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HumpLinks: Hot Stove Hot. Too hot?

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Hanukkah Halos - Al Levine and Scott Schoenweis

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This winter’s Free Agent season is shaping up to be the antidote to last winter’s grumblings among agents, scribes and union bosses. Patrick Corbin was always expected to go high, but he actually went OVER lofty predictions. More important, his deal did not drag out to January/February. It has ignited December, coming right after some blockbuster trades.

And Winter Meetings don’t even start until December 9th.

The fires may be stoked too high for our comfort levels. That just means that we may have to get a little uncomfortable.

Slurp up these Somebody-Has-Loaded-Too-Much-Coal-Into-The-Hot-Stove-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

It’s that time of year again, when Angels Stadium gets destroyed for alternate events. We begin with Golfing In The Outfield, December 13 through 16......

Then, we get Trucking Through The Muck, which will be January through February. Pick your rainy evening Jam session..........

(We really need to take advantage of the Monster Jam rough roads and winter rains, and stock some of those resultant puddles with some freshwater fish. Then I can use the phrase “Anglers In The Outfield” and fans can “can their own Trout”.)..........

But of course. Scott Boras is going to allow Yusei Kikuchi to sign with the Angels, for whatever the Angels are comfortable paying, because Kikuchi and Shohei Ohtani both went to the same high school. Hell, almost at the same time! Makes perfect sense to me............

Billy Eppler adding to his FO brain trust..........


Everywhere In Baseball

There are still some teams which refuse to trust Trader Jerry.............

The great Willie Mays finished his career where it started, back in New York. He played a smidgen of games in each of 2 seasons (1972 & 1973), wearing his number 24. Yeah, he was great, but not for the Mets. And that was never enough to convince the Mets to retire his jersey number. But since that ‘73 season, only 2 players have worn that #, Kelvin Torve in 1990, and Rickey Henderson in 1999 & 2000). Well, here comes Robinson Cano, who has been wearing #22 in Seattle, but had been #24 when a Yankee (except during his rookie year of 2005, when Tito Martinez was still active and wearing #24). Cano, back in New York, wants to go back to #24. Should Cano be wearing Mays’ Mets jersey #?..........

MLB Winter Meetings are next week. Start gearing up. First installment, the AL East..........Wait. No. No it’s not. First up in the NL East..........(This may end up as another one of those times when all the divisions are published in time except the AL West.)..........

Jeff Wilpon, when he is not out in the African jungle tracking gorillas, has decided to open up the wallets with the Mets now. Now, we all know quite a lot about the Wilpon‘s personal financial struggles. Oh, sure, they can blame Bernie Madoff, but all Madoff did to the Wilpon’s was tempt their greed for easy insider money, something that could only have come at somebody else’s expense. The Wilpons were happy to be greedy and inside the financial game. So this smells familiar to me. It reeks of the Marlins. Spend a bunch that cannot be afforded long term, win big, then cash out and dump all the too-expensive talent. Time will tell..........

Youth shall be served. Except when it comes to the money. That still goes to the older guys. Something has gotta give..........(Although one older guy is still doing quite well.)

Forget Portland. MLB will expand to Montreal, although they should expand to San Antonio. Thus sayeth the the ESPN..........

(h/t UniWatch) One of the most fun things I get to trip across as I go hunting each day, are those moments when some rare baseball artifact pops up and the researchers go digging to identify provenance. Such is the case with this historic photograph...........

New Era might not be able to close that home town manufacturing facility in New York, sending the last of their work product for you and me overseas, after all. Laws and rules and such..........


Hot Stove

Corbin goes BOOM! It’s only December 5th, and already Patrick Corbin is off the boards, with the Nationals looking to beat back the Mets winter aggression with a blockbuster deal of their own (Corbin was supposed to wait until December 30th to sign in order to make MLB happy). Corbin gets 6 years, $140 million. (I’ll save you the math. That’s $23.33 million AAV.).....That would be the Nats outbidding the Phillies, who were not going to be outbid.....Especially since the Phillies were supposed to be in the ‘strong position’. Unless that rumor was coming from Corbin’s agent, smelling desparation coming from DC and a chance to snag another $20 million for his client.....Now you understand that eBay short story I gave you yesterday. And that deadly silence you are hearing from across the land are all the pro-labor collusion whiners from last winter.............

With Corbin gone, there goes your shot at an affordable J.A. Happ...........

Now Bryce Harper sits in the throne of mass love, and the Harper rumors are all over the place.....Magic Johnson led the Dodgers to Vegas to join the fray and woo Harper in person.....No he did not.....In fact lots of teams are flying in to Vegas to whoop it up on the company expense account meet with Harper and his team for heavy selling.....Humorously, among those would be the Chicago White Sox. The same White Sox that went 62 - 100 in the MiLB AL Central. Yeah, they want Harper love. They want it so bad they sent Jim Thome to lobby on their behalf. Now just think about that one a second. Thome spent 22 years in the Majors. 13 of those were with Cleveland. He was elected to the Hall of Fame just last year, and he was enshrined with a Cleveland cap. And the White Sox, who could have chosen a Frank Thomas or a Robin Ventura or, hell, even a Carlton Fisk, chose a Cleveland Indian who once made a pit stop on the South Side..........

Well, if the Mets are not looking to trade Noah Syndergaard “for a package of prospects”, what might they be willing to trade him for? Specifically, they will trade him only to fill certain roster holes. Which would be??..........

Here is another of those 1-year deals that will rain upon us all winter. Robinson Chrinos signed with the Astros. Chrinos was the primary catcher for the Rangers.........


The Duffle Bag

Yu Darvish’s son, looking for advice from dad on how to lay off the high stuff.............(h/t reddit): Never give up your dream, kid!..........Two days ago it was Trevor Bauer and his drone (again). Yesterday it was Alex Gordon crashing into a deer...........Hot reddit find. Somebody is thinking about making a Josh Hamilton movie?? how does anybody even find such a thing?........Self explanatory tweet..........