EDITOR’S NOTE: So, due to some site issues, we’ve been down for almost a week and thus have a lot of links to catch up on, so excuse the fact that some of these are slightly dated.
- The Story: The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t expected to make a major play for John Lackey. The Monkey Says: The Brewers don’t think that Big John is going to be interested in them and are probably going to spend their limited money on more cost effective starting pitcher options.
- The Story: The Rangers met with John Lackey at the GM meetings. The Monkey Says: The Rangers are probably just kicking the tires on Lackey for the sake of appearances since they aren’t expected to have anywhere close to the kind of money available that Lackey wants.
- The Story: Buster Olney reports that the Angels last offer to John Lackey before the season started was for $72 million. The Monkey Says: I assume it was for six years, in which case it is well short of John’s current price tag. Even if it was for five years, it probably still wasn’t close enough to get the job done either.
- The Story: The odds on favorite to sign John Lackey is the Seattle Mariners according to Buster Olney. The Monkey Says: The Angels are right behind Seattle though, so there is still hope. Interestingly, Olney lists the Yankees as longshots
- The Story: The Angels and Dodgers have decided to flip hosting dates for their regular season series. The Monkey Says: The season only just ended and already the scheduling is getting changed. The cause for the change is a U2 concert at Angel Stadium that the team fears will leave the field in bad shape. This really shouldn’t impact anyone’s life unless you had somehow already planned to attend these games even though tickets aren’t even for sale yet.
- The Story: Gene Autry and Gene Mauch are nominees for for the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. The Monkey Says: Well, at least that is two nominees whose involvement in baseball isn’t tainted by PEDs. That is going to become a real rarity in the coming years.
- The Story: Torii Hunter was awarded his ninth Gold Glove for fielding. The Monkey Says: This is a mild surprise only in that Hunter missed some time this year, but the Gold Glove voters tend to be pretty unimaginative, so it shouldn’t be too shocking.
- The Story: Torii Hunter blogs about winning his ninth Gold Glove, charity work and the return of Bobby Abreu. The Monkey Says: Humble as ever, Hunter talks more about how he felt Figgins and Aybar should have won Gold Gloves too.
- The Story: Add another trophy to Hunter’s mantle as he also picked up the Silver Slugger this year as well. The Monkey Says: This is his first Silver Slugger and actually a bit of a surprise considering the time he missed cut into his totals, though it is pretty clear that he would have had a truly monster season if not for his trip to the DL.
- The Story: Yet another award for Torii who also won the Branch Rickey award this year. The Monkey Says: This one is for humanitarian contributions. Fielding, hitting and charity. That’s a unique triple threat that Hunter pulls off with aplomb.
- The Story: The Mets are said to be interested in Chone Figgins. The Monkey Says: It is hard to know how serious to take that rumor as the Mets are more often mentioned to be having major financial woes.
- The Story: The Phillies are also rumored to be in on the Chone Figgins sweepstakes. The Monkey Says: The Phils have an opening at third, but I have a hard time believing they’d spend big money on a third leadoff hitter when they have other more pressing needs on their pitching staff.
- The Story: Tony Reagins announced that the Angel payroll will be very close to the $113 million it was last season. The Monkey Says: That should give the Angels roughly $15-20 million to spend this off-season, depending on how arbitration works out. That should pretty much rule them out of the John Lackey sweepstakes, but still leave them enough to re-sign Chone Figgins and then maybe swing a trade.
- The Story: The Texas Rangers are considering making a run at Vladimir Guerrero. The Monkey Says: I hate this rumor, but it just makes too much sense for Texas who has a major need for a right-handed power bat and an open DH slot.
- The Story: The Angels and Tigers reportedly discussed a Curtis Granderson trade. The Monkey Says: Do it! Do it now! This would be a tremendous deal for the Angels, giving them another potent bat and a top notch fielder. There is no report on what the Angels would give up, but it probably is just prospects as the Tigers are trying to slash payroll.
- The Story: At a recent fundraiser, Mike Scioscia proclaimed to the crowd that the Angels will beat the Yankees next year. The Monkey Says: Wow, some unabashed bravado from the normally measured Sosh. I like it. I’d like it more if I knew what the Angel roster was going to look like though.
- The Story: Juan Rivera is one of the worst baserunners in the league. The Monkey Says: This might be one of the reasons the Angels are quietly shopping him this off-season. Either that or they just need to hire a sports psychologist to get it through Juan’s head that he is actually really slow and to start acting like it.
- The Story: Dennis Kuhl and John Carpino both received front office promotions recently. The Monkey Says: Kuhl is getting promoted from president to chairman with Carpino taking over as team president. This pretty much means that Kuhl is being phased out via a cushy promotion with Carpino assuming the main responsibilities for running the business side of the Angel organization.