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TuesdoLinks: Back in the saddle

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Fresh off my scouting trip to the Phoenix metro area, I can report that wind sucks. I was blown away. Literally.

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Well, here I am. back in the Linkage Saddle. Thank you to Rahul and Jessica for the most outstanding job of filling in.

My pre-Spring Training scouting trip to the Phoenix metro area was a total bust. Winds of 25-30 mph with gusts upward of 40 and temps in the low 40's BEFORE wind chill factor, all added up to a bone-chilling waste of 14 hours drive time. I did meet some of the beer crew for Goodyear, which was awesome. But that was as far as things progressed. It was far more comfortable to huddle in a warm little box and pray for the weekend to expire so that I could return home. Imagine the joy when, after returning home, I found that in my absence my property was shredded by, yes, more winds.

And, ito add to all that chaos, I was completely uncorked from current affairs. My did you people make a mess of things when my back was turned. Too much cold air. Too much hot air.

I am just going to get back to Links:


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A Little Bit (more) of Angels News

As Jessica noted yesterday, the MLB Top 100 Prospect list has been released. It is worth diving into this lst to get some perspective on the LA farm system. We fans have our knee-jerk reactions as to why things are as they are and who is to blame. Looking at this list might temper some opinions, and might redirect some target practice. For example, after going through it a little bit, four things jump out to me.....One, any of the Top 100 taken in 2014 can be ignored at this point. We took Sean Newcomb and flipped him into Andrelton Simmons. If we had drafted Simmons with that 15th overall pick by now we would be called winners of the 2014 draft. Since that is, essentially, what we did, we can consider ourselves victorious.....Two, we all mocked the selection of Taylor Ward as a first rounder in 2015. So far (and certainly things can and will change dramatically) only 3 of those Top 100 players were still out there when Ward was taken. Mike Soroka was taken two picks later by the Braves, and is currently ranked #78. Triston McKenzie was taken at 42 by the Indians and is ranked #57. And the Dodgers took Willie Calhoun in the third round at 132 and he is ranked #82. So that last one is a good pull by the Dodgers, and only those other two are players we might reasonably had a shot at versus taking Ward. to this point, taking Ward in the 1st round was not as costly as all the venting might presume.....A lot of those Top 100 are 2016 picks. We took Matt Thaiss at 16. Most of the guys taken 1 through 15 are on that Top 100 list. None of those can be faulted at anyone in Anaheim since they were already gone. Some of the guys on the Top 100 list were taken just behind Thaiss, guys like Forrest Whitley and Blake Rutherford and Gavin Lux and Delvin Perez. Ok, so there are some pitching/infield/outfield prospects that we missed out on, some just barely. But drafting and prospecting is a crapshoot and Thaiss is not the reason our farm sucks.....So, four, here is THE BIG thing that jumps out at me. THIS, IMHO, is why our farm sucks and it is THE most obvious thing in the current Top 100 Prospect list: a gargantuan percentage of those Top 100 are International signees, especially the Top 30. And all of those are coming from Latin America, none of whom belong to the Angels.....By the way, by this point in time we should be thinking that the price paid for losing picks to sign the likes of Wilson, Pujols, Hamilton, et al, has less of an impact on our farm status and more of an impact on our Major League roster...........

This is curious. C.J. Wilson went on the radio as part of the Rolex 24 auto race in Daytona Beach, Florida. Listeners reported Wilson as stating that he was retiring from baseball to devote his energies racing full time.  But I cannot find any news source to corroborate what the listeners heard..........

Hey! The Angels signed Bud Norris yesterday! The guy is 4-0 against the Halos, lifetime, and carries a career slash line against of .208/.288/.250 in Anaheim. Even knowing that he won't be pitching against the Halos this year and not being able to repeat those numbers, the good news is that he won't be pitching against the Halos this year and not being able to repeat those numbers..........

Are you a fantasy player? Tempted to draft some Halos? Listen in to some solid advice..........

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Everywhere In Baseball

Ah, yes. The St. Louis Cardinals. Last year Forbes ranked them the 7th most valuable franchise in all of MLB at $1.6 billion and a 2015 revenue of $300 million. Those gutty little small-market Cards. Yesterday Rob Manfred handed down his butt-pat admonishment for the Astros hack. Let's see what's on the list......For starters, the Cards (or anybody) cannot ever hire back this Chris Correa guy they never were going to hire back anyway......That must really hurt. Next, instead of losing the 23rd and 33rd overall picks in last year's June draft (which the Cards turned into Top 100 prospect Delvin Perez and Dylan Carlson), Manfred was kind enough to wait a season before forcing them to forfeit the 56th and 75th picks overall this year. And the Cards were nice enough to know it, and surrender what would have been the 18th or 19th pick to sign Dexter Fowler, which is how we end up with picks 56 and 75 to begin with. Keep in mind that that 75th pick is a compensation pick, which was something gifted to the Cards earlier (meaning they are having to lose a pick that at one time they didn't even have and got only as part of a system designed to help poor teams). The forfeited picks go to the Astros, which will serve the potential of making the lives of the Rangers, Mariners, A's and Angels all a little bit less fun. So the Cards kept their top 2 picks last year, AND got to use their top pick this year before sanctions could be imposed, all because Manfred was judicious enough to wait. Oh, excuse me, "be thorough in his investigation"......Finally, the Cards will be fined $2 million (pretty much the pool money needed to sign those picks, to be paid to the Astros) which will rank as the Cards' 19th most-expensive player salary in 2017, or (magically) equate to the precise amount of money that was to be coming back from the Padres this year along with Jedd Gyorko for the Jon Jay trade last month. That is .1% of the Cards' estimated net worth, and .6% of their estimated earnings in 2015 alone. Meanwhile, of course, the Cards do get to keep any and all of whatever talent they acquired via the use of Correa's hack.........I have been banging this drum for quite some time, and now you know why...........

Minor Leaguers having all the fun. New experiment: all baseball games tied after the 10th inning will be decided by a home run derby. That should bring out the traditionalist protestations in even the youngest of HH readers!..........

I think we are going to hear an awful lot about Chief Wahoo this year...........

My take is that the aftermath of the Josh Donaldson deal proved too much for the mythos that was Billy Beane..........

As less and less starters are being used as "inning eaters", shouldn't this mean more and more bullpen arms will need to become "innings eaters"? And, thusly, shouldn't that have a huge impact on HoF voting in teh distant future??..........

The thought is that anything can happen in baseball, and usually does. Except that it doesn't..........

Colby Rasmus thinks that things like Gold Glove voting is all politics. Shocking, I know! If it weren't for his long hair and redneck ways he feels that the politics might normally go his way..........

Unsure if my Replacement Linkers caught this or not, but a nice essay on the screwing of the youth by the new CBA as it is applied to signing bonuses..........


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Trade Winds

This is still something I don't understand. I feel it's extremely archaic that teams cannot trade draft picks. It was supposed to be so that rich teams don't get richer. Poor teams with a high draft slot that could not afford the signing price of that high pick would tend to trade the pick away, enriching those who could afford to sign at that level. But with all the other governors in place throughout the CBA, and with modern economics at play, that should not be a major concern anymore. Besides, how does it make sense that a poor team cannot trade a pick for equity, but a rich team can trade a player for more cash?...........

Peter Bourjos, hanging in there..........Still one of the more stupid trades. We got 3.8 bWAR out of 2 seasons of David Freese for $11.5 million AND 0.1bWAR out of 2.5 seasons of Fernando Salas for $2.1 million. And the Cards got 6.0 bWAR so far from 2 seasons (and counting!) for $1 million and 0.6 bWAR out of 2 seasons of Petey for $2.8 million. Oh, and we are now left with Erik Manoah, way down there in Burlington..........


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The Duffle Bag

Thank your lucky stars that even though teh Halos have struggled a bit the past few years, they haven't collapsed like the Phillies............When teh A's get a new ballpark in a couple of years, this list (which already has one non-MLB park) is gonna get even sadder for us Halo fans..........Rod Carew continues to improve..........Hmmm. I wonder how much a team pays for one stadium seat? Maybe a new revenue stream?..........Nice little story in memory of a fallen teammate..........Yeah, but does new baseball analyst David Ross have any analytics in him?..........Erick Aybar held a youth camp. No word on his choice of lunch fare..........The Big Hurt: not a PEDs fan..........Jerry Dipoto is now hiring mentalists. Not really. They are officially called "mental skills coaches". Really.........Every time I read something about the brilliance of the KC Royals outfield defense having been a template for all of baseball, all I can think of is Nori Aoki stumbling around in right field until the ball falls into his flopping glove...........


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Halo-Oppo-ly

(On a 2-week hiatus while I deal with a teensy bit of travel time)

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