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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Mike Trout The Mostest

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Mike Trout is recognized with his 3rd AL MVP trophy, which they should just name after him while we are all still around to appreciate it.

Trout-swinging-3
Mike Trout: The Logo of Baseball

THE HOT CORNER

Mike Trout is the 2019 American League Most Valuable Player. It is his 3rd win, along with 4 2nd-place finishes and 1 4th-place finish. This is the 5th AL MVP Award for the Halos, and with 4 winners since 2000 it makes the Angels the franchise with the most AL MVP awards this millennium. The Giants have 6 MVP wins this millennium. Only 10 other guys in MLB history have won 3 or more MVP Awards. And Mike just turned 28-years old a few months ago.

He and Cody Bellinger brought home to SoCal a 2019 MVP sweep.

Trout defeated Alex Bregman of the Houston Asstros Can Bangers by 4 voters, the closest race so far of his career. Funny enough, one of those voters is part of the SoCal contingency who comes to us from a Japanese news outlet by way of Shohei Ohtani coverage, and that voter chose Bregman. Factoid: The SoCal contingency has voted for Trout on 9 of their 16 ballots to date. The OC Register has had 8 of those 16 ballots, and voted for Mike on 4 of them (2014, 2015, and on both 2016 ballots).

Also funny, Trout won without the support of perhaps his staunchest voting promoter, Jeff Passan. Passan believes in games played.

The IBWAA voted Mike Trout AL MVP, with Alex Bregman, Marcus Semien, D.J. LeMahieu and Matt Chapman rounding out the Top 5. For NL MVP the IBWAA named Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, Anthony Rendon, Ketel Marte and Ronald Acuna, Jr.

My AL MVP votes were Trout, Bregman and then Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Marcus Semein. My NL MVP votes were Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. Yeah, I’m like that about pitchers. And there is that Scherzer over deGrom thing again. At least I was consistent.

Mike knew full well he, being the inarguable best baseball player of our time, was playing at the very best of his career.


ANGELS

Therefore, some Trout Porn...........And more Trout Porn.

And here is some Trout Porn that is hidden deep in a review of Baby Vlad falling short of RoY quality. It’s all down there where Trout’s ultra fine granular control of launch angle is laid out: “The main takeaway is that Trout dominates not only because he has less of a spread in his launch angles, but more because he so consistently posts launch angles within the correct intervals.”............

Billy Eppler is not averse to trading some of his youth in order to repair his starting rotation.............

If any team needs a massive upgrade at catcher, it’s the Angels. Yasmani Grandal is a catcher............


HOT STOVE ACTION AND OTHER RUMORS

7 of the 10 players given a Qualifying Offer have rejected them and are now Free Agents, albeit Free Agents tagged with draft pick and international pool money baggage (The Halos are in the tier where if they sign one of the following guys they lose their 2nd-round pick AND lose $500K of pool money. And if they sign TWO of these guys they also lose their 3rd-round pick AND another $500K of pool money). This list of players are Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole, Josh Donaldson, Marcell Ozuna, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg and Zack Wheeler..............

This means that Jake Odorizzi accepted his offer from the Twins, which takes him off the market and any thoughts you had of adding him to your roster are gone............

It also means that Jose Abreu accepted his offer too, which was unsurprising. 32-year old 1B’s are not getting $17.8 million deals very often............

And it’s important to realize that the agents for all these guys were pretty busy up to yesterday feeling out potential markets to compare against their QO options. Odorizzi can now jump back out onto the market next year when there are fewer top-tier FA pitchers competing for contracts, and he can no longer carry a QO tag.

Ok, so 7 + 2 equals 9 and I told you there were 10 players given a QO. We are missing one more....

Boom! A first big Free Agent signing has already happened. Will Smith signed for 3 years, $39 million with an 4th-year option for another $13 million (club buyout for $1 million). That’s $40 million guaranteed ............

MLB’s most problematic contracts: NL West issue............


BASEBALL THINGS IN GENERAL. 95% HOUSTON ASSTROS STUFF AT THE MOMENT (Sorry to report.)

To lead off, some inside look at sign stealing and counter-measures from guys who know..............

The Houston Problem is expanding. Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora are certain MLB investigation interviewees, and potential punishment targets. Both were with the Astros while the Can Banging was going on, and Cora was bench coach. Cora was also the Red Sox manager when MLB jump Boston for Apple watches, so there is some history of contagion going on.............Beltran has been denying any knowledge of this, but the investigative police force of reddit is all over that claim. And Beltran had gone to work with the Yankees, and there is a curious comment made by Alex Bregman not too long ago that suggests that Bregman knew that Beltran had taken the Astros shenanigians over to the Bronx............

And we also hear that MLB is talking to Blue Jays bench coach Dave Hudgens, who was hitting coach with the Asstros from 2015-2018..............

Are you wondering just how big a difference sign-stealing can create? If you have a working method that can go well beyond just the occasions when a guy is standing on second base, well, the difference can be huge...........But don’t be like this guy, and forget all about how a team pops back out of a tank cycle, which is what happened in 2017..............

To save you some paywall, I will link to a reddit thread that pulls out the most important paragraph and show just how far the Nationals were prepared to go to fend off the Houston dirt.............And here is the whistling charge, although it’s too tough for me to agree with using a TV broadcast..............

Trevor Plouffe is taking baby steps on the path that Mike Fiers has blazed...........

I have no reason to suggest that my thought is anything more than a brain fart, but could it be that the reason Gerrit Cole was so quick to disavow his employment by the Asstros and be all “Team Boras” was because he was personally and professionally pissed at the B.S. he was contracted to be a part of?.............

What about fans? Can they sue? Well, people can file suit for anything so (technically) yes. But if fans didn’t sue the Asstros for that period of time when they suited up minor league players and ran them out onto major league ball fields and warping competitive schedules, all while still demanding fans pay full boat for tickets, food, concessions, parking, suites and anything else if they wanted to hold onto their seating priority - you saw it, one of the worst teams in the past 70 years! - what makes them think that this is the thing that smoked them in some unfair manner?...........

And here we are. Major League Baseball has a trust problem that needs to be fixed. Add it to the drug problem, which will return to our radars in the future.............But how is MLB going to police? How is MLB going to punish?...........Hell, is there even a realistic way to punish the Astros to an extent that inflicts real pain? It’s not as if MLB is going to vacate the 2017 WS title, so in the end people will forget and the means will be justified...............It’s more than merely possible that MLB is going to come out with a strong show of force on this issue and level off major punishments. Things like suspensions, bans, max fines, lost draft picks could be just the starting point. But real big earth-shattering things? I dunno............

Uh, Chicago, I am giving you fair warning. You thought you knew how to party. You are wrong. And now that you are hiring Mike Napoli to join the Chicago Cubs coaching staff you are going to learn the truth the hard way.............

Congratulations to the Toronto Blue Jays for giving their MiLB players a pay raise..........

Yahoo! joins the gambling industry............


STUFF

Yeah, it wasn’t just that ARod put a halt to Beltran here. But all the other ex-jocks on that panel were all on alert to shut Beltran down should ARod not get it done himself. Having a regular person here would have been just the thing to break the code............Cody Bellinger cared. As in, REALLY cared............Oh hell, have some more Trout Porn............