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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Breaking Bad

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When 2019 looks just like 2018 looks just like 2017 looks just like 2016...

Texas Rangers v Anaheim Angels Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

New star pitching prospect Matt Harvey was all over the Internet yesterday, and not just because he is butt-hurt....For that, Matt himself says that he will be fine.

Matt Harvey’s butt-hurt is merely par for the LAA course. We already knew that Keynan Middleton and J.C. Ramirez are both “possibles” for 2019. And we knew that Shohei Ohtani’s pitching arm was lost to 2019. What we learned this week was that Nick Tropeano had a set-back in his winter workouts, AND that Alex Meyer needed surgery in November. Both are not going to be ready for Opening Day.

So here we are. Right where we left off.

Sunday things improve. So Let’s close our eyes and look towards Position-Players-Reporting-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

And if you are wondering how such a thing happens, it happens like this.............But now that Harvey is working for Arte, he finds that wearing the Halo makes him want to be a better man...........And he really, really wants to re-light the fire that made him famous in the first place............

Since the Shohei Ohtani two-way experiment was working out so well before he got hurt, the Angels are considering doing more of that. And Jared Walsh is their next candidate......Walsh does have the history...........

Skipper Brad is still feelin’ it, wanting to get in on the ST action with the players. Now, I have looked at Ausmus’ career stats as a player. I hope he sticks to his current idea of using a glove behind home plate. Certainly he should not be doing some of the other things, like stealing bases or hitting home runs or drawing bases on balls............

Mike Trout is not into retiring. Instead, he chooses to use his old High School jersey number as an honorarium. Clever...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Spring Training is here. One part of my job is to keep the pipelines clear for the things coming next. So that would be Opening Day. Here are your planning essentials...........

FanGraphs cut loose a couple more entries in their Prospect Week series. The first is their list of which guys they expect to break into the Top 100 for 2020. Jordyn Adams, anyone?...........The second one is their list 2019 Impact Prospects.............

Of course, the top of that 2019 Impact Prospects lists is Baby Vlad. The same Baby Vlad that will he held back in Minor League Baseball until it’s impossible to burn a year’s worth of service time, which keeps Vladdie Jr. in his arb bondage for an extra year. Which, of course, is stupid. Vlad has nothing left to prove and should be a RoY walk away favorite. Also, we might see a major change in the arb years with the next CBA, which will happen while Toronto is trying to hold Jr. in arb bondage. If not that, there could be a full season lost anyway due to a player strike. Both of those are real possibilities. Put Little Guerrero on the field and sell the tickets and let us all enjoy his brilliance. It’s one of the top things we should be looking for...........Rob Manfred should be more worried about this bullshit mistake, failing to promote the game, and less about outlawing the shift.............

It’s always great to have a Trevor Bauer in Baseball. For we fans, having a player speak truth out in the open (not to mention his injury adventures) is such a refreshing respite from the cliches and superficial double-speak that dominates the interface between celebrity-hood and media madness. So Bauer had his arb hearing (which he won). Arb hearings can be somewhat problematic because the basic principal is that the franchise lawyers and execs argue against the player’s worthiness. So who wants that? Certainly not Trevor Bauer. He cme right out and recapped his hearing by proclaiming that at the end he was subjected to “character assassination”.......And he was attacked specifically for his presence on social media.......Bauer would later come back to clarify: it wasn’t the Cleveland reps who were attacking him. It was the reps from the MLB Labor Relations Board. And I am reading that with my jaw on the floor. I had no idea that the MLB Command Center would flood the country and dispatch lackeys to all the arb hearings to argue in an effort of belittling the players.........

Gerrit Cole is our latest macho idjit to whine about Openers. This time he is all jocks versus nerds. Somebody needs to tell him that he already lost that battle. The money that shows up in his paychecks gets there because the nerds own his ass. And, like the same way that the math-driven shift saves Cole’s butt when he is on the mound, the math-driven Opener is proving itself out, too...........

If Jacob deGrom doesn’t get a new contract before Opening Day, not only will he not negotiate during the season, but he may limit his own workload to protect himself for Free Agency............

The Red Sox have, er, taken a page from Mike Scioscia’s playbook. I don’t think any of us should tell them that this playbook has been turning pages since 2002.............

The Chicago Cubs are having problems with denial. They scoff at the idea of projecting to a last place finish in the NL Central. If I were them, I would only feel comfortable besting the Pirates...........And the Brewers are back at launching the opening salvos of attacking the Cubs, working once again to keep Cubs fans out of their home field...........

This might be a change moment. Nobody is going to be laughing at Danny Farquhar for wearing a padded cap. It only takes one. After time, people will get used to it. And then others can start wearing them and we will all understand. Eventually, all pitchers can take protection to the mound............

The Braves are proving to be the money-grubbing ass-hats that we all suspected them to be when they pulled all those scams to get themselves a new public-funded ballpark. But as it turns out, their money-grubbing ways are so bad they are exposing all of MLB as a money-grubbing venture............


Hot Stove

The Padres are still trying to land a big fish. They met with Manny Machado this week. Being loaded already with outfielders, if they are going to land such a fish then Machado makes more sense to them than Bryce Harper. And isn’t it just kinda embarrassing that of the three MLB teams in SoCal, it’s the Padres trying to take HarpChado to the dance.............

Well, here we are. The Twins made the jump yesterday and worked to sign TWO of their youngsters to contract extensions. Max Kepler, set to make just over $3M in 2019, was lined up to enter arb years in 2020, hitting Free Agency after the 2023 season. The Twins, instead, gave Kepler a 5-year extension worth $35 million, with a 6th-year club option worth $10 million. So what to we have? We have a young player in his early years getting PAID! That’s what we want, right? We don’t like the story of MLB franchises squeezing players at the front years via arbitration years while, at the same time, squeezing them at the back years because of declining skills. So this is a good thing, right?? Oh hell no. Now we get to whine that Kepler sold himself short. This line of thinking says that Kepler should have walked away from the new deal, tried to make himself even better, and be poised to play the arb years into Free Agency pot of gold plan. Because that is working so well?...........

The other guy that the Twins got a jump on is Jorge Polanco, signing him to a 7-year, $25 million extension. The MLBPA should be throwing a party...........

One of those “over a hundred” unsigned Free Agents smelled the flowers, and realized that he is actually an “over the hill” guy. Doug Fister took himself off the list and is retiring............

Would Bryce Harper have signed a new contract with the Astros, had the trade deal Houston had in place with the Nationals gone through? Harper would have a ring right now, and that kind of thing leads to all kinds of magical feelings.............


The Duffle Bag

Good dogs, little boys, baseball. And all is well in the world..............How to turn $2 into $2,000,000: just buy a baseball card from an idiot dealer who thinks they are an expert............Each MLB franchises weirdest logo in history, and the one for LAA? Have you guys looked at my avatar lately?...........Mike Trout needs to switch shoe contracts...........eBay people just don’t pack their shit like they used to...........(from UniWatch) Even the ballpark mustard for Cleveland has washed Chief Wahoo from their labels...........And here you thought that the red Sox could not get any worse. Yes. Yes they can..............