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HumpLinks: Roasting Chestnuts

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With Free Agent season at a lull, we can get back to the fiction of guesswork, conjecture, and forecasts. Oh, and Hall of Fame stories are on the rise.

J.D. Cuban/Getty Images

You know that LA Angels news has hit a dry spell when my news crawler comes up with only one new headline between my own MondoLinks and my own TuesdoLinks. Not much to do in the past 24 hours except soak myself in deep thoughts.

Which brings to mind the following question: in the search for a power OF bat, why would LAA be worried about being RH heavy now when Sosh didn't pay attention to RH/LH splits while doing his righty/lefty matchups last season?

Moving on, dig these National Chocolate Covered Anything Day Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

SkaggsTyler Skaggs is aching to get back to the mound after TJ surgery. He could be a huge wild-card in our rotation and a nice surprise after all this waiting. I wonder if he would have a pitch limit of any sort?............

Color me Confused: The details of the Cubs/Heyward contract has been coming out, and one point has me in a mental pretzel. On top of his base pay, Heyward got a $20 million signing bonus. But 100% of that bonus is deferred. So if the Cubs agreed to pay him some money, and they also agreed to pay him some more money, and Heyward agreed that they could pay him that money over time, how is that a "signing bonus" and not just a big part of the "guaranteed salary"?..........

Paint By Number: So who is the best MLB player currently wearing a #27 uniform jersey? Anybody? Huh? Yeah, well smartie pants, who is the best MLB player currently wearing EVERY number??............

Jilting Jeter: Derek has his panties all up in a bunch, Literally. And it could cost him, at least, $30 million if he loses a lawsuit for failing to deliver as ambassador for underwear. Did he walk away because the undies were getting to be "too gay"? "too urban"? Total bullshit? The depositions should be a hell of a lot of fun.................

Rosy Outlook: Pete Rose still keeps the faith that he will be forgiven and rejoin the community of baseball. Rose is already 74 1/2. He probably has odds laid as to whether or not it happens before he dies................

Opt Outs: This player Opt-out option in large contracts has become a new standard with incredible rapidity. And why not? They favor the player rather heavily so every mega player should be insisting on one. Like discovering a new flavor of ice cream. So I went looking, thinking that there must be some move afoot among the teams to counter the opt-out. What I found, instead, is that the rise in opt-outs is already a response to the recent move among owners to lock up their youth to long-term deals instead of losing them to free agency...........

HoF: Mark McGwire is on the ballot for the final time this year. He probably won't make the cut and will be dropped, and that is all about PEDs. So much time has passed that many folks are just tired of it all, and others are too young to care. So finger waggling will be common. So let's look at it another way, since a review of his career is memorable to many. McGwire's career ISO ended up at .325, which is awesome. If you strip out the years of his explosive seasons, 1995 through 2000, his ISO drops to about .265. That is still Ralph Kiner territory. On his own non-PEDs merits, McGwire should be getting huge props for his career. This isn't about ignoring him because of PEDs. It's about punishing him because of PEDs. That is an extremely weak-assed turn of events concerning how explicit these voters were back then in celebrating the PEDs years of McGwire in order to sell newspapers, magazines, and television/radio advertising slots...........

OT: This is one seriously messed up country. We don't deserve an Internet and might need to be sent to sit in a corner with newspapers and rotary phones until we grow up. Except Connecticut. They seem stable. And it's a damned good thing we have Oregon and Florida so far apart from one another............

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Hot Stove Season

Soft Rock: Do you have any particular member of the Colorado Rockies outfield that you desire? Well, it's possible that you might get your wish. The Rockies might be willing to trade away their entire outfield in order to accelerate a rebuild...........

Uptonogood: Taking a slower look at which team might end up with Justin Upton, and why, the SBN Mothership predict that the Angels come in as a finalist, but not the answer. And the rational is pretty good. "The Angels need more than Upton. He would be the sundae, not the cherry, but there aren't any great ways to get them both.Before you click over, take your own guess...........

Yo: Ok, you already know that I went on record a few weeks ago as putting my vote behind Cespedes. I think that first round pick has a very high value and I was suggesting an offer for Cespedes before Heyward  signed and forced a panic among the Dodgers/Cards/Cubs/Giants to drive up the price for the remaining outfielders. So there is my disclosure. Of course, the Giants responded by committing a fortune on Cueto, the Cards have claimed to have taken themselves off the market, the Cubs got Heyward, and the Dodgers need pitching. We have more outfielders than suitors now so the price for Cespedes shouldn't be rising, but falling. But falling from where, to where. What is his true market value? Fangraphs does the math, and comes up with ~$100 million over the next 7 years. That is an AAV of $14 million. That works..............


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