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All Hallow’s Winks: Scary Times for Options

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Now is the time for players and franchises to sort out their plans for 2019.

World Series - Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Six
It’s just costume makeup, people. Don’t freak out.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

It’s Halloween. The missus and I were supposed to be in Derry, Ireland right now for the holiday but other family obligations take precedence. We will try and get there next year, though. It’s supposed to be Ground Zero for Halloween in Europe. Can’t miss that!

So, now candy for you. This is all I got. Good luck with your doorbell tonight. Me? I’ll be knocking at CC Sabathia’s door..........

Moving right along with Spooky-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

With new managers getting installed throughout MLB, the next turn on the job carousel comes from the coaching staffs. I feel for those involved, because getting a paying job is never guaranteed. But here in Anaheim, Charles Nagy is out as pitching coach and Doug White is in, joining the Angels from Houston, where he was bullpen coach. We fans get to pick our wish: is White the reason for Astros pitcher health, or is White the reason for Astros pitcher dominance? I’m praying for health, although that horse already left our barn.............

Life goes on for minor league prospects. It was not the best of days for LAA prospects..........But we do have All-Stars!...........

It appears that even the MLB players themselves have tired of getting ground into the dust of insignificance by the steady, overpowering, juggernaut of Mike Trout. the MLBPA announced their finalists for Outstanding Player of the American League, and those three candidates are Mookie Betts, Jose Ramirez and J.D. Martinez. Those would be numbers 1, 3 and 7 on the final fWAR list for the season, a list that the MLBPA even quotes. Martinez, in case you are not keeping track, was not as good as Trout with a bat, and contributed pretty much nothing at all with a glove.........


I am going to keep this up here until the event, as a reminder. JeffJoiner directs us all to the annual opportunity for we fans to join the Halos in giving back to our community. The Groundskeepers are hosting their 12th Annual Canned Food Drive Friday, November 16th thru Sunday, November 18th at Angel Stadium.


Everywhere In Baseball

Rob Manfred is sooooo frustrated. He and FOX and the MSM all got their wish of a Red Sox versus Dodgers World Series. Everybody was supposed to drop everything and watch the hell out of THAT! Red Sox Nation! Dodger Nation! Of course everybody wants to watch what ESPN wants them to watch, right? RIGHT?? Wrong. Dead wrong. Very dead wrong. There are reasons, though. FanGraphs rolls through them. One would be that TV viewership is falling in general, and taking everything with it. Baseball is not being treated special here. I stick by my own observations, Those would be that, no, we are NOT in love with the Red Sox or Dodgers...and, yes, the product itself pretty much sucked............

Well, the Mets went and did it. They hired big time sports agent with active MLB players, Brodie Van Wagenen, to be their next GM. One of those players is, of course, current Met Jacob deGrom, who enters his first arbitration cycle. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon jumped in front of the conflict of interest bus at the presser and we learned that there have been a lot of talks with lawyers from all sides about how BVW (that’s what he is gonna be on Links, unless he calls me and let’s me just call him “Brodie”) can engage in certain negotiations. But there is no getting around the fact that he carries into his new office a lot of insider info from the opposing side. If I were an agent I sure would deal with the Mets a lot more carefully than elsewhere..........

Transaction flurries spread across the idle landscape yesterday. Only time will tell if it means anything to us. If not, just delete this entire paragraph. Or, at least delete it from your memory banks and create space for more worthy stuff. Like tomorrow’s twitter meme. Lots of players have team options at the tail ends of their base contracts. This is a good time for teams to decide whether or not that player is worthy...As far as Toronto is concerned, Justin Smoak is worthy......around the rest of the league, James Shields was not picked up.....Paul Goldschmidt’s = YES (duh).....Ervin Santana and Logan Morrison = NO.....Madison Bumgarner (duh) and Pablo Sandoval (wtf?) = YES.....Carlos Carrasco = YES but Brandon Guyer = NO.....Chris Sale = HELL YES.....Sean Doolittle = YES.....Gerardo Perra = NO.....Brandon Kintzler = NO...........Denard Span = NO..........Jason Hammels = NO...........

Meanwhile, the Rangers can’t rid themselves of Elvis Andrus..........And JT Realmuto is not going to be signing any contract extensions. Realmuto is merely entering his arb years now and Free Agency doesn’t hit until 2021, but this news might prompt Derek Jeter to see if Realmuto can be moved for lots and lots of cheap prospects..........And Mike Moustakas and Joakim Soria are choosing Free Agency over the Brewers. Moustakas must be a glutton for punishment..........

And, truly intriguing, it’s time for teams to figure out whether or not to issue Qualifying Offers. And then for players to consider whether or not to accept them. As we have seen, it’s a bold new world over in QO land with the new rules, the new offer rates, and the overall trend of the FA market...........

The Giants might be happy mocking the Dodgers failing to actually win any of these Word Series that the the LADs are getting into, but they are not above thinking about stealing away the Dodgers’ brain trust..........

But about that LAD brain trust. The Feds might want to, er, ‘draft’ some of them before SFG can come doing their raiding.............

Part 4 of the fantastic photo essay series “Images of Béisbol in Mexico”. That lead shot of Babe Ruth is fantastic.............

Man, The Athletic keeps getting some serious financial support.........


The Duffle Bag

Really? The Hall Of Fame collected some stuff from the 2018 World Series. But white gloves???.............Color me wrong, but are not a mere 18 years into this century? Doesn’t this mean that we still have 82 seasons to go? So maybe it’s a tad early to vote the Red Sox as Team Of The Century?...........Hell, ESPN can’t even be talked into keeping the Red Sox the Team Of The Now.............I am so old, I can remember when the world got it’s SECOND boxing champion belt, and chaos ensued. Now we have come to this.........