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Thor’sLinks: Still quiet on the Western Front

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What’s your guess? Is Eppler done, or skiiing, or being stealthy once again?

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Scouring the news tubes this week, it jumped out at me that things have gotten really quiet in Anaheim again. Not quiet as in “waah, the off-season is so slow” kinda quiet. Quiet as in “everybody must still be on holiday” kinda quiet.

Not that I blame them. The local freeways and office parking structures are lighter than normal and I am decidedly envious. But is that the real reason the Angels have dropped back off the radar after devastating the Winter Meetings with major activity?

What’s your guess? Is Billy Eppler on vacation? Or is he pretty much done with everything but the pots and pans? Or has he taken the Front Office back down below the radar once again as he pursues pitching?

Moving on with Back-Under-The-Radar-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Darin Erstad is officially on board with us in the Shohei Ohtani hype party.........

How about some LAA infield defense porn? Geez, is our left side gonna be sick!..........

There is a lot of serious weather back east, and it’s about to get worse......So Mike Trout is loving it!..........

When I found out that somebody went off and wrote an article about what EVERY team still needs to do, I was naturally curious about what they thought of the Angels. TL;DR results in add more starters because 2016’s were injured, and upgrade the bullpen. This is not unlike a lot of discussion around here. So is it the assumption that that the 2016 health problems remain? Do we need to staff 12 quality starters ahead of Spring so that maybe we can find 6 that we can use? And about that bullpen...doesn’t anybody remember that it was one of the very best in all of MLB already? Sure, I know that the best approach is to assume a need a reset a bullpen every Spring, but if that is true for one team, it should be true for all teams. Conversely, if ZIPs says that the Yankees pen is going to be mind-blowing, and that pen is predominantly the same as last year, why is it assumed that an already strong LA pen will be bad?..........

Rick Souddress went into Dan Szymborski’s live chat yesterday (scroll to 2:54), and asked Dan about 2018 AL RoY projections. Clearly, Rick was bating Dan into more Ohtani drool. Dan, though, punted and shanked his punt. He redirected to an Insiders article he had written back in November. I’m sure, though, that his ESPN article clearly articulates how the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani runs away with it..........(By the way, scroll down further to 3:04 and see a public admission as to how large is the range for error in projections.)..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Wrigley Field, allow me to introduce you to the American Disabilities Act...........

How is it that a study on Dodger Stadium, and how fly balls appear to be carrying more than ever, could leave out Angel Stadium as a comparison when focusing on Local Effects? In any event, the conclusion is that it’s just a function of the rising home run rates all over the place..........

ESPN appears to have fallen back in love with ARod, (first reported here) now that such love could bring them real money..........

.Citizens of Arlington! Now you can use webcam technology you paid for to watch the stadium you are paying for rise in replacement of the stadium you already paid for and know when it is finished so that you can pay to use it, all for the benefit of this poor chap..........


Hot Stove

Writers remain seriously flummoxed this winter by the way that roster activity is far slower than in past off-seasons. On these pages, we have been pointing to all the reasons for any differences. Months ago we were pointing to how (relatively) sour this particular crop of FA’s would be. (fellow outsiders over at reddit is catching up to that one.) We have also noted, at least as far as a year ago, references to FO’s trending away from older sluggers and towards younger players with more versatile repertoire. And very recently we see trends of money and emphasis towards bullpens. And some are noticing that FO’s are now playing the Scott Boras Waiting Game, turning the panic button the other way. So this bit from Buster Olney about the evaporating middle class in Baseball is pretty old news. Either he is recycling his stories or he is 18 months late to the modern reality..........

Eric Hosmer now has MULTIPLE 7-year offers. Both the Padres and the Royals are eager to reward that middle class............

What? Teams are not willing to surrender a Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson on the cheap? Bookmark that link boys and girls. It will come in handy when you read those asinine trade-for-Trout schemes..........

It was admitted recently that the Marlins were, indeed, open to moving Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto, their last two remaining stars. One should assume that lots of teams either took a call from Derek Jeter or placed a call, just to know the asking price. One of those many teams might even have been the Atlanta Braves. And if you are an intern with those Braves, you too can be mildly influential in your own mind by secretly becoming a “source” for obvious conjecture..........


The Duffle Bag

More baseball jobs to be had! Here are some Front Office roles with the Salt Lake Bees..........And here is an R&D Internship with the Washington Nationals..........To celebrate their 50th anniversary in Oakland this season, the A’s will be hosting a ‘Take Down The Tarps Day’..........Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!..........