The September 30th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Scioscia doesn't know if he will be back, luxury tax concerns could prevent a Trout contract extension and much more...
The Story: Mike Scioscia still hasn't heard whether or not he will be back in 2014.
The Monkey Says: All signs point to Scioscia staying, but I don't buy that Dipoto will stay too. Rumors have it that Scioscia is going to lay down some demands regarding his coaches and likely make a play for more sway in the organization, so I don't see that working out well in an already strained GM-manager relationship.
The Story: Luxury tax concerns could prevent the Angels from working out an extension with Mike Trout this off-season.
The Monkey Says: A $300 million extension is pretty outlandish, but an extension with a $25 million average annual value isn't out of the question. This is a real concern for the Angels on that front, but it also isn't a back-breaker. First off, the assumption is that expensive arbitration cases like Hanson, Williams, Bourjos and Trumbo will all be brought back next season. They could shave a few million off by dumping some of those guys as non-tenders or via trades. They could also create the necessary wiggle room by trading Howie Kendrick or Erick Aybar, but even that would still create problems with adding other pieces like Masahiro Tanaka. It is quite possible that the Halos will just wait until next winter (where they would lose leverage) but would clear a big chunk of tax bill when Vernon Wells rolls off the books. It is also an option for the Angels to just pay the luxury tax for one year. If they only exceed the threshold by a few million, their penalty won't be substantial as they are first-time offenders. It will, however, put a lot of pressure on them to get under the tax threshold in 2015.
The Story: The Angels could trade Mark Trumbo for pitching this off-season.
The Monkey Says: The question is what kind of pitcher can they get in return? Trumbo is a good player, but he has some real failings that will limit his value. The Angels definitely need to clear the logjam in the outfield, so moving Trumbo, Bourjos or Calhoun makes sense, it just is a matter of which player will return the most value.
The Story: The Angels have the 15th pick in the 2014 draft.
The Monkey Says: Or at least they do for now. It is always possible Arte Moreno will lose his mind and forfeit the pick so that they can bring back Ervin Santana.
The Story: Mike Trout is the third player ever to collect 190 hits, 100 walks and 30 steals in the same season.
The Monkey Says: The others were Ty Cobb and Lenny Dyskstra, so I guess that means Trout is going to become either a homicidal bigot or a sociopathic con man. Or both. Probably both.
The Story: C.J. Wilson and Mike Scioscia both claimed that Wilson was given slippery balls to pitch with in Texas.
The Monkey Says: The thing is, I kind of believe them, though it seems like a pretty pathetic excuse. For both to have examined the balls and made the claim hardly suggests that they are making it up, but both admit that Texas was assuredly using the same slippery balls. It is possible that the umpires simply did a half-assed job of rubbing down the balls before the game. It is also quite possible that I have spent too much time about gripping and rubbing slippery balls.
The Story: Mike Trout expects Miguel Cabrera to win the AL MVP.
The Monkey Says: Give him credit for being a realist and give the BBWAA no credit for the potential to evolve their groupthink opinions.
The Story: J.B. Shuck has a sold case AL Rookie of the Year.
The Monkey Says: NOPE.
The Story: The late season turnaround of the pitching staff could help Mike Butcher's job security.
The Monkey Says: Should it? A lot of the improvement came from getting Weaver and Vargas back from the DL, moving Richards into the rotation and bumping Hanson and Blanton into irrelevancy. Butcher certainly deserves some credit as he is said to have really done a lot of work with Richards, but he also saw several reliever fall apart under his watch in the second half of the season.