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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Are we Done Harping Now?

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HarpChado is in the books. The offseason is pretty much over. And the world turns to Mike Trout.

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Troy Percival stands on the mound Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Put a period on this off season. Bryce Harper has been signed. Patrick Corbin got a great big deal. Manny Machado got a great bigger deal. Bryce Harper got the great biggest deal. It’s now all in the books.

So what next? Why, Mike Trout, of course. The entire world of MLB is tilting their crystal balls in the direction of Mike’s next contract. Sometime between right this minute and March of the year 2021, all these great big contracts will get dwarfed, and rightly so. Look around. The chatter has already started, and all over the place. The basic baseline is that Trout will get at least $400 million.

The only question is...where? Some people think that it’s the destiny of the Phillies... Some people think that it’s the destiny of the Yankees. One person, me, thinks that this is the next moment in the history of the Angels deflating fan bases all across the nation. Arte Moreno is really good at that. He’s got a great franchise to play for, a great team in place to build a contender, and have a decent hot at winning while that happens, and a solid core of talent that is only just starting to blossom. He was the best weather, best economy, best quality of life all in his backyard. It’s a franchise of good guys, and Mike Trout is one of the good guys.

That $400+ million will be our burden to happily bear.

Before we get beginning, using ESPN’s year-over-year Free Agent tracker tool, MLB owners as a whole are only about $17 million away from the highest net-new commitment of payroll dollars to players this decade. They are currently behind only the year 2013, with Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel still two big names to be signed. And Bartolo Colon. He’s just big.

Have some Let’s-Get-Back-To-Our-Future-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Wow. Boz rolled out his ST debut with an immaculate inning. 3 up, 3 down, all strikeouts, and on 9 pitches. He was dealing. His second inning did not go as well, but it’s only his first ST appearance. I’d give Cahill the same kind of pass as I am giving Skaggs, but Cahill did not open with an immaculate inning.............

And then OUCH!, Skaggs calling the last 4 years of Halo coaching “the dinosaur era” of analytics. Let me save you the calculator. 4 years ago was when we had the tension between Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia over the use of analytics and getting that data into the hands of the players. Dipoto wanted it. Sosh did not. Jerry tried to go around Sosh. Sosh’s veterans back him up. Things came to a head. Arte sided with Sosh. Jerry walked. On the spot. Well, Sosh and his staff are now gone, as are most of those veteran players. And the truth shall be set free............

I really do hope that the new LAA hitting coach, Jeremy Reed, fixes Kole Calhoun. Calhoun has that same hope..............

Oh, okay. You just go and listen to Mike Trout pontificate about his MLB experiences. Me, I am going to wonder why Mike launders his own uniform. And whether a guy like Mike just goes and buys a shiny new F150 to use for a month or so rather than dealing with getting his own shipped all the way out from New Jersey?...........

Just listen to how LAA pitching prospect Brett Hanewich talks about his pitches and you know full well that this is a guy who could have graduate with an engineering degree from Stanford............

The Orange County Register doesn’t think it wise for the Orange County Angels to leave Orange County............

Because some jokes, however bad and however stale, never die. Just ask that chicken...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Yep. MLB execs and MLBPA execs need to sit down and start the long haul of contract negotiations now. The acrimony is rising and there are both immediate needs (rules changes) and long-term needs (payroll rates, payroll distribution, service time manipulation, arb frameworks, etc.) The latter issues are formidable and the more runway spent banging through them the lower the odds of last-minute conflicts resulting in lockouts and strikes. ,,,,,On the union side, Tony Clark is NOT the lead negotiator............

Because a lot of folks care, here is your notice that FanGraphs ZIPS are up. For the rest of us, the Angels don’t make the playoffs..........

One not very tiny portion of the money not paid on to Free Agents this winter has to do with this class not enjoying the presence of Jose Fernandez, who would have been THE prize well above Patrick Corbin...........

Just like the Reds, the Cardinals have also rebuilt themselves on the fly.............

MLB rule changes can alter the competitive balance all over the landscape, in ways you may not expect beforehand. For example, let us say that MLB and MLBPA agree to a 3-batter minimum for pitchers. For Pat Venditte, he sees that particular rule change as creating for himself an advantage. Venditte would not need to be relieved to install a left-handed specialist, something that would cause the team on defense to do with some reluctance because of a new restriction. All Venditte would need would be to move his glove to the other side and be his own lefty replacement. That gives Venditte a huge boost in roster value............

Yesterday we had a first-hand report of those bullpen cart auditions. Today we have auditioning tips, should that chance ever arise for you..........

If and when the Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors ever actually do leave Oakland, the A’s will have that space all to themselves. That will leave them in greater command and control of the airwaves. All “8 twitter followers” worth..........

I’m just warning y’all, this Sinclair run at sports broadcasting domination is not a good thing. Sinclair is not one of the good guys............

I blame David Ortiz for the spread of this plague............


Hot Stove

OK, let’s do this. Bryce Harper finally signed, hooking up with the Phillies. The deal is for 13 years, and $330M. That’s an AAV of $25.38M. Not “stupid money” but a grand total of more than Machado got, so the egos of Harper and Boras are secure (until Trout signs something)......

Now, before we dive into the details, let’s pause for a moment and giggle at some highly unfortunate rumor timing. All these are just within hours of the deal. Jim Duquette and Steve Phillips had both gone on record just prior saying that the Phillies and Harper were too far apart to get a deal done.....The Big Lead was rumoring Philadelphia to be slipping in their chase.....The Phillies didn’t have the biggest offer on the table, and were no longer the favorite because of it.....For his side, Harper wanted the longest contract possible. I guess, since he got his wish and this is the last contract of his career, that means he doesn’t want to have to deal with his agent ever again..........

Harper actually had short-term offers of $45M AAV! That’s AVERAGE, so what was the TOP rate for any single season??.....NO trades, NO opt outs, NO deferred money.....But the bottom line is that, yes, Boras/Harper topped the Giancarlo Stanton contract......

The Internet was bonkers all day..........Merch is already there..........Jake Arrieta is the nuttiest..........The Mets’ GM BVW is whistling in the dark. Although, since Harper already WAS in the NL East, and with a stronger club, I can see his point..........The thinking here is that Citizens Bank Park is going to boost Harper’s career. His SLG is a lot better in Philly than in Washington, DC, but his BA and OBP are less. And now he has to face Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roarke instead of Aaron Nola and some used-to-be’s......

Phillie fans are going apeshit crazy now. They are going to be glowing all weekend. Kinda understandable. Since Harper came up in 2012 the only player in all of MLB who has accumulated more WAR is Giancarlo Stanton. Buuuut...that RF position is undergoing a revolution. Since 2014 when Mookie Betts came up Harper is 3rd best. Since 2014 Harper drops to 6th best, as Aaron Judge and George Springer arrive and Harper is happy bouncing around the 3 - 5 WAR levels. 13 YEARS, Philly fans. You are paying this guy until he is 40. I hope you remain happy, even though history is most definitely not on your side. Good luck with that. At least you will have a DH on your roster at the back end. That always works out well. Signed, Anaheim, California..........

The Nationals are still a very strong ballclub. But I get it. This will be miserable for their fans in its own special way. Imagine if Mike Trout went to Free Agency, and signed with the Rangers or Mariners. Yeah. That bad...........

In conclusion, now that both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper got pretty much the contracts projected for them months (if not years) ago, I’m going to be on the lookout for all those articles about owner collusion, and dwindling player pay. It might be difficult to find new ones, what with almost $1 billion being promised to just three players, but I will be trying...........


The Duffle Bag

Job posting: video intern, and The Cape Cod League is kind of a big deal...........Totally off topic, but this is starting to sound unbelievably great............Ah, the human element............Shred it out, young Angels air master...............That didn’t take long. I need those guys running the SoCal Edison crews around my neighborhood...........