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Thor’sLinks: Angels Look To Get Best-er

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As Skipper Brad calls it, even the best have room to improve.

California Angels v Oakland Athletics Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Ne pressure, Mike. You are already the best. But Skipper Brad has seen enough of your work ethic that he expects you to get best-er. So do I, actually. If you can stay healthy enough to give us 157 games, 2019 should blow the baseball world’s minds.

Meanwhile, the rest of MLB tries to get good-er and are scrambling to pick up FA’s for KP duties at camp. We should probably keep track of all these cheap-o signees and see how they pan out. Something tells me that over the long haul this new approach of treating mid-tier Free Agent players like a Broadway chorus call lineup is going to result in a lot of missed opportunities that should embarrass FO staffs. Much the same way that the 2009 draft embarrassed all the FO staffs outside of the AL East (who, mostly picked AFTER the Angels took Mike Trout).

Until that happens, enjoy some -Camp-Tempe-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Angels in the Infield is getting a little crowded. So David Fletcher is getting looks as an outfielder. Keeps that power bat of his in the lineup, I suppose. But is this a Luis Rengifo signal?............

Cleveland skipper Terry Francona wants you to know that Cody Allen is a gamer. I love gamers. Especially gamers who play in lots of games. And most especially gamers who play in lots of games and are a big reason why the Angels win lots of games. I care more about that last concept than I do about the first one..........

Taylor Blake Ward gives us every one of the 261 guys that the Halos have in camp right now. His spreadsheet needs uniform numbers..........

The City of Anaheim is getting the stadium appraised, which will be helpful in the upcoming negotiations. I wonder of this appraiser will be as thorough as the proctologist that was used by the last home buyer I dealt with. Maybe they some of us to do the walk-through with them and point out the pig beneath all that lipstick..........

Good catch, Alden. Shohei Ohtani has a logo, and it’s Nike/MJ levels of cool..........

Grass. Sky. Clouds. Baseball. Awesome. Die happy..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Rob Manfred is really looking to crack his whip. This time it’s all about sign-stealing using video technology. He is imposing some incredibly draconian rules about club video usage within the stadium, including an audit of every single in-house camera. As the link notes, the justification for this borders upon idiocy. It’s all about speeding up pace of play. I guess that my only surprise is that MLB is not claiming that it is all about “fan security”............

Bob Nutting, owner of the Pirates, is absolutely bonkers. When you read his attempts to rationalize driving his 25-man payroll towards MiLB levels - and you will quickly understand it for the incomprehensible lies that they are - one huge takeaway should be that this proves a lack of collusion among owners. every time an owner gets asked these same payroll questions, they each come up with their own, unique, justification. Nobody is on the same messaging page as anybody else. At least, friends, our own Arte Moreno is the one owner who has given a pitch-perfect message that shows support for players and fans alike. We don’t know how credible are Moreno’s claims, but we know his messaging is light years beyond other owners AND the MLB Front Office..........

Jed Lowrie is almost 35 years old. For some mysterious reason, the past two seasons have seen him blossom into a guy almost 3 times the player he has ever been. But, still, Jed Lowrie is almost 35 years old. So the Mets sign him, hoping to get the 4 WAR infielder he has become. Instead, they get the 35-year old man he has also become..........

Everything went right for the BoSux in 2018. Odds are that things won’t go so right for them in 2019..........

Everything is going wrong for the White Sox, who are trying to follow in the footsteps of the Cubs and Astros, only to find that this path is now so well-worn as to be a crowded escalator. One that only appears to go down..........

Baseball participation is on the rise, people..........

Don’t do it, Yahoo! I read sports content all over the map every day doing this gig and I can tell you that your content is not worth a subscription, and easily replaced elsewhere...........


Hot Stove

The Harper finish line is looking to be in the $325M range..............The White Sox have dropped out, the Giants are still in as are the Phillies and maybe still the Nationals..........For the Phillies, the rising price of Harper puts them in quite the quandary. What if they decide that they cannot afford Harper’s current price AND Mike Trout? What if they choose to wait for Trout, but Trout re-ups with Arte and they are left with nothing?..........

A large portion of the White Sox offer to Machado was not guaranteed. In a world where franchises have been known take every advantage to avoid paying out max money, it’s understandable that Manny would take the certain money (the bird in the hand). Well, that, and then there is also this...........

This is why a Manny Machado refuses to sign early, frustrating the media and all the other MLB players sitting on the sidelines observing without real information. Because it pays to wait. He could have signed real quick with the Yankees, and left $60M on the table...........

If the White Sox can’t have Plan A, they can always pivot to Plan B C D E F G H I J..........

Anthony Rendon is a very good ballplayer. He is due to become a Free Agent after this season. He is totally open to an extension, which would allow him to avoid the FA dangers that his seniors have been going through. I would not worry about that kind of stuff for Rendon, personally, but it’s his career. But I love what Rendon has to say about his relationship with his agent, Scott Boras...........

Noah Syndergaard is one guy who is NOT looking to be bought out of Free Agency with a below-market contract extension. He knows what he is worth, and he knows that is far north of Patrick Corbin...........

Josh Harrison is off the boards. To The Tigers. As of this writing I cannot find any details on the contract, but your benchmark would be the $10.5M QO that Harrison declined from the Pirates..........

The Indians have signed Tyler Clippard to a 1-year MiLB deal. This makes Cleveland the 9th team Clippard has been employed by over the last 3 seasons plus now...........


The Duffle Bag

Orange County Rally Monkeys vs. the Oakland Green Beans?..............One thing that other franchises do much better than ours..........This is the very thing I was telling whiny STL fans 10 years ago, when they were hating us for stealing away Pujols...........