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TuesdoLinks: Eppler looking to be thrifty

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Arte is holding his old line in this new year, so Eppler needs to go garage sailing to solve Moreno's LF faux paus.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Eppler is certain that he wants needs to upgrade his left field. But Arte Moreno remains just as certain that he won't go over the luxury tax threshold. No ghosts of Christmas visited the Moreno household this winter and he has not changed his mind.

Stop dreaming of something meaningful with which to take into the 2016 campaign, and think instead of Billy Eppler racing around the outer neighborhoods early Saturday mornings in pursuit of early bird deals among the various garage sales.

And while you do that, have some links with those donuts and coffee:

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Everywhere In Baseball

HoF: Not all of the votes are kept secret for tomorrow's announcement of the new class of inductees for the Hall of Fame. Some have been made public, and the current tally shows that Ken Griffey Jr. is still on track for 100%. Ryan Thibodaux is keeping score for us ahead of the announcement, and with 158 votes tallied (35.1% of all ballots to be submitted) Griffey, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are all holding on to induction. Trevor Hoffman and Curt Schilling are strong to stick around on the ballot for another year. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Edgar Martinez are on the bubble. Alan Trammel is a longshot, as this is his last year and he needs to rally on the still-secret ballots or be gone. All the ex-Halos are destined for one-and-done. Troy Glaus has yet to garner a vote. By the way, a HUGE number of voters failed to choose the maximum of 10 candidates. I find this interesting because this same group is trending towards expanding the ballot beyond the 10-player limit because they feel restricted. (For example, check out John Paul Morosi, who says he didn't vote for Piazza because he already had 10 other guys who were more deserving of his vote, including guys at the tail end of their time on the ballot.)............By the way, if you are planning on attending the announcement tomorrow night, dress well (h/t HBT)...........And, the Best Take of the Day on all this: "Museum of Arbitrary Heroes and Invented Requirements."..........

5thStarter Fodder: In this extremely slow news period, Dan Haren managed to blow up the sports 'net yesterday. (That is just a sampling. I can find 40 other citations for this on my own.) All it took were a few honest tweets about his pitching career..........

Trout Porn: Making 2015 predictions, how about Trout joining Babe Ruth with 6 consecutive seasons in leading any league in WAR, and winning another MVP?..........

History Fun: Dayn Pery jumps me on our Friday history ritual and nails it with a great find about a major upset that occurred in 1890 1870 (my editor, red floyd, strikes again!). The box score find is immensely great, and the story behind it even more so.............

Gordon Gettable: Dave Cameron at FanGraphs does the math on Alex Gordon, using the current rumors about a 3-year deal limit in current negotiations as the yardstick. He comes away forecasting an AAV of about $22million on a 3-year contract, allowing him to enter the market again after 2018. I would backload it instead of front-loading it, to stuff more money into Gordon after the Halos shed some existing payroll commitments. Personally, although I like that number, if I were GM I would still hesitate to spend that money PLUS my first round pick. I would spend that if I could KEEP my pick, and then look to trade away some payroll for infield depth............

Pitcher/Hitter Battles: Baseball has evolved over the decades into a major emphasis on the confrontation between the pitcher and the batter. So the pinnacle of the game would be a large number of pitches to a single batter in a high-leverage situation. Let's spend some time reviewing the best long plate appearances of 2015. Included is Clayton Kershaw versus...Madison Bumgarner???............

Cardinal Red With Envy: The Cubs upgraded their video boards in Wrigley Field last year, and the Cardinals just could not stand still for that. Can't have Chicago fans enjoying baseball with better technology than St. Louis fans, no siree. When it comes to pissing contests, the Cards are not to be trifled with. So the Cards are upgrading, too...........

Total Bull: I mentioned this last week, that the Yankees adding Aroldis Chapman gives them the flexibility to extend their bullpen into earlier innings, and portends the possibility of taking another step on the evolution of pitching usage away from "roles". Maybe new roles develop, but current roles should be evaporating, however slowly. It worked some for the Royalsand if it works for the Yankees we should see other teams doing the copy-cat dance...........


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