Baseball’s Winter Meetings kick off on Sunday down in San Diego. Normally this is a time full of trades and signings. The sports media loves it and the advent of social media has made all the wheelings and dealings more real time and accessible than fans of previous generations could have dreamed.
While we are absolutely not going to melt down over the happenings at Twitter, I will say to be careful when looking for the real accounts and the fake ones.
Most Angels-centric, authentic handles:
Or you can do what I do and let MLBTR watch them all for you.
Be extra careful this year with reports from national writers. So far, the twitterverse has fallen for a fake Aroldis Champman signing and Lebron James trade request, among others.
We will do our best to follow actual journalism and source things to the best of our ability, but it is a crazy, unverified world out there.
About the only team that has been busy this off season is our Angels. Here’s what the free agency thus far means for the meetings.
All eyes are on Aaron Judge and many folks think he will sign prior to the meetings ending. Will it be with the Yanks or Giants? Pretty interesting read on what previous free agent signings might tell us.
I think the real hold up in free agency will be the robust shortstop class. Yes, their agents are waiting to see who has $300 million burning a hole in their pocket after losing out on Judge, but with 4 of them and arguments pro and con for each of them.
Back to that Jeff Fletcher handle, he’s put out an outstanding series on the Angels problems at the minor league level and what Perry Minasian is doing to correct them. Pretty hard hitting stuff from a guy who is usually just the facts. (salty language in that link)
Those are your longform pieces for this weekend. Go ahead and grab a second or third cup of coffee and read them. Really good stuff from Fletcher.
Speaking of the farm, Perry added to it this week with some minor league deals. Jonathan Holder and Chris Devinsky will join Jacob Webb out in Tempe to show what they have then likely catch a plane to Salt Lake together.
Jameson Taillon is a guy I really considered for my Perry piece and he’s getting a lot of attention. I wonder if signing him would let us trade Sandoval for a stud SS. It would be cost effective. Or kick Tucker Davidson to the curb and have a truly studly 1 through 6.
FanGraphs did their annual catcher rankings. If you didn’t like O’Hoppe before, you will now. And you’ll see why I want another catcher brought in.
Centerfielders have long been huge stars in the game, but very few are now. This is the weakest centerfield group since I’ve been a fan. What happened?
We don’t have that problem in the AL West with Mike Trout and Julio Rodriguez. We do have a problem with Houston. Their signing of Jose Abreu puts them into Evil Empire territory.
Let’s see what the Angels and the rest of the division does over the next week to catch the Astros. Please link anything I missed.
In the meantime, watch this tribute to Gaylord Perry. I met him at Spring Training a few years ago and got a ball signed by him. He was with George Foster who I’ve met a couple of times and is as great of a guy as he was a ballplayer. Those two were having genuine fun together and took time to actually chat with the fans as we came to their table. My dad and I spent a few minutes with them and both truly enjoyed the experience.