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HumpLinks: Picking up the last minute gifts

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As we get down to the last week of the off-season, there is a scramble to sign and get signed among the remaining FA on the discount shelves.

J. Meric/Getty Images

Wow. One week left until camps open and all of a sudden we are seeing a flurry of small deals being signed. Lots of one-year things. Lots of minor-league things. It's as if somebody lit up the blue light on aisle 9.

Do some Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Heaven only knows how to project the Angels for 2017. On the upside, that means that everybody is going to get the LAA projections wrong, anyway and that makes for fun commentary by fans. On the downside, as I have written before, these projections are hiding from us all their margin for error (PECOTA is +/- 8 full games), which is huge enough that they will all walk away claiming to be right all along..........

But if you really want to go deep on LAA chances, you can take the PECOTA dance even further over at Baseball Prospectus..........

Question: how many of us really want to see an Albert Pujols still plugging away on this team, and at his pay rate, for 4 more years even if he is able to keep posting a 2.5 WAR per year?...........

Holes filled in 2B and LF don't mean much for your overall chances when your rotation, completely devastated in early 2015, still hasn't been repaired and ranks down at 26th out of 30 MLB teams...........

Come on, what else could you POSSIBLY have going on next Tuesday, February 14th?? Let's all live blog the Fox Sports special "Angels Live: Offseason Special"............


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Everywhere In Baseball

MLB.tv info for 2017 is being released. The traditional out-of-market plan that is cool for baseball fans that don't actually live in any area where the team they follows would be playing in their blackout geo, comes in at $113 for the year, and included the At-Bat app for free ($20 value). There is a Follow Your Team offering coming that will be another $10, but details on this are not published yet...........

Oh, sure, the proposed strike zone change ain't really about pace of game as it is about getting batters to swing and put the ball into play more often. In dealing with the information appetite of the up and coming potential fan base (like how I completely neutered the typical "crappy attention span of millennials" meme, there?), Major Leagueu Baseball worries about there not being enough actual actionThis is something that Grant Brisbee touches on here. Grant compares baseball to football (which is dying, by the way). I would wish to point out the obvious: just because a football game and a baseball game last pretty much the same in real time, the only reason that football seems more exciting is because the broadcaster shows every play at least three times. So each game, as broadcast, is once live and twice repeats all in the same window. Football gets to do that, because each event in that sport is non-trivial. Baseball broadcasters are migrating to similar things, now that they have stuff like pitch tracking and StatCast graphics to overlay on top of their replays. But the game format itself is not the same. So the Commissioner is looking to inject real action...........

Try and keep up! You might have just gotten a grasp on the idea of spin rate from pitchers and how important it is to follow that. Well, science is a bitch. Spin rate ain't just one thing, and the statheads are already off and running with all the other aspects of ball rotation that go into any kind of "spin rate" you might be thinking about..........

The other day there was some small amount of HH dialog concerning MLB information technology security, all as a fallout of the Astros hack. If you missed that, or if you want to pursue more of this, FanGraphs has a nice article and it also has some great links outward. But keep reading that article, because it REALLY dives into the idea that the current state of MLB is to rehash over all the existing ideas concerning analytics, rather than pushing in 30 directions to find new ideas and new approaches and discover new POV's. It's not an uncommon trait within or between non-baseball institutions..........

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Trade Winds

There is a lot of last minute signing traffic at play right now. A lot of one-year deals and minor-league deals. Too much for here so just browse for yourself if interested. The juiciest are below:

Mike Napoli has himself a one-year deal, back in Arlington. So much for having to wait until Valentine's Day...........Steve Fryer over at ocregister is going bonkers at the idea. He may end up being right, but this will be the 35-year old version of Naps we are talking about, not the 29-year old version of 2011 that torched us in his first tour out of Arlington...........

More one-year deals for sluggers. This time it's Chris Carter and the Yankees..........

Erick Aybar snatched up a minor-league deal with the Padres. I am assuming a Spring Training invite is in there, too, giving him the chance to make the MLB squad...........

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The Duffle Bag

(h/t to reddit) The Cards are jumping on the Cubs marketing bandwagon. Gotta look close...........(h/t UniWatch) What if we get around to rebranding the Cleveland franchise? The Spiders still remain a fan favorite. Here is one fan fave winning uni concept. (Keep in mind that the Cleveland legacy of the Spiders is not so glorious.)..........If Rod Carew had collected just 32 more hits over his 7 years in Anaheim he, too, would have made this list alongside Vladdie..........

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Halo-Oppo-ly

What? You thought I was going to forget about Chance/Community Chest cards??

03-COMM-INJURY

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