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Thor’sLinks: Trading Aces

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MLB teams move into the chum-soaked waters of trade frenzy.

2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

That All-Star game and Home Run Derby are behind us. Players, coaches and broadcasters are traveling to their destination cities to prepare for the upcoming weekend series’. And MLB has only 1 game in the works for tonight: Astros at Rangers. With a bit of luck, both shall lose.

That leaves what? Ah, yes. Open season on trade rumors. Something for Front Office personnel and baseball writers to monger over. The Trade Deadline is July 31st, which is just 20 days away. The Angels have 19 games in that window in which to determine whether they shall be buyers or sellers. personally, I would be shocked if Billy Eppler were either. There ain’t much in the organization that other franchises would covet, and those few guys worth coveting are worth coveting by Eppler before anybody else.

But that doesn’t mean that the rest of MLB will be standing pat. It’s a wonderful time for the teams that have earned their tank merit badge to make use of their farm depth and become even more super of a super team. So there are a lot of rumors to follow. So, until then, I bring back The Trade Rumor Section below.

The Trade Deadline is not really the only thing upcoming. Tim Mead gets his first gig as Hall of Fame Prez when Cooperstown does the 2019 induction ceremonies. HoF weekend is July 19-22. I’m sure I will have some news and links concerning our old pal Tim.

But until then, here we go with the Last-Of-The-All-Star-Break-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

The Let’s All Pause To Admire Mike Trout On The National Stage moment of the All-Star week is behind us......We had some seriously excellent statistical gobsmacking while they were at it: “...we’ve never seen anyone this good at hitting, running, and catching. Ever. Dude hits like Barry Bonds, runs better than Luis Aparicio, and defends better than Jim Edmonds....And the scary part is that Trout could - and likely will - get better.”.....But it’s over now. That only means that non-Halo fans will be going back to missing out. You and I will be just fine...........

If it is accepted that the Angels are on any kind of path towards a World Series title while Mike Trout is a Halo, would it not follow that it is not possible for the Angels to be wasting Mike Trout?.........

($$) - Doug White, the Halos pitching coach, sounds more like a Sesame Street episode. But with math.........

It looks like 37th round money is not a thing. Angels draftee Levi Usher is going to college instead of signing..........

This is why Tyler Skaggs pins and patches are not in the team store..........


Everywhere In Baseball

The legendary and iconic baseball rebel Jim Bouton has died at the age of 80. Bouton was famous outside of baseball, and infamous within, for penning the best seller “Ball Four” and opening up MLB locker rooms to the curious public. Rest In Peace, Mr. Bouton...........

I am assuming that MLB corporate types stepped in and took over scoreboard operations at Progressive Field for the ASG. Kinda like they take over lots of things when they bring their big tents to town. I would assume that the normal operators have a good handle on all the graphic files and imagery and know their own process for pre-game vetting of the evening’s files pretty well. But then MLB would bring their band of media interns into the ballpark and flash all those credentials and in all the hustle and hoopla things fail to go quite as smoothly as the regulars do it. That’s just me guessing, however............

UniWatch also has fun with the scoreboard blooper-fest. But they really point out how crappy is the glue is on the Skaggs #45 memorial patches that were applied to ASG jerseys. The dugout floors must have been littered with them..........The ASG moment of silence for Tyler was, however, truly honorable............

Here is some fun post-ASG filler: Francisco Lindor was having fun.....Messin’ with Trout on the one hand,.....and messin’ with Javy Baez on the other hand..........I have heard of this before. J.T. Realmuto made it to Cleveland, but his gear did not..........Andrew McCutchen did NOT make it to the All-Star game, but his wife filled in all the gaps..........

The Dodgers dumped all over again under the national spotlight this week in Cleveland. It’s habit forming for LA. But that Orange County kid - Shane Bieber - he did good..........

It’s a good day to bag on baseball commissioners, because the stories are out there. Craig Calceterra takes ex-commish Bud Selig to task for blatantly lying about his PEDs history in his new book..........And Deadspin blows current commish Rob Manfred out of the water for a whole litany of valid reasons..........

One of those reasons to bash Rob Manfred would, of course, be the Juicy Ball. Manfred has his talking points and all of MLB is to hide behind it. Well, Justin Verlander went off script. Unacceptable. Manfred sent his hatchet men to whip Verlander back in line. So subtle. is there something in the CBA, or the official Rules of baseball, that allow for a Joe Torre and Jim Leyland to verbally pistol whip a player because of something he says?.........

($$) - Dive into science and you find out that the baseball has factually changed even from last season. it’s gotten so bad (or, “better”, if you work for MLB) that the science is sniffing out an increased usage of pine tar among MLB pitchers in response..........

Stealing first base? Yet another Manfred thing, I suppose..........

Wasn’t Yusmeiro Petit once OUR unicorn?................

Early CBA talks are not off to any good start. Manfred is painting himself to be the hero ($$), Tony Clark has no fresh ideas, and the players are pissed off. Worst part of all is that players themselves are clueless about how far behind they are in terms of balance with the owners within the CBA. So they still have poor communications and education coming from their leadership even as they are happy to extend that leadership model. You and I are going to miss out on many months of Mike Trout’s prime career years because of this...........

A brief All-Star anecdote concerning the worst ASG reps conceivable. And the familiar Alfredo Griffin wins the prize. I mean, he was an All-Star because he was watching TV in a nearby hotel?...............

When baseball ditched the organ music I became a happier person. It was evolutionary, and Angel Gary DiSarcina was a trailblazer. But once walk up music took over for organs it took over hard. This is how..........

(h/t RubixQube, who also happens to be my son) How to find a home in Korean Baseball (Part 1) if things don’t work out in MLB..........

Nobody wanted to watch the All-Star game on FOX. Maybe America is tiring of sports All-Star events? Maybe America is not enamored with Hoopla Tuesdays? Maybe America has had enough of Joe Buck?..........For sure, MLB still has a marketing problem. And they want to blame the players. As I said last year, MLB owns all kinds of rights to still and video imagery so it’s not as if they are forced to get any player to do even more of the heavy lifting for them. The players see that, and have other things to focus on...........

Full Disclosure Opportunity: we here at SBN have a new interim to the interim Editor In Chief. Things are kinda cloudy these days up there in the mothership. May the Schwartz be with them..........


Trade Rumors

The Red Sox are desperate for starting pitching. How they think they are going to pay for it eludes me, since GM Dave Dombrowski gutted their farm system already. But that doesn’t stop them from being linked to anybody and everybody. They, along with the Yankees and Brewers, are chasing Zack Wheeler of the Mets............

The Mets have other pitching assets, too. Should Noah Syndergaard be made available, the Astros would be interested (yikes!), along with the Brewers..........

Jon Heyman is fueling Marcus Stroman rumors, suggesting that the Yankees might not be interested enough to swing a deal. Stroman is not a Scott Boras client, however, so what does Heyman know?..........

The Yankees may be in the market for Trevor Bauer, though. Why the Indians would be sellers?..........


The Duffle Bag

Father Of The Year candidate, right here............Mike Trout and Tracy Morgan having fun with ESPYS promo..........(h/t reddit) Best coach visit to the mound, ever..........You are not allowed to take weapons into airports, or water bottles, or even 2019 All-Star game programs..........