he chose to walk away from $78 million. That's a lot of moola. But you know what is a lot more moola? Greinke appears to be asking for $30 million per season, and at 32 is looking for at least 4 years. A starting point of $120 million is a lot more than a mere $78 million. Again, if he gets that he needs to send Jordan Zimmermann a nice fruit basket or something..........

Park it: Byung Ho Park has arrived in Minnesota to start contract negotiations with the Twins. Winning the bidding rights is one thing, Twinkies, but now the real fun begins for Byung. They have until December 8th to get the deal done.........

Price Fixing: Every year or two, we hear from some ballplayer that the final money total is not the ultimate deciding factor, but something else is. And then they go and sign with the ultimate amount of money. This year we have David Price's camp dribbling out this chestnut. And I would bet that as long as the net difference between choice #1 and choice #2 is within a few thousand dollars, this time it might actually turn out to be true..........

Cueto Update: Oh yeah. As I wrote yesterday, the Zimmermann signing by Detroit has had an immediate impact on upstream pitching talent, starting with Johnny Cueto. Arizona sent an entourage down to the Dominican Republic to meet with Cueto and camp and left knowing that their offer was short.  Cueto was offered 6 year/$120MM @ $20MM AAV and Zimm then signed for 5 year/$110MM @ $22MM AAV. Cueto is, therefore, looking for $10/$160MM all in.  By the way, how cool is it to be an MLB GM and just hop a plane and jet off to the Carribean to chat over hundreds of millions of dollars?...............

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