Angels “not going after” Yoenis Cespedes because of luxury tax

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Yoenis Cespedes and the Angels seem like a natural fit, but Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that owner Arte Moreno is determined to stay under the luxury tax threshold and is “not going after” Cespedes.

At the moment the Angels have Daniel Nava and Craig Gentry atop their left field depth chart, which could be a decent low-cost platoon but certainly isn’t going to excite the fan base at all. Moreno has thrown big money around plenty in the past, but apparently no longer views that as a smart plan.

In the wake of Justin Upton signing a six-year, $132.75 million deal with the Tigers there have been several prominent reports of Cespedes’ market being a robust one, but so far at least there doesn’t appear to be a strong favorite to sign him.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”