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MondoLinks: Lightspeed to Conten-dor

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Time to stop whining about hot stove pace. Only Twitter can keep up with Ohtani.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Houston Astros
Showin’ off some bitchin’ pitchin’ dudes
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Whoosh! All of a sudden we have hot stove news happening so fast that blog writing cannot do justice. I am wrapping this up when it is 7PM PST. By 4AM, when it firt shows up for you, all that I rounded up regarding Ohtani blazing through the MLB suitors might be ancient news.

The only thing for me to add, then, is a weird thought I have carried all weekend. If Eppler were to land Ohtani, and Ohtani were to truly pan out to be a mega star, what might that do to Mike Trout’s standing on his own team, and with the fans, and with the local media? Trout owns all those things now, even if it is tough to maintain that awareness at a national level. If Trout would to lose that, or at lose a significant portion of that, could that create a lessening of a connection between Trout and the Halos?Might it be that the Angels would need to leverage Trout and Ohtani into multiple WS appearances in order to convince Trout to re-sign in 2021, more because he is having fun winning rings than wanting to be an Angel for life?

There. I gave the pessimist in you something to worry about. Have some Double-Edged-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Tender Friday came and went. The Angels signed Blake Wood, avoiding arbitration with him, and then tendered contracts to the other 10 players eligible. I don’t have the figures offered for each, but Maria Guardado has the estimates for the outcomes of each..........

Nate Smith is going to miss the entirety of 2018, out with surgery to repair the anterior capsule...........

Martin Maldonado had a great way to show off the arrival of their new child.........And as a gift, MLB gives Maldy some props for having the 3rd strongest arm in MLB last season..........


Everywhere In Baseball

So we all know by now that MLB kicked the crap out of the Atlanta Braves. This was the big domino that Billy Eppler exploited to make a major step forward in the Ohtani sweepstakes. The idea was to make an example out of the Braves, as a warning to all the other franchises. But the Braves are not alone in their international behavior. For example, as noted here, the Red Sox got busted just last year for bad international behavior, too. But the Red Sox were not used as an example, and nobody was hinting about any punishment directed at Dave Dombrowski............

Hey, check it out! Just a year after getting suspended by MLB for screwing around with personnel rules, the Padres showed their love for all the progress and professionalism by signing up for another 6 years of A.J. Preller...........

We’ve told you how well MLB did last year. Revenues are growing, as are TV ratings and advertising pay rates. Too bad for the players that they don’t share in that. Tony Clark famously rejected the notion that player pay was failing to keep up with industry revenues, despite independent reporting to the contrary. And the CBA was signed in that vacuum of leadership. Now the players are stuck with it for several years. And more independent reports are coming in directing attention to how wrong Tony Clark remains. Considering that nobody goes to stadiums and drops their cash to see the owners gazing from behind their Ray Bans, this is a real issue..........

After 6 weeks of their reality show, the Yankees awarded their grand prize managerial position to Aaron Boone. (He looks more like his dad every year.) This is yet another addition to the growing population of young MLB managers with no prior managing experience. I have to wonder why an inexperienced ex-player is more qualified than an experienced and proven Minor League manager, of which their are hundreds? Whatever. Boone takes the lead dugout spot of a team that is primed to succeed regardless of who is at the helm..............

Out of all the data that MLB published behind their increased PEDs testing, the data points I cannot find revealed would be how many of these tests were conducted in Latin America, during the offseason, and via what process?...........

Remember this for the next June draft. It’s a nice study to recall when thinking about slot value, actual slot payouts, and leverage...........

Save this for lunch, so that you can read it real slow and learn why it is that you cannot hit the curveball...........


Hot Stove

The more full list of players avoiding arbitration is here. Except that some of those names are ex-Halos, such traffic doesn’t mean much to us right now..........

The players who were NOT signed in advance of the Tender deadline, and did NOT receive a tendered contract offer, are now Free Agents. Those people represent the pile from which Billy Eppler picks so efficiently. Here are 9 names worth keeping on your radar..........And here are a few more..........

We have already laid out the fundamentals behind the trend towards an offseason less frenetic than in years past. But not everybody reads our stuff, and are behind the power curve. So they still think its about bottlenecks. Using the example of J.D. Martinez found here, that should mean that all those teams that already know they are not in the running for Ohtani and Stanton should be rushing to their Plan B’s, and Martinez rumors should be all over Baseball now. If I don’t have anything to link to tomorrow, people are going to have to start thinking about moving off their old narratives...........

You might have missed this, but just because Ohtani leads the list of Japanese players made available at the posting trigger, it doesn’t mean he is the only player. There is also Kazuhisa Makita, to be posted in a few weeks. He’s a RHP submariner who would be a potential surprise for any reliever corps. And he comes with a name built for a thousand puns...........

Stanton Focus: Stanton was personally in attendance during meetings with the Giants and the Cardinals. Those would appear to be the front-runners, although St. Louis might have issues yet to overcome. This would be amazing to see a Stanton slip through the fingers of the Dodgers............

Ohtani Focus: This is moving fast enough. Kinda scary. If you missed it, you should go look at the rush yesterday afternoon, into the night, in the WeekEnd HaloLinks article of all places. Shohei is heavily favoring west coast, smaller market, franchises. It must suck to be a Yankees fan and be the first in line to get dumped. After all, they do have a natural-born sense of entitlement. (Also, check out the title of THIS article, and the teaser of this tweet!) Some of the MFY fan reactions are pretty obnoxious, too......And Ohtani’s own agency, CAA, couldn’t believe that Ohtani was so quickly dismissing New York.

Also not making through the first weekend are:

the Mets,

the Twins (!),

the Tigers,

the Athletics (!!),

the Red Sox (!!!),

the DBacks,

and the Phillies?

Making it to the next round already are the Giants, Mariners, Dodgers, Padres, and..........the Angels. (That makes nearly 12 of all MLB teams that already know their standing, pro or con.).........

Some of the insiders are thinking that Ohtani is Seattle’s to lose. That would be a surprise to me, considering all the Ichiro history up there and what Ohtani has been quoted as saying as wanting to blaze a new trail.


The Duffle Bag

Even Baseball brothers can be whiny little shits sometimes.........Baseball, on ice? With ice skates, and all? Yup..........Nice find. The 10 worst position players made more in 2017 than the 10 best position players. Sure, Pujols helps, but there are several other major lemons there..........20 bucks says that Jerry Reuss, ex-LA Dodgers pitcher - thinks he is putting out love to Keith Olbermann over a vintage Dodgers player sweater as “the best of the bunch!” But you and I know that it is PCL vintage. LA Angels............Classic Detroit. They can’t even blow itself up right............