Somewhere there’s a guy who came up with the idea to fasten all of the little parts of kids’ toys to the box with clamshell packaging, elastic bands and twisty wires. While I’m sure the idea was to make the product look cool on the store shelf, the benefits of his innovation are far outweighed by the number of raw, cut fingertips and impatient, screaming kids on Christmas morning. If I ever meet him, he’s getting punched in the back of the neck. Wait — that’s too crude. If I ever meet him I’m going to force him to open and assemble the Barbie Party Cruise Playset at gunpoint.
Anyway, while we were drinking eggnog and abusing the copy machine at the CTB Christmas Party on Thursday night, Justin Duchscherer signed with the A’s. The deal has a $2 million base with start and innings incentives that could bring it up to $5.5 million.
Good deal for the A’s. Duchscherer likely sees it as a prove-yourself deal and, if successful, will find himself back out on the market again next year.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.