Angels cut ties with fourth key front-office executive

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The Halos are shaking things up in a major way.

From beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times comes word that the Angels have cut ties with another member of their front office, this time letting go director of player development Abe Flores.

General manager Tony Reagins resigned a couple days after the conclusion of the regular season. The very next week, longtime assistant GM Ken Forsch and special assistant Gary Sutherland were both fired. That’s four front-office executives canned in 10 days. The “Rally Monkey” better watch its back.

Flores was with the Angels for a whole decade, beginning in 2001 as the club’s manager of baseball operations. He was promoted to player development director in ’07 and spent the last four years in that role.

The Angels finished 89-73 this season, 10 games back of the Rangers in the American League West.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves