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TuesdoLinks: Heady Brewers Ring up Jered

Jered Weaver got his bell rung pretty good last night, as the Brewers just waited out his lack of guile or pinpoint control and just went into batting practice mode.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels opened the Second Greatest American City for Beer by carrying on their improving offense, smacking 11 more hits. Too bad they left 10 runners on base. Even more bad, Jered Weaver bombed. Seven. Earned. Runs. And only 15 outs completed.

In fairness, I guess we have to say that Weaver is truly back into his full groove. Cruise along for innings 1 through 4, then implode in innings 5 and/or 6.

Let's not lose sight of the Trout treat offered up to the Milwaukee fans who came out to watch The Face of Baseball. Trout went 4 for 5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. He boosted his slash line from .286/.377/.894 to .313/.396/.959.

Let's have some Hops-In-The-Bandwagon Links:


Everywhere In Baseball

Ghosts in the Latrine: Ji-Man Choi has yet to, you know, actually perform as a pro baseball player, anywhere. It was he who slapped a feable grounder to shortstop to close the loss with the bases loaded last night (Sosh pretty much parked himself into that corner by burning through 15 roster spots to get there, including double-substituion-ing). Choi, however, will tell you that this is not the greatest horror he has experienced on this trip into Milwaukee. That would be having a ghost feel him up in his hotel Sunday night...............

Lincecum Ointment: Tim Lincecum will show off whatever it is that he has left in the tank to scouts from 20 of the 30 MLB teams on Friday. Not many of those teams, however, are a potential contender with immediate openings in the starting rotation - Lincecum's primary requirement for signing on. The Angels are one of those teams, sure. But the Angels are only $24 million below the Luxury Cap this year, and that is too close for Arte Moreno...........

Cappage Patch: Wait. Did I just say that the Angels are $24 million below the luxury cap?? Why, yes I did! What does that mean? Meh, we really won't know for sure until next winter. that will be when the season-ending payroll will be known (that's the one that counts, not the one we start with) AND maybe the CBA will be signed off on all sides and publicized (so we can know what the future that Arte fears might actually look like). But let's play the game, anyway. Let's assume that the Angels are contenders and Billy Eppler pulls the trigger on some deal that boosts our chances. We start the season at $165 million. Let's pretend that this raises the current payroll 4% to $171 million. The 2016 Competitive Balance Tax threshold is $189 million. That would leave $18 million between closing payroll and the tax threshold. As a fist year offender, Arte would be on the hook for paying a tax of 17.5% for everything Over that threshold. What does that mean in the context of all those top-tier free agents we did not try very hard to sign on? Glad you asked. Let's assume also that Arte would have had to pay $1 million more per season in order to win the bidding for each player. And let's sort them based on fWAR to-date, and use the best producing LAA pitcher and position player as a reference for how well each player is contributing so far:


fWAR 2016 Salary Plus $1 million Projected Payroll Lux Tax Total New Payroll
Johnny Cueto 1.3 $15,833,333 $16,333,333 $181,506,666 $0 $181,506,666
David Price 0.9 $30,000,000 $31,000,000 $195,673,333 $1,134,467 $196,807,800
Kenta Maeda* 0.9 $3,125,000 $4,125,000 $168,798,333 $0 $168,798,333
Jordan Zimmerman 0.9 $18,000,000 $19,000,000 $183,673,333 $0 $183,673,333
Garrett Richards 0.6 <--level set
Zack Greinke 0.6 $34,000,000 $35,000,000 $199,673,333 $1,187,467 $201,487,333
Jeff Samardzija 0.5 $10,800,000 $11,800,000 $176,473,333 $0 $176,473,333
Mat Latos 0.3 $3,000,000 $4,000,000 $168,673,333 $0 $168,673,333

*Since we won't have real and final numbers for another 6 months, this run-through is just a preview. It ain't a scientific paper. So I am not diving into how the Maeda posting fees are applied. But, yeah, only Greinke and Price look they would have pushed Arte over the threshold.

Position Players

fWAR 2016 Salary Plus $1 million Projected Payroll Lux Tax Total New Payroll
Dexter Fowler 2.0 $8,000,000 $9,000,000 $173,673,333 $0 $173,673,333
Mike Trout 1.3 <-- level set
Colby Rasmus 1.2 $15,800,000 $16,800,000 $181,473,333 $0 $181,473,333
Daniel Murphy 1.1 $8,000,000 $9,000,000 $173,673,333 $0 $173,673,333
Yeonis Cespedes 1.0 $27,500,000 $28,500,000 $193,173,333 $709,467 $193,882,800
Chris Davis 0.6 $23,000,000 $24,000,000 $188,673,333 $0 $188,673,333
Ben Zobrist 0.5 $10,500,000 $11,500,000 $176,173,333 $0 $176,173,333
Jason Heyward 0.4 $21,666,666 $22,666,666 $187,339,999 $0 $187,339,999
Ian Desmond 0.4 $8,000,000 $9,000,000 $173,673,333 $0 $173,673,333
Alex Gordon 0.3 $12,000,000 $13,000,000 $177,673,333 $0 $177,673,333
Denard Span 0.0 $5,000,000 $6,000,000 $170,673,333 $0 $170,673,333
Justin Upton -0.2 $22,125,000 $23,125,000 $187,798,333 $0 $187,798,333

Only Cespedes would have pushed Arte over the tax threshold, and he would have cost $709K in taxes. MLB league minimum is $507K, so this would be like Arte paying for another rookie and a half. But even if you set Cespedes aside, there is some pretty good outfield talent on that list, which would have not created any lux tax issues at all, even with all the assumptions being made.

Moving On: Oh, look. Pablo Sandoval needs shoulder surgery. Of some sort. For some unexplained reason. And now he takes off the rest of the season and is saved further embarrassment (as are the Red Sox and their entire fan base) for losing his day job due to obesity..........

Juicy: People keep wondering if baseballs are juiced. I keep wondering how people can presume that old baseballs, never used, are the exact same thing as they were when they arrived from the factory years ago, so they can do comparative testing. Besides, they are looking in the wrong place. It's the bats that are juiced, not the balls. (That's a joke. It's probably really just that more pitchers are throwing more pitches at a faster velocity than ever before.)............But it is kind of important to think about, because home runs are definitely back............

Youth Shall Be Served: The best players in baseball are getting younger every year. This is something important to keep in mind, because of the way that contracts dole out the overall share of payroll. Younger players are held under pre-arb and arb constraints of signing contracts, and older players get the big money payouts. Just consider how much money Bryce Harper and Mike Trout will be making years after they are productive, versus now. The problem this is creating is within the player ranks itself, since the younger players have zero juice within their own union...........


The Duffle Bag

Justin Verlander is one lucky douche..........The Dodgers joined the PEDs list yesterday. Josh Ravin, the dude who broke his arm in ST, is the latest..........Mark Trumbo is not the first batter to strike out against Chris Sale on a pitch that ended up hitting him. Hell, he's not even the first ex-Angel..........Sean Burnett - remember him? No? Good. You managed to forget him already. Yeah, well, he tried to hook on with the Nats, didn't, signed on with the Dodgers, got sent to the minors, and has opted out. Why? So he can hook on with that living train wreck in Atlanta. Yeah, Maybe the Braves will let him be embarrassing in a real uniform..........Somebody has dropped Mike Trout to 16th best ballplayer right now. Somebody is voting way too early...........Hockey Town receiver art is working its way into baseball. It's independent league ball but, still, it's only a matter of time..........A-Rod's got big digs. Can't find the centaur, though...........So you are Cuban, and a phenomenal ballplayer. And you play in the MLB. But you defected. No WBC for you, dude...........Dan Haren, either trolling Adam LaRoche something huge, or sniffing the glue from LaRoche's paper bag. Up next: Adam LaRoche