Leadoff Links – Angels and MLB News and Notes 11/12/14


It was a relatively quiet Veterans Day for the Angels, but with the general manager meetings underway in Phoenix, the hot stove is definitely heating up. Speculation and rumors are rampant this time of year, and I have painstakingly assembled the nine most intriguing developments from Tuesday. Without further ado, here are the Halo Hangout starting 9:

1. Red Sox “All In” on Pablo Sandoval

Fresh off winning his third World Series title in five seasons with the Giants, All-Star third baseman, Pablo Sandoval, is a highly sought after asset on the open market. According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, The Red Sox “are making a big push to sign him.” While it has been assumed Sandoval will eventually return to San Francisco, a big offer from the Red Sox would certainly give the Kung Fu Panda pause. The Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox are also reportedly suitors for Sandoval, but I still expect him to return to the Giants.

2. Atlanta Braves Fire sale

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The Atlanta Braves are interested in making some major moves this offseason, and they have made no bones about it. Joel Sherman tweeted on November 10th that the Braves were trying to move catcher, Evan Gattis. Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi reported that Justin Upton has revised his list of teams he can block a trade to. Upton apparently has no interest in playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, or Cleveland Indians. Buster Olney suggested on November 11th that the Braves are aggressively “pushing” Justin Upton’s big brother, B.J., in trade discussions.

3. Billy Butler Reportedly has a 3-year 30 Million-Dollar Offer

Phil Rogers of MLB.com filed a report on Tuesday night stating that former Royals’ designated hitter, Billy Butler, has received a three-year 30 Million Dollar offer from a mystery team. While Rogers is not 100% sure who the mystery team is, he concedes that the team is “widely believed to be the Orioles”. However, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted out later in the evening that O’s general manager, Dan Duquette, is denying the report. It seems highly improbable that Butler would garner a 30 Million Dollar deal, but crazier things have happened.

4. Yasmany Tomas Rumors

The Yasmany Tomas roller coaster continues to captivate into the second week of November. Tomas has been linked to nearly half the league in the last few weeks. After previously drawing interest from the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and San Diego Padres. Now, Joel Sherman is reporting that the Kansas City Royals have thrown their hat in the ring. The Baltimore Orioles have touched base recently with the Cuban star, according to Ken Rosenthal.

5. Buck Showalter Wins American League Manager of the Year Award

Buck Showalter was announced as American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday by the BBWAA. Showalter beat out Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals, and Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels to win the title for the third time in his career. Showalter guided the Orioles to the American League Championship Series, overcoming a season filled with injuries and suspensions. Hall-of-Fame manager, Tony La Russa is the only other three-time winner of the award.

6. Matt Williams Wins National League Manager of the Year Award

First year manager, Matt Williams, took home the title of National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday night presented by the BBWAA. Williams showed a great aptitude in his debut season leading the Nationals to the best record in the NL, and the NL East crown. Williams beat out Pittsburgh Pirates skipper, Clint Hurdle, and, Bruce Bochy, of the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

7. Andrew Miller Drawing Interest

Orioles’ southpaw reliever, Andrew Miller, dominated hitters in 2014. Now that the season is over, he figures to reap the rewards. Nearly every team in baseball is currently courting Miller; and it’s easy to see why. The latest teams to enter the fray appear to be the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score is reporting the Windy City interest, and Derrick Goold confirming the red birds interest. If Miller has any inclination to relocate to Chicago, it appears he can pick between the north and south side squads.

8. Nelson Cruz Searching for 5-Year Contract

After clubbing 40 long balls in 2014 for the Baltimore Orioles, Nelson Cruz, is predictably drawing considerable interest. Buster Olney reported that the O’s submitted a three-year deal to Cruz’s representatives prior to hitting free agency. But, that may not be enough to keep Cruz in Baltimore. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday that the 34-year-old Cruz is seeking a five-year deal on the open market. While it seems unlikely Cruz will get five years, he does provide considerable pop in a poor offensive free agent class.

9. Phillies Attempting to Deal Ryan Howard

The Philadelphia Phillies are attempting to rebuild their aging roster, and are desperate to unload their veterans. Ryan Howard used to be one of the best players in the game, now he is available for a working washing machine, and the “working” part is negotiable. Howard has struggled with ineffectiveness and injuries over the past three seasons, and moving him will not be easy. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Kansas City Royals may view Howard as a potential replacement for Billy Butler. While how interested the Royals are has been debated, it is clear that the Phils would have to be willing to eat the majority of the 60 million dollars still remaining on his deal.