Report: Angels offer Aybar, Saunders for Halladay

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The Toronto Sun is reporting that the Angels have offered up Erick Aybar, Joe Saunders and Peter Bourjos in exchange for Jays ace Roy Halladay.
The Aybar inclusion is big, given the complete lack of any other quality young shortstops on the market and Toronto’s intense desire for a long-term option at the position.
A big issue with the offer, though, is that both of the big pieces have three years of service time in, meaning they’re already set to make considerably more than the minimum. Both Aybar and Saunders are arbitration eligible this winter. They’re each due to reach free agency after 2012.
Bourjos is pretty much the best position player prospect the Angels can offer, but it’s pretty iffy whether he’ll make it as a regular. He hit .281/.354/.423 with 32 steals as a 22-year-old in Double-A last season. He can go get it in center field, but the offensive ability probably won’t be there to make him a top-of-the-order threat in the majors.
If the Angels made the deal, they’d get themselves an ace, but they’d open up a big hole at shortstop and they’d still be short a legitimate fifth starter. Using Brandon Wood at short and Maicer Izturis at third base is an option, but it’d leave the Angels with a much weaker infield defense than they possessed last season.
They might well have a better chance of winning the AL West with their current team and the extra $10 million in cash. Halladay, though, would seem to make them a much bigger threat in the postseason.

MVP or not, Mike Trout’s place in history is secure

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Mike Trout may not win another MVP award, because Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays had a great season and voters seem to be leaning his way, but the Angels center fielder just completed his fourth MVP-caliber campaign in four full seasons as a major leaguer.

Trout has now either won the MVP or (presumably) finished runner-up at age 20, age 21, age 22, and age 23. And there were certainly cases to be made that he was deserving of all four MVP awards. It’s been an incredible start to a career. But how incredible?

Here are the all-time leaders in Wins Above Replacement through age 23:

37.6 – Mike Trout
36.0 – Ty Cobb
34.2 – Ted Williams
31.4 – Mel Ott
30.1 – Ken Griffey Jr.
29.7 – Mickey Mantle
27.7 – Alex Rodriguez
27.5 – Al Kaline
26.7 – Arky Vaughan
26.5 – Rogers Hornsby

I mean, just look at the 10 names on that list. Ridiculous, and Trout sits atop all of them.

Trout has been the subject of intense MVP-related debates in three of his four seasons, but regardless of which side of that coin you favor don’t let it obscure the fact that we’re witnessing something truly special here. There’s certainly room to quibble with the exact rankings–WAR is merely one prominent and easy way to do such things–but however you slice it Trout has been one of the best handful of players in the history of baseball through age 23.

Orioles say re-signing Chris Davis is “a top priority”

Chris Davis
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Last week impending free agent Chris Davis expressed frustration that the Orioles had not approached him about a contract extension during the season, pointing out that the team had previously locked up other players like J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones mid-season.

Now that the season is over and Davis had another monster year Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun that re-signing Davis is “a top priority” and added:

He’s had a great year and he’s been a great player for us, so obviously, we’d like to have him back. Whether we can do that in the market, that remains to be seen, but we’re going to try.

Davis is 29 years old, has some defensive versatility, and has led the league in homers in two of the past three seasons while posting an .891 OPS during that time. He’s going to get plenty of huge multi-year offers and based on some of Duquette’s other quotes within Encina’s article it sure sounds like the Orioles are preparing for life without him.