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HumpLinks: Feeling The Heat of The Hot Stove

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It sounds like negotiations are active over Gerrit Cole, and the price is going to drive Arte to the moon. And back.

Los Angeles Angels
Bill Rigney: 1961-1969
Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

THE HOT CORNER

The stories we are hearing now is that everyone knows that Arte is going to spend whatever it takes to land Gerrit Cole. This should make the Yankees and Scott Boras very happy.

The Yankees can keep right on bidding up the negotiations without worrying that they get stuck as high bidder, because “getting stuck” means that they add Gerrit Cole to their rotation. Not getting stuck means that they have taken Arte’s financial strength out of the bidding wars for anybody else they want.

And for Boras, well, all he has to do is sit on whatever is the highest offer, probably from Eppler and Moreno, and wait a couple of weeks before using Jon Heyman to leak some baloney about a “mystery team” and getting Arte to blink into bidding against himself. Because that’s what Boras does, and he brags about it.

This is something which I have always complained about. It’s a fatal flaw within the information control of MLB FA bidding. There should be a 3rd-party system or service that tracks bids and doesn’t allow for bidding more once you are already high bidder. Because there is a difference between a market rate versus a rate into which a buyer can be tricked.............


ANGELS

Ken Rosenthal knows exactly what we know. He must read HH..........

Shohei Ohtani is still on track to return as projected from TJ surgery. He has been cleared to start throwing off the mound..............

Jared Tims doing the good work of showcasing the cause of Bobby Grich..........(And if people can go out and work hard to make a case for Dale Murphy, why is Bobby Grich even a question? Yeah, Murphy has Grich in spades concerning slugging, but Murphy wasn’t doing that from 2B.)..........

($$) - The Best of the Decade Awards. The Five Best players of the 2010’s: #5. Robinson Cano...#4. Miguel Cabrera...#3. Adrian Beltre...#2. Joey Votto...................And way up on another level so high that Joey Votto needs binoculars: #1. Mike Trout..........I am kinda stunned not to see Jeff Mathis on any of the “Worst Of” hitting categories...........

Your LA Angels, the Indianapolis Colts and Milwaukee Bucks of Major League Baseball..........

Angels Porn: Longest home runs of 2019.............


HOT STOVE ACTION AND OTHER RUMORS

Kendall Graveman is back in the AL West, but now with the Mariners. (Graveman last pitched at the MLB level while still with the A’s, but spent the 2019 season in the Chicago Cubs organization.) Graveman is still trying to work himself back from TJ but you will notice that it was Jerry Dipoto, and not Billy Eppler, who was hanging out in the dumpster to pick him up..............

Nice timing, Jon Heyman. Hours after Heyman went conjecturing on behalf of Josh Harrison,.....Harrison was signed off the conjecture map by the Phillies to a Minor League deal..........

Here are the White Sox again. Rumored to be a dark horse for Stephen Strasburg. Something about white being dark just doesn’t work for me........

The Asstros seem to really like our castoff backstops. Dustin Garneaux has signed on with Houston..........Garneaux was the guy who caught the combined Taylor Cole-Felix Pena no-hitter..........

Also catching on with a new team is another catcher, Stephen Vogt, signing with the Diamondbacks. $3MM for year one, with a chance to grab $7MM over 2 years if certain thresholds are met..............

This is what you do, man, when you have an All-Star and MVP-quality season. You strike while the iron is hot, as Marcus Semien is doing, and seek a long-term extension...........

We are not a part of this, but we could be. If the Rangers really ARE ready to go to the wall for Anthony Rendon, there is a risk that Rendon takes over for Adrian Beltre in giving us headaches in the AL West for years to come..........


ASSTROS NUTZ

There has been so much info here that I had only been sharing with you the cream. As things settle down, let’s go back and look at some of the merely very good articles and reviews and studies, beginning with DRays Bay and the mystery of 5/19/2017.............

Knock, knock..........

Joc Pederson believes that MLB knew what the Asstros were doing, which is why MLB instituted the 8-second delay on the official clubhouse feed............

Ross Stripling, Dodgers pitcher, has no problem calling out just why, and how, egregious this issue is............


BASEBALL THINGS IN GENERAL

I keep reading comments and headlines like this: “Minor league cities fighting back against contraction plan”. As you can read for yourself within the article, the MLB plan is not final. “The contraction plan is being proposed as Major League Baseball and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues negotiate a new Professional Baseball Agreement to replace the one that expires after the 2020 season.” The part I don’t understand is what leverage or negotiating power the NAPBL has in all this? I suppose they could go all-or-nothing on MLB, but that would be a very short-term and rather pyrrhic victory. I’m sure that MLB would love to sever ties with any ongoing cost obligation, and since MiLB players have so little power over their own destiny it wouldn’t take MLB long to move them all into the Cactus and Grapefruit camps and do their own thing. Sure, it might be cramped for a year or two until MLB figures out a new organization of farm system facilities, but NAPBL would evaporate into nothingness over night and the country will be loaded with communities hungry to accept any MLB overflow..............

Here we go. Free Agent relief pitcher Sam Dyson is now dealing with an MLB investigation into the social media claims of his girlfriend’s cat that Dyson has been physically and verbally abusing said girlfriend. I dunno if you are a good guy or a bad guy, Sam, and only time will tell. But I have no sympathy for you not having smoked out dealing with somebody who uses a house pet as an alter ego...........

Playoff shares! Holiday bonuses! Well, for arb and pre-arb players and any non-player personnel who get voted playoff shares it certainly is an exciting time to receive 48% after tax holiday bonuses for being a part of a World Series team. Share values were down in 2019 but still fun. After divvying things up, the Nationals are at $382,358.18 per share and the Asstros are at $256,030.16. That $146K difference? The behind-the-scenes trash can banger has only himself to blame..............

I still don’t know how Oakland is doing it, and apparently neither does FanGraphs. But they expect to see the A’s keep right on doing that something. I link to this article, though, because of two very important points made. the first one: “But as more franchises cast off the shackles of baseball beliefs from the 1940s, the A’s quickly found themselves less able to easily leverage knowledge as a considerable advantage over other teams.” Yep. Oakland needed to learn some new trick once everybody else brought their financial willingness to Oakland’s information game. And the second point: “I tend to believe that teams’ overwrought claims about the Dickensian workhouse state of their finances are unadulterated nonsense, but I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the A’s are one of the poorer organizations in the league.” Also dead on. the A’s don’t enjoy the revenue streams of the Yankees or Red Sox and don’t pack the financial muscle of the Dodgers, but never forget that those infamous Moneyball days were handled when Lew Wolff was pocketing revenue sharing money instead of passing it along as player payroll, which was supposed to be a CBA contractual obligation...........

I’m confused. Because of course I am. But this time it ain’t my fault. On 11/24 Yahoo! reports that the Dodgers have signed Andrew Freidman to a contract extension. They referenced Jon Heyman, and it happened over the weekend, and the details were revealed...And then yesterday we find out from the LA Times that Andrew Freidman still does not have a contract extension. That’s as of Tuesday. Go figger..........

Bejeebus. CWS pitcher Kelvin Herrera is caught on video assaulting another person. Pretty horrible, right? It’s worse. The assault happened while Herrera was at a cock fight..........


STUFF

If I were in the marketing department of the Miami Marlins and I knew that Derek Jeter wanted to be seen as a rather charitable guy doing good deeds of community service, I would probably go looking for a cause that was not named for handing turkeys to the people of Miami............Looks like I need to meander by and visit Gallery 1988 on Melrose..........