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MondoLinks: Hot Stove gets fresh Cole

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29 Days until Pitchers and Catchers report! (fixed to correct for missed weekend)

Toronto Blue Jays v California Angels Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images

I guess that all that is left of the Winter is for all the remaining Free Agents to find a home. We have a few weeks. No need to rush. But let’s get ourselves something nice to round out our off-season, OK?

It would be lovely to put Houston on notice that we are not going to surrender the AL West flag before the campaign even begins, just because they went out and created a log jam amidst their starting rotation.

Enjoy these Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Day-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

In cae it was missed last week, the Garret Richards anti-arb deal does call for $7.3 million for 2018...BUT...that money is NOT guaranteed. In other words, if that GR Stem Therapy fails over a full season of workload, Richards stops getting paid...........

Baseball-America offers up their take on the Top 10 LAA prospects..........

More injustice for Andrelton Simmons. Somebody would really rather have Trea Turner??. The two had relatively similar offensive lines, but Simmons lapped Turner on defense something like 4 times over..............

Yeah, I’d be OK with a 40-home run season out of Mike Trout. But, to be honest, I am of the belief that he was on his way to a 45-50 home run season least year when he hurt himself............

Nate Smith, first DFA’d, was outrighted entirely. But, since he cleared waivers, he is not expected to actually leave the organization while he recovers from surgery............


Everywhere In Baseball

Let’s take a moment to kick off general news with a moment of reflection over the death of legendary sports broadcaster Keith Jackson. Jackson, who was 89, not only made a significant mark on American sports, but because of the nature of his contributions shall remain immortal............

Josh Donaldson scored pretty big. Setting a record for arbitration, Donaldson landed a $23 million deal for 2018. That’s kind of crazy talk, right there. But the crazy part (to me) are the years of service. Donaldson is still in his arb years?? He’s 32 years old! Looking it up, he hits the FA market after 2018 with just over 6 official seasons to his record. I have not followed Donaldson’s career start close enough to notice this before. It’s a total surprise to me. Imagine, though...Donaldson has earned 37.3 bWAR to date. His first cup of coffee was when he got into 14 games at the tender age of 24. By the time Mike Trout finished his playing time when he was 24, he had already accumulated 48.6 bWAR, 2 MVP’s and 3 runners up, and 1 RoY, all to go with his 168 home runs as part of his 917 hits..........

Kris Bryant also set an arbitration record. His $10.85 million contract for 2018 is a new first-year high.............

Tom Rickets, owner of the Cubs, is extending a peace pipe to Sammy Sosa to welcome Sosa back into the Chicago family. But Sosa cannot take a hit off that peace pipe unless he announces publicly that he used PEDs. So that presumes, of course, that Sosa took the PEDs that Rickets wants his to confess about..........

Do you remember Dustin Fowler, the prized Yankee prospect who made his debut against the White Sox, getting injured trying to make a play in his very first MLB game? Do you know that Fowler has never played since? He knows. He knows very well. He is suing the White Sox for the shitty electrical box they have exposed along that right field wall. As it is, Fowler has recovered from surgery and, now with the A’s, is expected to be ready for Spring Training..............

John Mozeliak, President of Baseball Operations with the Cardinals, dislikes the DH. But he sees still that things are trending towards the DH in the National League............


Hot Stove

The big deal over the weekend was the Astros making the trade with the Pirates for Gerrit Cole. Making a trade is rather generous, since the Astros received Cole and the Pirates received a collection of curiosities..........FanGraphs projects the return to the Pirates as a lot of nothing (full disclosure: prior to getting Cozart, I was considering a trade play for Colin Moran)...........The Astros, knowing that their window is open NOW, are doing their damned best to nail it as wide open as possible. We can assume that they might not have done this deal if it drained their system to any significant degree, which it did not, but as competitors we really would rather have liked to see the Astros burn their own pipeline trying to hold that window open, kind of like the Rangers did. But, no............And make no mistake, Houston sure has the promise to make Cole into an even better pitcher than he has been..........

But of course, everything done is Baseball is really all about the Yankees. So with Cole going to Houston, what are the Yankees to do now?.........

The Padres stayed active, extending Brad Hand with a 3-year deal...........

And the Mets have offered up a warm bed and hot meal to Adrian Gonzalez.............

And the Twins took Addison Reed off the market...........

The Cardinals, who certainly have been acting like a small-market franchise lately, is showing signs of hot stove life, looking to fetch for themselves Chris Archer away from the Tamp Bay Rays..........

The Reds are looking to wake up form their long Winter nap, too, seeking signees out of the Free Agent reliever market aisle, beginning with David Hernandez...........

Some GM’s open up about why this Winter differs from those prior.....If you have been reading me droning on and on over these past couple of months, their reasons should come as no great epiphany. The top reasons given are that (A) teams are smart now, (B) the owners are smarter, too, and have already sunk billions into just getting a handle over their franchise, (C) this market is not that great, and (D) next year is going to be awesome. Ok, so I didn’t nail that point (B). But I do better than Tom Verducci, who as a guy with access and nothing else to do but know this shit should know. Verducci wants to keep harping on the dastardly CBA. He also wants to blame the juiced baseball, and Scott Boras’ past behavior.....But one reason outside of that GM conversation is that franchises no longer place as much merit of that Lyle Spencer/Murray Chass concept of ‘clubhouse leader’...........


The Duffle Bag

Gee, ESPN, are you people NOT in the business of information sharing? So why finally shut your trap when the potential issue is...YOU..............Cubs owner Tom Rickets trying to explain why they tried to buy off their guilt over The Bartman, by giving him a WS ring.............This is a long form, not a tidbit, but it’s pretty obscure anyway so I put it here. A review of the very fine 1983 Topps baseball set AND the Lee Mazzili featured in that set..........