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TuesdoLinks: Winter stove warms up

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Things are still tepid, but signs point to the stove warming up

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Oh look at you, coming here to expect to find links to baseball news. How cute.

Did you know that The Sporting News still has an article only 13 of the way down on its main page reviewing the Cubs’ World Series victory parade? Or that The Sports Quotient has a dozen stories pinned to the top that are all 2-3 months old? Things are bleak out there, people.

But it does appear as though the roster waters are starting to simmer as the stove mildly heats up. We are seeing a growing number of small moves that are unworthy of our attention as they don’t involve us, or anybody we LAA fans target (well, one, see below). Lots of minor league contracts and some waiver claims. And we are seeing some growth in the news around Ohtani this week, and now Stanton.

So let’s introduce you to some While-We-Wait-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Jay Jaffe makes the case for Vlad Guerrero being a Hall of Famer, even if a bit flawed. And Sports Illustrated uses nothing but photos of Vlad in the uniform of the Montreal Expos...........

Trout porn. It’s just this sort of stuff that would make a Jeff Kent turn to the dark side in the ongoing battle for supremacy between the old guard and the new..........

Yesterday was Mike Scioscia’s 59th birthday. Just a PSA there for you..........

Curt Casili is a Mathisian-level offensive catcher, capable of holding his own defensively. Nothing spectacular, and certainly not the high OBP kind of guy that Billy Eppler seeks for the MLB roster. He was a late-round draftee of the Tigers back in 2011, traded to the Rays in 2013, seen 161 regular season games, and was outrighted back on the 6th, choosing instead to go Free Agent....He was disappointed, of course, but his name was bandied about as roster depth so there was hope. And then along comes Eppler, signing him as depth for sure. Minor league depth, probably, but depth. Welcome aboard, Curt. And Happy Holidays.........


Everywhere In Baseball

MLB released the playoff shares for the players. At the upper end are the Astros, at $438,901.57 per share. That is closing in on the league-minimum. At the bottom end are the Twins, at $18,990.36 for one night’s work..........

This read generated a fascinating moment of self-realization for me. Yeah, the Baseball Hall of Fame really isn’t worth our time. There are two parts to this. First, the Hall has grown highly charged in a political sense, and I get the feel that this is a circling of the wagons by a bunch of dinosaurs. Joe Morgan’s recent letter being a major battle cry. The other thing is that our modern information systems are doing such a great job of creating a parallel arena for validating quality ballplayers that the Hall appears to have been surpassed as any authority. In fact, the author agrees with that last point: “We have the tools at our disposal to objectively determine who the best baseball players of all time. We don’t need the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for that. They’ve never really been up to the task, and their actions have proven that they’re not interested in being up to the task in the future.“..........

Jung Ho Kang is seeing his career continue to careen in the wrong direction. This is the guy who was arrested and convicted after his 3rd DUI in Korea, and then had his travel visa to the US denied, blocking him from playing for the Pirates in 2016. Now, he is having a crappy season in the Dominican Winter League, and that low level of production got him cut and dismissed altogether..........Remember, this is a guy who was a RoY candidate in 2015, and was even getting All-Star consideration..........

Just to remind that chasing the concept of a sure thing in a game built on failure is a fool’s errand, the Phillies are DFA’ing Mark Appel. Appel was the #1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, the only guy taken ahead of Kris Bryant. Aaron Judge was taken 31 picks later. This is the draft where we sat out Round 1 because of Josh Hamilton. By 2015 Appel was chosen as the Astros representative to the All-Star Futures game. And then it was all down hill from there. Traded to the Phillies, Appel went through a series of injuries while still in their farm system. His spiral downward is now on the verge of exiting professional baseball completely..........

We already linked to how Major League Baseball is booming, both in revenue and in ratings. Well, conversely, pro football ratings took a beating, on their pinnacle non-playoff day of the entire season..........The NFL merchandise sales are falling, as well............

ESPN, as soon as it gets done firing a boatload of talent, will be pulling all their editorial staff from the field in order to give them a tongue lashing on new social media policies. Not a good look, this circling of the Disney wagons............


Hot Stove

Here is a trap: the Braves are looking to shop Matt Adams. They got Adams when Freddie Freeman went down and now they have a surplus at 1B. At first, in Atlanta, Adams killed it. That’s what the Braves are going to emphasize. But then Adams cooled off considerably, and that’s where the trap lies...........

The sun rises in the offseason, and Jerry Dipoto does a deal..........

Yesterday I noted that part of the slowness in the Hot Stove market might also be due to the players, too, taking their time to perform some due diligence. But Keith Law Dan Szymborski (ESPN Insider account) raises a good point, that often it is important for players to beat other players to the dotted line and exploit a team that is still desperate to get the best roster upgrades..........

Giancarlo Stanton really wants to be a Dodger. Which means it must really suck to be Yasiel Puig right about now..........

While reading this column about guys who need to be traded for their own good, what really caught my eye was a MLB Shop link to a Mike Trout Wagon Bobblehead. Oh, sure, Cyber Monday gives me 30% off list, but the hell is that even about?.........


The Duffle Bag

Giancarlo Stanton hits a lot of home runs, in a lot of places............Get a software applications job with the Rangers, and use your power to tank their franchise!..........More 2017 highlights: crazy slides..........Your tax dollars, hard at work..........The Yankees better hurry up if they want to sign Rob Thomson as their manager before he, instead, takes the job of Phillies bench coach............