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MondoLinks: Another scuttle of coal

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Things are heating up for Harper and Machado

Toronto Blue Jays v California Angels Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

We are hearing more serious rumors about Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. We are getting the sense that offers are being typed up now and we might get decisions in the next 2 weeks. Those 2 deals alone could pump $600 million into the MLB player payroll bucket, which would vastly change the math underpinning the MSM complaints. And it should open up a rash of follow-on deals as the losers rush to grab the best of the tier 2 Free Agents while there is still time. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Head colds are so annoying. Not bad enough to shut a body down completely, but bad enough to wish you were dead. Not even baseball helps. I know. Too well at the moment.

But Halo fans are everywhere. And we are in January, where lots of places get clobbered by the weather, as lots of places are. Odds are that you will get your head cold soon enough.

Until then, leave me in peace and have some Weather-Beater-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

As you know by now, the Angels signed all of their arb players, avoiding the hearing process. Jeff Fletcher, who has been trying to keep up with such things, believes that Eppler is currently sitting at a projected $178 million, with an AAV calculation for 2019 set at $161 million. And, because everybody wants to think that the luxury...uh...er...umm...”Competitive Balance” tax is some kind of real spending limit, $208 million is brought back up just to let you know that Arte has about $47 million in headroom...........

Griffin Canning on Rookie Development Camp...........

Shohei Ohtani being honored with what I think might be a Mickey Panda king doll on a pedestal?..........

How about some Trout Porn? Ok!.....Roaring up the WAR ladder.....And devastatingly youthful.....And 4% of people armed with a Twitter account are unworthy of their oxygen allotment...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Today is Kyler Murray Day. Kyler has to decide today whether or not to declare for this year’s NFL draft, scheduled to begin April 25th . It’s good to be king, even for a day.....Oakland is in full court press mode, hoping to protect their draft commitment. Murray is sitting pretty. Since he already signed the Oakland offer, the A’s cannot claim that they lost their pick and get one back in June. And Murray has solid, realistic, career alternatives.....So, as a player should when they have all the leverage, he is believed to be asking for $15 million - a nearly $10 million jump - to stick with baseball.....(Over in football land, this is the equivalent of the 14th pick in the NFL draft.).....Now, this kind of deal requires special dispensation from the baseball legal pope because the A’s already have a contract with Murray, one significantly smaller. Teams are not allowed to go signing a new player into MLB at one low price, and then turn around and tear that contract up to be replaced with a higher one. That would be draft slot bonus pool shenanigans. MLB is allowing Oakland to bump up Murray’s offer because of Kyler’s career alternative? Because Murray, for instance, can play football as opposed to Japan League Baseball?.........The “official” story, routed via Jeff Passan (and here), makes no sense to me at all.....It’s all OK because Murray signed a minor deal first? Seems like an all-too simple loophole that everybody could be doing, all the time.........

So what’s the right decision? Kyler Murray would be an idiot to play baseball.....Or....Kyler Murray would be an idiot to play football..........

We are going to be reading more and more stories projecting labor problems with the next CBA in 2022. It’s an easy thing to predict since we have already seen enough grumbling over the past year. Fundamentally, a lot of the friction comes from Front Offices moving roster slots away from aged veterans to younger players entering their athletic peaks. The old saw of owners battling egos to land brand-name players on the downside of their career are gone. Players exploited the hell out of that for 40 years. Good for them. But now such decisions are being made by more rational, numerically aware, analysts. That happened all too fast and the framework for compensation is out of whack, and out of date. And guys like Jake Arrieta have been caught out in the cold, and are kind of pissed about it..........

It’s rainy this week. Curl up with a review of the oddities of the 2018 season..........

FOX does not want back those RSN’s that they sold to Disney............


Hot Stove

Addison Russell, smack in the middle of serving a suspension and staining the reputation of the entire Cubs organization, gets a raise.....Not a very big one. But one..........

Jacob deGrom and the Mets settle for a record $17 million deal. That record will not even last out the day...........Mookie Betts avoided arb with a $20 million record deal...........Which means nothing, because the new record will be recorded in a few weeks when the arbitration panel chooses between the numbers of the Rockies and Nolan Arenado. Areando wants $30 million, and the Rockies want to pay $24 million. Both of those, and all the numbers in between, beat Mookie’s deal and will set the new record............

By signing Jed Lowrie, the Mets are either cornering the market on infielders, or they feel confident that Commissioner Manfred is not going to outlaw the shift, and they will be well-stocked with guys to load up in the right side of the field...........

Hey, 10 year deals are great! 10 year deals are safe!! Look at this data. Every deal not done by a George Steinbrenner or an Arte Moreno has created plus value...........

So, with 10-year deals being something that should come back into vogue, let’s hear it for the Phillies! Philadelphia flew out to Las Vegas (for business! really!) and spent 5 hours of their own with Bryce Harper. And, just as with what happened after Harper gave the Nationals 5 hours a few weeks ago, heads were turned. Everybody thinks that the Phillies are now the fave. So much the fave that maybe they are walking out of the Manny Machado circus so that they can focus on winning Harper............Their offer may come this week...........

Tampa Bay is still chasing their own two-way roster advantage. If they cannot have Ohtani, they might always have Matt Davidson..........

Upcoming FA classes are freaking LOADED. This run will expose the 2017-2018 class as the undeserving joke that it was...........


The Duffle Bag

Here cometh the return of The Chicken!!!!...........MSM old guard Thomas Boswell, being obtuse. I hope that it is intentional, and not accidental..........We are in The Winter Leagues, when player hone their bat flip skills.............Yasiel Puig is Cincinnati’s fun zone now...........