Angels Leadoff Links: December 2, 2014


There is no better way to start your day than by catching up on all the news that matters most to the Angels from around Major League baseball. It has been a busy 24-hours around the league, particularly in the American League West. The non-tender deadline is tonight at 11:59 pm EST, and the Angels, just like every team, will have plenty of tough decisions to make today.

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The big news on Monday came out of the Pacific Northwest, where the Seattle Mariners signed slugger, Nelson Cruz. The M’s have been searching for a true cleanup hitter for a long time, and on Monday they finally got their man. The 34-year-old signed a four-year deal worth a reported $57 million. Cruz will be utilized primarily as the club’s designed hitter, and slot in behind, Robinson Cano, in the batting order. Cruz was phenomenal last season in Baltimore, batting .271, with 40 home runs and 108 runs batted in. The Mariners narrowly missed out on making the postseason in 2014, and they are shaping up to be pretty stiff competition for the Halos in 2015.

Alden Gonzalez of is reporting that the Angels are likely to tender, David Freese, a contract by the Tuesday deadline. Freese was acquired last offseason from the St. Louis Cardinals. Freese is rumored to be on the trade block, but tendering the 31-year-old third baseman makes perfect sense for the Halos. Freese hit .260, with 10 home runs and 55 RBI’s in his first season in the big A. Gonzalez went on to say that the Angela are unlikely to extend qualifying offers to, Gordon Beckham, and, Wade LeBlanc. Non-tendering Beckham has been expected for some time now, and here at Halo Hangout we wrote about this possibility last week. Beckham was due to make roughly $5 million in arbitration, and the Angels may deem that to be too much for a backup infielder. LeBlanc appeared in 10 games for the Angels this past season, making three starts, going 1-1 with a 3.45 ERA.

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The Miami Marlins made headlines earlier this offseason when they announced Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year extension worth a record $325 million. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman suggested on Monday that the Marlins are interested in locking up, Jose Fernandez, and, Christian Yelich. The Marlins have reportedly offered their 22-year-old ace a six-year extension. Fernandez was named National League Rookie of the Year in 2013, and was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA through eight starts in 2014 before hurting his elbow. Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery last spring, but appears on track to return in 2015. Yelich had an impressive campaign in 2014 for the Marlins hitting .284, with 9 home runs, 54 RBI’s, and 21 stolen bases across 144 games. Yelich also showed himself to be one of the premier leftfielders defensively, taking home his first career Gold Glove in 2014.

The Houston Astros appear to be serious about improving their roster this offseason to add to their impressive young core. The Astros have previously been connected to former New York Yankees closer, David Robertson. According to Jon Heyman, they appear to have interest in former San Francisco Giants reliever, Sergio Romo. The ‘Stros likely view Romo as a fall back plan for if they fail to reel in Robertson. Late Monday night it was reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that the Astros have checked in with the Atlanta Braves about catcher, Evan Gattis. Houston has already traded for Hank Conger earlier in the offseason, and have been shopping their catcher, Jason Castro. The Astros may not view the defensively challenged Gattis as an everyday catcher, but his power is special and he may be well suited to the designated hitter role in the AL.