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MondoLinks: MLB camps are opening

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2019 MLB camp have formally opened. Tomorrow LAA will join them. I can’t wait to see uniforms on the grass.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Anaheim Angels Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Pitchers and Catchers have started to report throughout MLB. The Oakland A’s were yesterday, and the Seattle Mariners are today. Tomorrow will be most of the other teams, INCLUDING LAA! All the stragglers will all be on Wednesday, except for the Braves, who are holding out until Friday.

This is when my job gets a hell of a lot easier to dig up news, and I could not be happier for myself.

Welcome to Spring-Training-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Roster predictions..............

Billy Eppler feels that the Angels...are a point where we feel complete with our club.

NOT!

Eppler turned right around and added to his bullpen options at the last minute, signing Daniel Hudson to a MiLB deal, worth $1.5 million in MLB time with another $1.5 million in incentives............

Mike Trout just loves to tease Philadelphia sports fans............

Jo Adell is coming.............

Shohei Ohtani is still here...........

Trout is still blazing fast...............

Spring Training tickets.............

Happy 44th, Daddy Vladdie.............

Victor formally launches his merchandising lineup............

Man, I hope to get one of these sweet babies, eventually............


Everywhere In Baseball

To fix the draft system and inhibit tanking, I don’t think that a lottery is the way to go. Why not? Well, because as tanking gets popular (as it is) and we have a lot of teams tanking at the same time (as we do), the regular season kind of acts like a lottery already. Teams don’t really know when they dump their team whether they will out-lose all the other tanking teams and grab the #1 draft slot...............

Ha. Yeah, Buster Posey. You can be grateful to play for a team that is definitely in Win Now mode. Your Giants spent over $200 million in player payroll last season, second only to Boston. And what did the SFG players do for all that money you want all teams to spend on all players all years? Yeah, you won a whopping 73 games. 18.5 games out of the Division title, and 17.5 games out of the playoffs. You guys are so bad that you could increase your payroll by ANOTHER $30 million in 2019 and still not make the playoffs...........

Francisco Lindor will miss all of Spring Training, by injuring his calf getting ready for Spring Training.....Which brings us to the subject of shortstops. The weekend MLB review of top SS today ranked Andrelton Simmons 5th. That would seem an injustice, until you realize how much offensive value teams are getting out of the SS position now. (Well, Harold Reynolds puts him 10th, but Reynolds proved long ago that he was a really good baseball player because he didn’t overthink things.) Simmons ended up 3rd in fWAR for MLB SS in 2018. His defensive numbers were off the charts, in a good way. But his OBP and SLG are still second tier............

Dear Marlins fans, don’t be pissed at us for trading away J.T. Realmuto, too. We are tanking. This is the suck years. Some day soon we will be the Houston Astros. We promise. Unless this happens............

MLB works hard to expand it’s brand at an international level. Just look at all this shuffling or Front Office roles and personnel............Which is how we get pursuits such as this: baseball in London in 2020...........

Oakland, short-handed with their starting rotation, is looking to follow Tampa Bay and use Openers in 2019.............Across the Bay, Madison Bumgarner tells his own manager, Burce Bochy, that is Bochy tries that gambit on a Bumgarner start, then MadBum is walking right out of the stadium and not looking back..........

As I warned last week, things like a DH in 2019 are merely posted as future bargaining points in the next CBA......And Rob Manfred is slapping that down before he even has to sit down and negotiate............


Hot Stove

Lots of signings. Too much to keep up with. Of most interesting note would be:

Brett Lawrie, who has not played since 2016, has signed with the Brewers.............

Danny Espinosa, who has not played actual baseball since his 2015 season, has signed with the Mets..........

Matt Effin’ Joyce is still getting gigs. Now with the Indians..........

Ricky Nolasco was group signed into the DBacks organization............

Ryan Madson, the guy we helped rehab but who never contributed to our cause, might sit out 2019 altogether. Not getting the dollars he wants? The guy is already 1 12 years away from 40............

Melky “Biogenesis’ Cabrera gets a MiLB deal with the Pirates.............

Homer Bailey, the former Red who was sent back to LAD in the Yasiel Puig trade, only to see the Dodgers boot him as a salary dump, gets a MiLB deal with the Royals...........

The Dodgers and Indians are cooling off on a Corey Kluber trade.....But the Mariners are still trying to trade away Edwin Encarnacion............

In HarpChado news, Bryce Harper is a serious target of the Giants. To the point where the Giants owner is chatting about their interest in public.....They may be offering Harper a lot of money, but not for a lot of years....The Nationals are worried that Harper might end up with an N East rival, and are waiting to match any offer. But the Giants? too far away to worry the Nats?.............Machado might be choosing to not accept a $250 million offer from the White Sox.....He might have chosen to not sign with the Yankees for $220 million.........


The Duffle Bag

How times have changed. I once got chases out of a sports book because I was carrying a cellphone. This was back when such devices didn’t really fit into your pocket and carrying one was rare. Now, we have broadcast studios?..............Hey, Samardzija, why settle for seasonal changes to the fences? How about fences that move in-game? Major credit goes to Franklin Barreto for volunteering to go home to Venezuela in these times, in the first place..........Kevin Youklis has some good ideas about MLB changes. But that every Monday off and balanced schedules? Sorry, Youk, but the players already got a clubhouse chef............Job Alert! And this is the one you need to read: the Nationals are hiring a new bullpen cart driver!...........Uh...Winter Ball?..............Word..............