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Tuesday Halolinks: Could Chase Utley be the 2B answer?

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ESPN's Jim Bowden proposes an intriguing trade scenario.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Are you wearing green?  Have all of the snakes left your yard and been driven into the sea?  While driving my daughter to school this morning, a radio guy was saying today is the busiest day of the year for cab drivers, and most charge a $150 clean up fee for anyone who throws up in their cab.  We baseball fans get to see our favorite teams wearing some for of green alternate jersey today...one that MLB will sell for an exurbanite amount of money tomorrow.

  • I've got to say, I find this trade intriguing.  Utley would fill the 2B hole on the field, while also providing a potent bat in the lineup.  Utley is 5 years older than Howie Kendrick, but looking at this deal in a "big picture" way, the Angels would have dealt Kendrick, Yarbough, and Alcantara for Utley and Andrew Heaney.  Utley is owed $15M this season, and has three vesting options at $15M ea that kick in at 500 plate appearances.  So what do you think, is that a good deal?  Three trades and two extensions that need to happen soon - ESPN, "1. Los Angeles Angels acquire 2B Chase Utley from the Philadelphia Phillies for 2B Alex Yarbrough and P Victor Alcantara.  The Phillies obviously would be looking for a package of prospects to help them rebuild, and a package centered on Yarbrough and Alcantara should get the deal done for both sides. Yarbrough has good upside as a hitter -- he led the Texas League in hits and doubles in 2014 -- and Alcantara has a power arm and was invited to the MLB Futures Game last July."
  • The ability of Garrett Richards to return to his 2014 form is probably the biggest need the club has to return to the playoffs.  Having that one guy who has the potential to win every time he takes the mound goes a long way for a contenting team: Camp Sights: Garrett Richards, Angels reloaded, ready - USAToday.com, "Wednesday, he will pitch in an intrasquad game, the last step before a Cactus League appearance."
  • Pujols, Trout feed off each other with strong bond | MLB.com
    Trout was one of three young players Pujols was eager to meet upon joining the Angels, along with Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos. They spoke in passing that first spring, reconnected as Trout navigated through a historic rookie season later that summer and grew closer with each passing season, as Trout's fame skyrocketed and Pujols settled into the background." 
    Sorry, but here's what I think of when I hear Pujols and Trout:


    Anyway, here's the accompanying video:

  • Prospect watch!  Who's rising?  Who's falling?  Who cares?  Breaking down the Angels' 2015 Top 30 Prospects - angels.com, "Biggest jump: Nate Smith, LHP (2014: Unranked | 2015: 8) Biggest fall: Kaleb Cowart, 3B (2014: 1 | 2015: 16)"  I do care, this is important stuff!  Here's the complete list: MLB.com 2015 Prospect Watch
  • Another way Jerry Dipoto is proving his worth: Cuban shortstop Baldoquin joins his Angels family - The Orange County Register, "When Baldoquin, 20, met with reporters on Saturday morning, he said the off-field meetings told him as much about as the Angels as they learned about him. "They also showed an interest in getting to know me a little more as a person and that made me feel comfortable immediately," Baldoquin said through an interpreter. "It made me think I’m part of a big family."
  • This is funny, potential doesn't mean crap to Scioscia: Can Angels' pitching staff recapture last year's glory? - MLB.com, "I'll be pleased when the potential depth becomes depth," the manager said. "We've got a lot of good young arms but they have to produce. They have to go out there and give us chances to win. We'll keep going with that, but the depth we have has to become tangible and that's what we have to shoot for through Spring Training. "The potential is there. The upside is incredible with some of these guys. But we need these guys the first week in April, when we need five guys who will give us a chance to win."
  • I almost had forgotten about the Josh Hamilton stuff (not really).  Wouldn't it be nice to know what's truly going on here?  Is he going to be suspended?  If so, how long?  How's the rehab going?  Commissioner Manfred will make the call on Hamilton suspension - angels.com, "All I can say to you about the timing is that because Josh isn't in position to be on the field, it has made the timing a little more relaxed than if we had the circumstance of somebody on the field," Manfred said. "Beyond that, I just can't say any more."
  • Neato: Angels will play Triple-A affiliate next spring - angels.com, "The game, authorized and approved by Major League Baseball, will take place March 22, 2016. It'll be part of a split squad, with the other half of the Angels' spring roster remaining in Arizona. The Angels will supply players for both teams and will have an off-day the following day to ease travel."
  • It's March, and what does that mean?  Madness of course.  Here's your chance to go head-to-head with Albert Pujols for a good cause: Pujols Family Foundation Charity Madness Challenge - FantasyHub, "Ever wanted to challenge a professional athlete to a fun game? Now is your chance to do just that. The 2015 Charity Madness Challenge lets you take on Albert Pujols in a March Madness bracket challenge. This unique opportunity welcomes you to support Albert's charity, The Pujols Family Foundation, and become eligible to win some really great prizes. Reserve your bracket today & pay it forward each time you play."  More information can be found here: Pro Athletes Turn March Madness Into Charitable Competition - Forbes, "A total of 26 current and former professional athletes, including the aforementioned NBA players along with Bo Jackson, Albert Pujols and Lolo Jones will take part in FantasyHub’s "Charity Madness" challenge, with the athletes promising personalized prizes for winning contestants and FantasyHub forwarding a donation to charity for each bracket entered.  FantasyHub has also offered $1 million to the charity of choice for anyone who picks a perfect bracket."
  • It's that cool, refreshing Wisconsin water (also known as beer), that keeps these guys' elbows healthy: Brewers among best in MLB at avoiding Tommy John surgery - Brew Crew Ball, "Also worth noting: The Brewers medical staff has started to see some praise recently. As Tom Haudricourt pointed out in 2012, the Brewers' excellence at avoiding injury isn't limited to just Tommy John surgery: The team has also logged the second-fewest total days on the DL over the past decade from the time that article was written." The Angels have had 18 players requiring TJ surgery, 5 from the major league roster."
  • Sabermetrics legends can still school the game. - SportsonEarth.com, "Cramer and Palmer made up the SABR Statistical Research Committee in the 1970's: That was it, two people. They hoped to spread metrics through the SABR ranks. The interest was modest. "We did a survey of membership," said Cramer. "They didn't want any of that numbers junk, they wanted history. We agreed to do a numbers paper once every two years."
  • You know what bugs me about Pete Rose?  His lack of remorse.  In the years since his banning, he just seems to get slimier and slimier.  Pete Rose makes formal request to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to lift lifetime ban - ESPN, ""I want to make sure I understand all of the details of the Dowd Report and Commissioner [Bart] Giamatti's decision and the agreement that was ultimately reached," Manfred said after a meeting with Los Angeles Dodgers players in Arizona on Monday morning. "I want to hear what Pete has to say, and I'll make a decision once I've done that."