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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Eppler still big game hunting

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The Angels scored a big one at Winter Meets, but still have one last big move to make.

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Introduce Shohei Ohtani
It’s Sho Time!
Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Winter Meetings are now over. Billy Eppler did very well, scoring a big one in Ian Kinsler for second base for a fairly low price. Adding those to what he has already done since the 2017 season ended, Eppler has a chance to wrap things up in time for Christmas. Still Big Game hunting, there is a chance to upgrade at third base and rumors are flying all over that he is busy at that even as I type this.

Get that done, Billy, and you can relax until after New Years before doing your thing of picking through the discount heaps fetching pitching depth with minor league contracts.

I’m taking the weekend off. I’ll be in Denver until Tuesday morning, doing something pretty damned special. You guys don’t wait for me. Go ahead and finish up the Big Splash stuff without me. I’ll be monitoring in the background.

Have some The-Tree-Almost-Trimmed-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Something to think about concerning Ohtani: medical experts weigh in and proclaim that his injury is nothing to spend time thinking about.............

But let’s not listen to doctors who actually know a thing or two about these types of conditions. Let’s listen to FanGraphs. I fear we might now have two recurring memes to groan about, “Trade Mike Trout” and “Shohei Ohtani is injured”..........

Billy Eppler was a busy guy yesterday selecting 3 players off the Rule 5 Draft. The full results of the MLB-level round are here..........The Angels took Luke Bard. (No, not this guy. And, no, not this guy either.) Bard had had a rocky minor league career until 2017. Now he projects into the kind of jewel that an Eppler hands over to a nagy and we end up with a Blake Parker..........

The Phillie fan dream of Mike Trout departing for Philadelphia based on the reasoning that the Angels are failures has suffered a major blow. They have just figured out that all the Eppler moves are adding up to good things right here in Anaheim..........

This seems odd to me. Topps was so excited to get out a Shohie Ohtani baseball card that they went and used the same public photos that we are using here on HH...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Just to put into perspective how bad Derek Jeter is at his job so far, there is this nugget. keep in mind that in 2017, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna were ranked #4 and #21 in fWAR, respectively, throughout all of MLB (#2 and #12 if just looking at the NL)............

The deal is done. $54 billion later, Disney now owns the bulk of what used to be 20th Century Fox. They also announced that they have a 30% stake in Hulu AND that they are rolling out their own OOT streaming service. They are coming. They are coming for you..........This means that Victor and Gubi now work for The Mouse. Maybe they get new graphics, and new sets, but MLB blackout rules would still apply against any opportunity to stream the upcoming 2018 World Series Championship season to the rest of America and increase their national presence. To Japan, however?..........

Take a look behind the scenes of the Ohtani road trip to interview one of the 7 finalists - the Giants. They knew they were losing him when Ohtani revealed that he was not going to be comfortable playing the unfamiliar role of outfielder, triggering the realization that Ohtani was going to be leaning towards an AL team with a DH............


Hot Stove

The Angels leave Florida in great shape, with one more hole to fill (multi-purpose infielder) before Eppler starts his annual cavalcade of arms approach to bullpen building..........

And about that last hole, the Zack Cozart rumor is just too sweet of an opportunity for both sides not to have serious traction. Some other team is going to have to come up with an awful amount of money to finagle Cozart out of the chance to make millions playing shoulder-to-shoulder with historically great players and help build a great playoff run on his desired west coast as he rides off into the sunset of his career...........

The fun part of this week is that the Angels are almost single-handedly keeping the coals stoked on the winter hot stove. Making one bold move after another while others make their one and drop back off, Billy Eppler is now the magnet of attention, all over 3B. It’s that Zack Cozart toption already mentioned, but also Chase Headley or Todd Frazier. At the moment.............

Fernando Rodney is becoming the Bartolo Colon of closers. Now 40, he had an up-cycle in 2016, then started last year with a down-cycle only to reverse course with another up-cycle, making him still worthy of consideration. So the Twins considered, and signed him.............

The Orioles might have not figured out how to sell high on Machado, and their window for so doing is rapidly closing, but they sure knew how to buy high on Rule 5 draftees..........

The White Sox, having made a Rule 5 Draft that they could trade away immediately for some extra cash in hand, are supposedly the top aggressors in pursuit of Manny Machado. Which seem weird, since CWS is in the early phase of the tank cycle and Machado has only 1 year left under team control. But the full rumor is that CWS is buying Machado because they are convinced they can sell him later for a higher value than the can the Orioles now...........

The Yankees ended up getting pillaged. They lost 4 players out of their deep farm system..........

The deep talent pipeline that once was the Texas Rangers is running out of gas. While everybody around them in the AL West was able to make important moves, Jon Daniels was left spinning his wheels on pocket change.........

Eric Hosmer’s Winter is warming up. The Padres are the current favorites, but the Red Sox seriously covet him and J.D. Martinez..........

The Zack Greinke situation is getting interesting. Maybe the DBacks are wanting to trade him after all, willing to eat some payroll. Not to the Rangers, though...........


The Duffle Bag

Apparently the SBN development staff was hired to run the Rule 5 Draft computer system yesterday.............Job Posting, and I am not making this up. The David Ortiz Fellowship. It’s an intern position, with different duties every year. Right now it looks like all the different duties are hard-ass analytics. Because diversity..........The Red Sox invested, and lost, quite a bit of labor over the years trying hard to align with Ohtani..........(h/t UniWatch) You see it, right? Gucci rolls out a new Fall lineup for 2018. A melange of Far East + gypsy + 90’s urban hipster because MFY..........