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TuesdoLinks: Prospecting for pyrite

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Billy Eppler pulls a magic trick, getting a real MLB franchise to see gold in the LAA farm system. Oh, and by the way, physicals for position players today!

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Big Splash: Wow. Even if this doesn't get pulled off the Angels rocked the trade rumor world last night when they tricked somebody into finding value in the Anaheim farm system. The Reds, looking to dump payroll, managed to con the Blue Jays into taking Michael Saunders Lite (Jay Bruce) by offering to trade away Michael Saunders Actual (Michael Saunders) and, in so doing, they also get the Blue Jays to accept $22.6 million in payroll commitment above and beyond what they were already on the hook for.  And the way this all works is how the Angels convinced the Reds to pass Saunders Actual back on to Anaheim and accept some of the shiny rocks left at the bottom of the LAA junk drawer. I know that as of this writing the deal is not done yet. And I know that the comeback to the Angels ain't much more than gold dust. But we need a standing round of applause for Billy Eppler just to get the Reds to answer their damn phone and believe in the power of pyrite..............

Have some Keith-Law-Can't-Believe-It Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Big Crash: C.J. Wilson spent the last year looking awesome on the arm of an international supermodel, or flying UFO's down Pacific Coast Highway, or leaping up onto tall stacks of pillows. But when it comes to finally getting back onto a mound and working his arm into game shape, things look a little less awesome. Wilson had some shoulder soreness after his latest bullpen session and went in for an MRI. Mike Scioscia waves it all off as normal for recoveries, but wasn't the one positive thing that would come out of Wilson shutting down mid-season was that he would be fully back and healthy by now?...........Supposedly, all is cool, though...........

Left(y)overs: Hmmm. Imagine that. The Angels are in the market for a left-handed bullpen specialist. That makes sense. When you take a look at the LAA pitching staff, the only lefties are Skaggs (starter), Heaney (starter) Wilson (starter) and Alvarez (long relief). What would be awesome would be to track down and sign some lefty spot specialist, maybe with an ERA+ in the neighborhood of 140, who could be had for cheap, less than $2million. And it would be good to get that guy before somebody else in our division picks him up. Get on it, Eppler! We don't want to eff this up.............

Slot Machine: Garrett Richards is an extremely strong pitcher. Top of our order quality. But he is still a shade away from being a full-time MLB Ace. And last year was very good, but not dominant. Why was that so? Well, it all has to do with arm slots. "In short, Richards dropped his arm slot, his sinker tailed less and got worse, so he used his four-seam and slider more often, without any increase in their effectiveness. He went from having three solid pitches to two, essentially." It's a long piece, so maybe leave it for lunch time. But in that piece, please pay particular attention to the tiny little factoid about how PITCHf/x deals with release point. Think about it, because it matters............

Three Sure Things: There are Death, Taxes, and the most obnoxious Boston sports reporter taking potshots at potbellied baseball players. As promised yesterday, we would hear about Pablo Sandoval's gut from the Boston media. Out there first is, of course, Dan Shaughnessy..........

Four Sure Things: We can add Josh Hamilton annual health issues to my list above. Hambone has left the building. Already. After only 1 workout. I have said this before and I'll say it again. With as little as the Rangers are getting out of Josh after Arte shipped him off, and how that would have been the same case had Josh stayed in Anaheim, we can almost state that the Rangers are paying Arte a few million dollars of salary relief for a player riding the DL pine...........

Discount THIS: I love this response. Jose Bautista is up for a new contract. If the Blue Jays wish to extend him, Bautista has given them the number and will not be negotiating. And, his declaration: "In my eyes I've given this organization a five-year hometown discount already." For $64 million paid out so far, he has given them 36.6 bWAR to date. Nice value there alright..........

Pitcher Protection: Those MLB test noggin covers for pitchers don't look as doofus live as they did in the marketing stills. Maybe guys will start taking to them after all and protecting their health...........

Uprising: PECOTA be damned, it's always better to follow the money. In this case, PECOTA picks them to win 92 games, and the money in Vegas agrees. The Indians are the team to beat in the AL Central............

Arms Race: The Indians are expected to be a force behind their pitching staff. But there's might not even be close to the best in baseball. The Mets have their own claim to that stake...........

Echos of Anaheim: We whine a lot about Arte here on HH, especially after this past offseason. But, at least, we don't call our own particular billionaire "cheap", like they do in Minnesota...........

Politics: Just so that we all remain aware, it's still totally cool to support any political candidate that suits your fancy. Even if you are an owner of the Chicago Cubs. And it's just as cool to expect backlash from those political candidates that you choose to not support. Especially if that candidate knows where billionaires hide their skeletons..........

Yanksturs: The epic Yankees ticketing public relations fiasco continues to spiral out to its own circle of hell. And the Yankees are proudly unapologetic about that. We start with the reality that Yankees tickets are THE priciest in baseball. You know you are effed up when it's cheaper to fly all the way across country and buy dugout seats on the visitors side in order to see your own team, than it is to attend your own home games. Anyway, the very latest is MFY President Randy Levine coming out and defending asshat COO Lonn Trost by declaring that artificially sustaining a price floor on tickets is what a free market is all about. Yeegads. What are they putting into that famous water they pump out their pipes? But, just for the hell of it, let's look back on a visitor's photo essay of his tour to New Yankee Stadium from years ago. This really is the very best link I can give you today. And, yeah, there is a moat. Enjoy those empty seats this season all you MFY television fans. And all we LAA fans need to keep a watchful eye out on all things ticketing in Anaheim. For, as things go with MFY ticketing, things later go with LAA ticketing...........

Public Relations: Ironically, the same MFY brain trust that is barfing all over themselves in public as they try to defend their greedy disdain for the most populous consumer base, is all over themselves trying to define examples to their players as to how to comport themselves with the media. And they use football players for their example. Be Russell Wilson, and not Cam Newton..........

Hope Springs: Spring Training in Baseball America is the season of hope. But in some places, baseball represents hope year round, and for a lifetime. Sometimes across generations. For example, among the aspiring youth of the Dominican Republic.  I do wonder why everybody chooses to wear the same kinds of gear to play baseball, all over the world. It's not like the classic design of the baseball cap is the absolute ultimate in efficiency............

Leave 'Em Laughing: Matt Joyce, going by "@sweetswingin20" on twitter, is laughing his way all the way to the Pittsburgh 25-man roster. It's rare that a guy gets the chance to fail his way from playing alongside one young first-ballot Hall of Famer to playing alongside another young first-ballot Hall of Famer, but Joyce has the chance to do it!...............

Full Disclosure: We here in the #cesspool are getting a run for our money...from The Mothership. The story ( which is now topped with apology sprinkles), which was already pretty wide (yep, and yep, and yep) just keeps getting wider and wider coverage. All they need now is Keith Olbermann...........

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Graph of the Day

Jered Weaver Outcomes: Ol' Rubber Arm was still dealing last season. Just in first gear:

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