Angels Leadoff Links: November 29, 2014


Hopefully, the tryptophan has finally worn off, and your battle scars from Black Friday are beginning to heal. In all seriousness, I hope you and your families all had a lovely Thanksgiving. While America was chowing down and shopping, players and teams ignored the holiday. Kick back in the new recliner you bought yesterday for 75% off, and take a moment to catch up on all the news you missed from the Angels and around Major League Baseball.

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It turns out we were not the only ones hunting for deals on Black Friday, as Oakland Athletics general manger, Billy Beane, and Toronto Blue Jays general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, were shopping too. In what can only be described as a blockbuster trade, the A’s sent All-Star third baseman, Josh Donaldson, to the Blue Jays on Friday night. In exchange the A’s received infielders, Brett Lawrie, and Franklin Barreto, along with pitchers, Sean Nolin, and Kendall Graveman. Donaldson figures to see a nice uptick in offensive production as he relocates north of the border. After being subjected to 81 games at the cavernous Coliseum he now gets to play his home games in the hitters paradise known as the Rogers Centre. The oft-injured Lawrie will get a chance to play third base for the A’s next season. The Oakland fan base likely will be receptive to Lawrie’s bad boy reputation. Sean Nolin is a highly touted southpaw who could make an impact in 2015 for the A’s. Kendall Graveman rocketed through the Blue Jays system in 2014 and will battle for a bullpen spot next spring. Franklin Barreto is a short stop that showed a lot of promise in short season Single-A with the Vancouver Canadians last summer.

The Miami Marlins and Kansas City Royals completed a trade on Friday as well, albeit on a slightly smaller scale than the Blue Jays-A’s deal. The Kansas City Royals sent reliever, Aaron Crow, to the Marlins in exchange for pitchers, Brian Flynn, and Reid Redman. Crow was an All-Star in his rookie campaign with the Royals back in 2011, but has regressed in the years since. Since the Royals have many capable arms out in their bullpen, and Crow is arbitration eligible, it made perfect sense to move him. Brian Flynn is a towering 6’7, 250 lb. 24-year-old southpaw, who was originally an 18th round selection by the Boston Red Sox in the 2008 draft. Flynn made 25 starts in 2014 for the Marlins Triple-A team in New Orleans. Reid Redman is a 26-year-old, former 23rd round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays. Redman is a relief pitcher that has never pitched at a level higher that Double-A.

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The Kansas City Royals were making headlines all day on Friday, as they resigned veteran reliever, Jason Frasor, to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.25 million including a $2 million dollar mutual option for 2016. Frasor is 37-years-old, but had a pretty nice season in 2014 split between the Royals and the Texas Rangers. Frasor went 4-1, with a 2.66 ERA across 46.1 innings in 2014, and went 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA across 5.1 innings in the postseason. Frasor debuted with the Toronto Blue Jays way back in 2004.

The Blue Jays have been busy so far this offseason, signing veteran backstop, Russell Martin, last week, and now adding, Josh Donaldson. Apparently one former Jay has not been overly impressed with the changes so far. Melky Cabrera spent the past two seasons in Toronto and is now on the open market. A report on Friday from Buster Olney of ESPN suggests that Cabrera is not interested in returning to Toronto next season because he does not want to play “his home games on an artificial surface.” Melky responded later in the day on Twitter suggesting that he does not care what surface he plays his home games on, and reminded everyone that he is a baseball player. It appears the only thing Melky is really upset about is that the Jays are handing out lucrative contracts to everyone except Cabrera.

After the Red Sox announced their intention of using, Hanley Ramirez, in leftfield next season speculation has been rampant that the Sox will move one of their outfielders this offseason. Shane Victorino responded to these reports on Friday in an interview with Rob Bradford of Victorino said he expects to be in right field for Boston in 2015, saying, “Obviously health will dictate that. But if I’m healthy if there’s a better outfielder in right field then show me and go out there and do it.” Most pundits have pontificated that, Yoenis Cespedes, is the most likely Red Sox outfielder to be moved this winter. As it stands right now, the Red Sox outfield looks to be pretty crowded heading into next season.