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TuesdoLinks: Hall Of Fame Day

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Let the cele-debating begin!

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Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

For one day, let’s forget about Bryce Machado and focus on history. Sorry if you are some other FA trying to get a gig for 2019 and can’t afford to be forgotten for even one day. Hall Of Fame announcements come later this afternoon and we will all have to work harder to make it up on the FA front tomorrow.

Who ya got?

The BBWAA continues to reject my weekly application. I write it off as some need to create balance in their organization. Too many old white guys already. But I DO vote annually in the IBBWA balloting (I believe that, at least, Jessica does as well). Our club does not have the exact same ballot as the old guard because we don’t have the same hangups. Some guys still trying to get in on the geezer balloting (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina) are already enshrined in our not-shilling-for-the-MLB-Front-Office hallowed virtual Hall. For the record, the IBWAA does not (yet) issue a ballot for contributors. Else electing a guy such as Bill James would be a no-brainer.

So this year, with my 10 votes, I nominated Lance Berkman/Roy Halladay/Fred McGriff/Andy Pettite/Manny Ramirez/Mariano Rivera/Scott Rolen/Curt Schilling/Gary Sheffield/Larry Walker. A couple of those I was on the fence about until Tony La Russa conned his committee into going all Harold Baines.

Them is mine and, again, who ya’ got?

have some Sweetly-Distracted-Away-From-FA-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Shohei Coming To America...........Where he will be joined by Albert Pujols Wednesday night at The Pond Honda Center..........And then Ohtani will get a check-up, which might inform the LAA Front Office (not us, people, hell no not us) as his projected availability in 2019 as a DH..........

The Angels picked up Cody Allen. I hinted to y’all yesterday that this is the kind of LAA pitching thing that looks solid in January, but breaks apart come June. The Halos have a 2016-2018 pitching legacy to defeat, and Allen and his rapidly diminishing fastball fits into that framework all too well. All that you already know. The NEW news from yesterday is that in order to get Allen, Eppler had to go to Arte and ask that Arte “stretch the budget”. This tells us that (A) Eppler had a budget and, (B) that budget was set by Arte. If you are following Jeff Fletcher as he tries to keep track of LAA player payroll expenses, Allen takes the AAV to just over $169 million, with an actual of almost $187 million. SportTrac would suggest that this is a $20 million increase over 2018. Those numbers, if accurate, represent a 12% increase in payroll and Arte can be removed from all the Evil Rich Owner cheating the players talk. On the other hand, the tax threshold is $206 million for 2019. measured against AAV, that means that Arte still has about $36 million in headroom, or 21%. You always want to leave some space in case you make a mid-season deal to get a high-powered player or two during a playoff run, but I still say that this season, and the next, are the years that Arte should be pushing the payroll past his pain point until his farm system takes over...........

By the way, yeah, that’s our George Kaplan there in the twitter comments. Good on him, but I don’t share his enthusiasm. I made the mistake of placing hope on everything going right a year ago and that wound is still too fresh to be rooting for a faceless staff to make all the players better at the same time. He is more right than I am, but I still bleed.........

But, folks, it looks like we are done with our off-season shopping. Billy Eppler has reached his goals for the winter. It is what it is..........

The MLB Top 10 Prospect list at 1B already gave us a Matt Thaiss sighting. The 2B list gives us Jahmai Jones, at #9. I’d love to be really really excited about this, but remembering that Jones was thrust into a move from OF to 2B at a rate that took even him by surprise, maybe MLB has a pretty shallow 2B prospect pool?..........

Jim Bowden looks into the Angels’ strategy of rebuilding the airplane while still in the air, versus the new tanking norm. right off the bat there is the tiny gem that there is now more remaining money committed to Justin Upton than there is to Albert Pujols. I had not thought of that until now...........

Trout Porn, brought to you by a cool use of BBR by a reddit contributor...........


Everywhere In Baseball

As Aaron Judge is proving,a position player does not need to reach first base with his bat a lot to generate worth as a hitter. Historically, we have seen some significant examples............

Major League catching really sucks these days (explaining Jeff Mathis). What the hell happened?.........

We finally get around to the MSM waking up and realizing that a legit two-way player such as Shohei Ohtani creates unique roster advantages for GM’s. So much so, that maybe more GM’s will pursue this angle (such as the Rays are looking to do)?..........

reddit also gives us this news, that baseball is looking to expand into the nation of Laos. No, not MLB expanding into Laos. Korea expanding baseball into Laos..........

Disney’s investments in streaming are not going well. I’m happy because I fear Disney taking over streaming and, thus, blowing up the entire economic reasons for switching to cord-cutting. But I am sad because it means that the industry economics are not yet in place to underpin cord-cutting.........


Hot Stove

Mystery Teams are fun. Maybe Tony Clark needs to take a trip and visit these Mystery Teams and interview their players concerning their happiness?.....A Machado mystery team could be the Pirates?? (Which would be weird, since the Pirates are rumored to be looking to move their 2nd-best position player, Starling Marte)..........And the other could be the ma-ma-ma-Marlins????

The Reds/Yankees deal involving Sonny Gray was on the clock. Funny how putting teams and players to a time frame can make things happen? So the Yankees send Gray and RHP prospect Reiver Sanmartin to Cincinnati, getting back IF prospect Shed Long (the REds #7 prospect) AND a Compensation Round A draft pick (yes, comp round picks CAN be traded!)..........

But the Yankees were not done. They also made a deal with the Marlins, Long was then moved off to Trader Jerry (who obviously didn’t want to be left out of the day’s activities) for the Mariner’s #10 prospect, outfielder Josh Stowers.....And then the Yankees signed Danny Farquhar to a MiLB deal. Farquhar is most notable for surviving a brain hemorrhage in the White Sox home dugout during a game last year............

This running tracker of all the transactions during this winter fascinates me. It validates things such as Trader Jerry, and how active have been the Mets. it reveals (to me, at least) that there has been a truckload of activity in actuality, just not so much from the franchises who are know to be standard-bearers for the rich and powerful (which is kind of true, when we have the Reds outbidding the Yankees for heaven’s sake). What remains hidden from this view, though, would be how much money has been committed by each team, and what the average deal length has been. I suspect that those two data points are less positive..........

I totally get why the players would be upset with the way that Free Agency is now running. It seems as if there is a breaking of a gentlemen’s agreement between players and owners that when a major producer finally becomes a Free Agent, they will have owners locked in a bidding war to pay them large wages for the balance of their career. It’s the price they paid for being held economic prisoner during their many arb seasons. And now, all too quickly, that has evaporated right our from under an entire generation of players right when they hit those FA years. Some can blame Evil Rich Owners. Some can blame Wicked Young Analytics Whippersnappers. I can blame Tony Clark. From my POV, it’s his entire job to be smart enough, and to have a staff smart enough, to see this coming and to make sure that the REAL contract - the CBA - outperforms some gentlemen’s agreement. never forget that during negotiations on the last CBA, all the focus on the players’ side was about creature comforts (search for, and scroll down to, “2016 basic agreement”). And also never forget that, as is typical in union organizing, seniority is the biggest deal for the union side, which MLB now recognizes as the biggest weakness for a professional athlete...........


The Duffle Bag

Add it to your library: Bat Flip Baseball............Some football tie-ins, if you were watching Sunday. Tony Romo was full-on with his Nostradamus skills, so Bryce Harper reached out to learn where he will sign for 2019. Romo was game, throwing away his newly-minted credentials and claiming Harper to the Rangers.........You know you hate Tom Brady, and like to watch him fail, so..........Not since the Mets/Orioles/Jets/Colts of 1969..........From UniWatch, here is tiny little Patrick Mahomes shagging fly balls during the 2000 World Series...........Why is this not an All-Star week competition??..........