Link-O-Rama: Spahn, Carlton, Grove … Moyer?

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* Hard as it may be to believe, here’s the complete list
of every left-handed pitcher in baseball history with more wins than
Jamie Moyer: Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton, Eddie Plank, Tom Glavine,
Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Eppa Rixey, Carl
Hubbell. All of which is made even more amazing by the fact that Moyer
had a 34-54 record when he turned 30 years old.

* A’s manager Bob Geren said yesterday
that Justin Duchscherer’s recovery from spring elbow surgery has been
delayed because of back problems, making him unlikely to return from
the disabled list before the All-Star break.

* On the other hand, it sounds like Kelvim Escobar will come off the DL this weekend despite struggling in last night’s rehab start at Triple-A.

* Ozzie Guillen continues to downplay the notion of Gordon Beckham joining the White Sox in the second half, saying:
“The last thing we worry about is Beckham, and I don’t know why people
in Chicago fell in love with this kid. He’s a great player, he’s going
to be in the big leagues, he’s going to be a big part of this
organization pretty soon. But we don’t have Beckham on our mind right
now. I don’t and I’m the one making the lineup. If we have Beckham
here, we’re in trouble.”

* Miguel Angel Sano, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, is the latest stud international prospect to have MLB teams salivating.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.