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Thor’sLinks: Winter Goes Bonkers

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Too little action over too long of a time as Machado/Harper tactics clog the FA drain, leads to frayed emotions.

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Well, there we have it. Many years ago Scott Boras taught us all that if he held out on letting his clients sign offers, the offers go up. Until very recently, they ONLY went up. It took quite a long time before all the other agents caught on, but they have. Now it’s a copy cat game. Late January is the season. Not November so much, nor December. It’s a crazy thing when the off-season begins with 165 guys looking for new contracts (source: MLBTR).

First the news hounds get frustrated. Then the fans. Then the weekend lawyers start popping up inventing all kinds of angles for bad, even illegal, behavior. Finally, guys start getting signed and things start normalizing and everybody gets a chance to analyze the results and we all (well, most of us) get a grip on how the industry is evolving. This cycle has been ongoing for 2 or 3 off-seasons now.

Well, the jig is up. 2 or 3 times in this day of 24-minute news cycles is enough already. So we add a new step to the cycle: somebody starts spreading news that is either irrationally wrong, or embarrassingly right. It scares all the birds out of the bushes so that all the shooting can begin. That was yesterday.

You will find out below, here in these Watching-Nature-Solve-The-Drought-Only-To-Watch-It-All-Get-Funneled-Back-Out-To-Sea-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Trout Porn. What this is is saying is that, for example, the very best single season that Jimmie Foxx ever tossed out was the equivalent of Mike Trout’s 2012 season. And the very best season of Roberto Clemente was Trout’s 2013, etc........

So, get serious. What would it take to retain the services of Mike Trout?..........

Yesterday was the day AFTER the day marked as a most meaningful day on the LAA calendar. It was also the day that was Albert Pujols’ birthday. Everyone wants to say that he is 39 now, but..........And reddit gives us his historical hit chart to celebrate...........

Any deal can be a Big Splash, if the water container is small enough. Such it is with the Angels, who are stocking the franchise to help get Mike Trout into the playoffs by signing Kevin Kelleher.....and Erick Salcedo......Kelleher comes to us via the Driveline Pro Day Preview. That story has Disney movie written all over it..........


Everywhere In Baseball

MLB will be broadcasting the Hall Of Fame voting on Tuesday night, 3PM PST, on the MLB Network. The MLB.com writers show off their votes...........

Pro Baseball arrives in Kenya............

At the bottom, lots of teams are trying to lose. At the top, a small set of teams are trying to claim crowns while their window is wide open. But only a couple of teams are trying to advance out of that middle tier. (Hint: the Angels are not one of them.)...........

The Cubs, having failed to win the World Series since 20 frikkin’ 16, and choosing to NOT try and make themselves relevant again by pursing Kris Bryant’s best buddy Bryce Harper, have themselves a ticked-off fan base. And the owners still want the fans’ money, but not their input...........

The MLB aritration system turns out to be rather under-developed considering what we know about valuing players using modern information systems. Let’s see if Sheryl Ring at FanGraphs actually finishes this review series. I will link to each as they come............

Just a few baseball stories to fill your off-season day.............

(h/t reddit) A day in the life of a hot dog vendor..............

Bartolo Colon has still got it. King of the 3-ball count............

The Yankees are certainly committed to having the largest average strike zone in MLB..........

We are still weeks away from Spring Training, but we already have our first stupid non-baseball injury to a baseball player story............


Hot Stove

And the hot stove goes kaboom! This long, drawn out, process that teams and agents go through to drag negotiations out to the period of desperation has come back to bite everybody doing the Manny Machado operetta in the butt. As the speculation rises, and the rumors start bouncing off one another driving rumor-mongers and the principals crazy, things can eventually get out of hand. With Machado, things started on Monday with arguments whether the White Sox had offered 7 years or 8, and whether or not they had held firm or actually continued to negotiate. Then, on Tuesday, more leaks crept out, this time claiming that the White Sox were actually low-balling Machado all along, at $175 million for 7 years. And that Machado actually is demanding to top the Giancarlo Stanton contract. Oh, and yeah, don’t forget that we have mystery teams.....Well, $175 million for Machado is insulting. Something is seriously amiss. After thinking about it a little while, the MSM starts to admit that this rumor is bonkers.....Well, if there is one thing that an agent cannot abide, it would be losing control of the information food chain. It’s the most powerful negotiating weapon they have. And all this free sharing of uncontrolled information, especially if wrong, is gonna piss off an agent. And it did. It really, really did..........

Scot Boras conned Jon Heyman into wasting some Internet photons warning the Phillies and Nationals that if they fail to step up and pay Scott Boras’ asking price (which is probably something akin to claiming that the other team is offering 10% more than what they are offering). Scott Boras has a whole bunch of other teams just salivating to rush in and pay Scott Boras’ asking price...........

When not a lot of stuff is actually going on, those who write a lot of stuff, instead, go on and on about the smallest of things. Here we have FanGraphs diving into the Angels/Twins swap of John Curtiss and Daniel Ozoria.............

Wilmor Flores is enjoying tears of joy today, signing with the DBacks for $3.75 million on a 1-year deal with a $6 million option.............

Here is an interesting mental exercise (it seems like it happens every year now): build a team out of Free Agents with no contracts and see how strong that team would be. In this case, 88 wins. Not good enough to get into the AL playoffs last year. The part that the exercise leaves out is how much that team would cost if an owner paid all of them their asking price?...........


The Duffle Bag

This curious fellow prompts a thought: where was the location furthest from Anaheim where you spotted an Angels ballcap?...........Mike Trout loves the weather. Bryce Harper gets the weather cred..........Girl meets ARod. Surprised how much he looks just like Mr.s J-Lo.............(h/t UniWatch) If you are a high school intent on ripping off a pro logo, why stop at only one?............