Vlad tops list of Angels' free-agent signings

Vlad tops list of Angels' free-agent signings

Before bidding adieu to the Hot Stove season, we asked our 30 beat reporters to look back at their club's past and answer the following question: Who is the best free-agent signing in the team's history?

We narrowed the choices with the following parameters: The signings had to be multiyear contracts, to exclude fluky one-year deals and to focus on players who got real commitments. And contract extensions don't count. Only instances when every team in the league had a chance to bid on the player were allowed, including international free agents who received Major League contracts.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels announce Minor League staffs

Angels announce Minor League staffs

The Angels announced their Minor League coaching staffs on Friday, including the staff for Double-A Mobile in the club's first season in the organization.

Sal Fasano, a catcher for nine Major League teams from 1996-2008, is the new manager of the Mobile BayBears. Fasano spent the past two years as a pitching coordinator in the Blue Jays' Minor League system. He was previously named Double-A Manager of the Year with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2011, and also managed the Class A Lansing Lugnuts in 2009. Fasano will be joined by Buddy Carlyle (pitching coach), Ryan Barba (hitting coach), Matt Morrell (trainer) and Adam Auer (strength and conditioning).

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Halos, Valbuena reportedly agree to deal

Halos, Valbuena reportedly agree to deal

The Angels have agreed to a deal with veteran infielder Luis Valbuena, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. The club has not confirmed the report.

Valbuena, 31, spent the past two seasons with the Astros, though his '16 season was cut short due to season-ending hamstring surgery related to an injury sustained in July, in the midst of a season he posted a career-high .816 OPS, and one year after he belted a career-best 25 homers.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baseball world mourns Ventura, Marte

Baseball world mourns Ventura, Marte

The baseball world mourned the unexpected deaths of Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and third baseman Andy Marte on Sunday.

Ventura, 25, died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Marte, 33, also died in a separate car crash Sunday in the Dominican Republic.

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Jesse Sanchez has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels announce 3-year extension with Calhoun

Emerging outfielder gives team cost certainty, keeps strong presence in clubhouse

Angels announce 3-year extension with Calhoun

The Angels inked a key contributor to a long-term deal and added cost certainty on Wednesday by signing outfielder Kole Calhoun to a three-year contract with a club option for 2020.

The deal covers Calhoun's three remaining arbitration years and what would have been his first year of free agency. Terms were not disclosed, but The Orange County Register reported the contract is worth $26 million over three years with a $14 million option for '20.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vlad narrowly misses first-ballot HOF election

Slugger receives 71.7 percent of BBWAA vote

Vlad narrowly misses first-ballot HOF election

He was a singular talent that will never be forgotten.

Vladimir Guerrero's five-tool arsenal, his violently poetic right-handed swing and his All-Star smile ... all that and a lot more added up to one of the most uniquely brilliant outfielders of his generation and one that seems destined for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thaiss makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

Dodgers' Bellinger ranks first, Pirates' Bell, Mets' Smith follow once again

Thaiss makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

No position in the big leagues places a greater premium on power than first base, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that MLBPipeline's list of the Top 10 first-base prospects is loaded with sluggers. Four of them have plus pop, led by Cody Bellinger's 65 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale, and the rest all have average or better power. Meanwhile, the top four first basemen all ranked among the top six a year ago, while Bellinger and Casey Gillaspie leaped into the top half of the list.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout wins bet, makes friend wear Eagles uniform

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Trout wins bet, makes friend wear Eagles uniform

Mike Trout's love for the Eagles knows no bounds. In fact, it seems to be spilling over onto other people in his life. It's not unusual to see Trout sporting Eagles gear, but now his friends are doing it, too. 

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Prospect Middleton trusted Angels in season of change

Prospect Middleton trusted Angels in season of change

Keynan Middleton knows that a lot of talent and the willingness to make a few adjustments can go a long way. Maybe even all the way to the Major Leagues.

The 23-year-old right-hander is the No. 23 prospect in the Angels' system, according to MLBPipeline.com, and he's firmly on the team's radar as a potential late-inning relief ace. This is a relatively new development, considering the team selected him in the third round of the 2013 Draft out of Lane Community College as a starter, but, as Middleton knows quite well, things change.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoemaker medically cleared, eager for spring

Line drive fractured right-hander's skull last September

Shoemaker medically cleared, eager for spring

DETROIT -- Four months after Matt Shoemaker's nightmare on the mound, the Angels' right-hander was back on it Saturday. He was teaching, not pitching. He's looking forward to getting back to the latter soon.

As Shoemaker watched kids throw at his childhood friend and high school teammate Anthony Bass' pitching camp at Wayne State University, he chimed in with tips on mechanics and suggestions for tweaks. While Shoemaker was a guest instructor, he's very much a student of the game.

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Jason Beck has written for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former Angels GM O'Brien dies at 87

Career included time as GM of Mariners, Angels, Rangers

Dan O'Brien Sr., a baseball lifer who was president and general manager of the Mariners as well as general manager of the Rangers and Angels, passed away in Dallas on Tuesday. He was 87.

O'Brien's big league career was bracketed by 18 years in the Minor Leagues, beginning in 1955, and stints with the Arizona Fall League and USA Baseball.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Espinosa, Angels reportedly avoid arbitration

Espinosa, Angels reportedly avoid arbitration

The Angels have reached an agreement with Danny Espinosa on a one-year, $5.425 million deal to avoid arbitration, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The club has not confirmed the agreement.

Los Angeles acquired Espinosa, 29, from the Nationals earlier this offseason in exchange for Minor Leaguers Austin Adams and Kyle McGowin. Espinosa, who possessed one of the strongest arms in baseball at shortstop, is looking to rebound from a .209 batting average and 174 strikeouts in 2016.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mike Trout tweeted after Green Bay beat the Cowboys

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Mike Trout tweeted after Green Bay beat the Cowboys

Angels star Mike Trout is a proud-and-true Philadelphia Eagles fan. He was spotted at Eagles home games singing along with his fellow fans, gave a pair of his shoes to every player on the team as a Christmas gift, and even caught a touchdown pass (basically). 

So, after the Eagles' NFC East rival Cowboys lost a thrilling playoff game to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, how did Trout react? Well ... like this.

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Angels could court backstop Wieters

Angels could court backstop Wieters

The Angels went into the offseason looking to fill vacancies at a number of positions, but an upgrade behind the plate wasn't necessarily the priority.

Things could change on that front, however, and there are several sensible reasons why the team's biggest and most surprising move of the offseason just might be the free-agent signing of Matt Wieters.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Trout has clout to be Hall of Fame worthy

Angels slugger's numbers on par with all-time greats

Trout has clout to be Hall of Fame worthy

Maybe the most amazing thing about Mike Trout's brief career is that he may already have punched his ticket to Cooperstown. Roll that one around in your brain a time or two.

At the very least, Trout has done enough to be in a discussion about who does or doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame, and shouldn't that remind us how lucky we are to get to watch this guy play baseball?

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ryan helped form historic '99 Hall class

Trio marked largest group of first-ballot inductees to Cooperstown

Ryan helped form historic '99 Hall class

It's been just under two decades since George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as part of a historic class.

Thursday marks the 18th anniversary of the election of the Hall of Fame Class of 1999, which included an unprecedented three first-ballot inductees in Brett, Ryan and Yount. The class also featured four selections by the Veterans Committee: Orlando Cepeda, Nestor Chylak, Frank Selee and Joe Williams.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels retooling, looking to compete in 2017

Angels retooling, looking to compete in 2017

The Angels rolled into the Winter Meetings in December with a plan to fill the holes in their roster for 2017 and hopes that they'd get better and maybe a bit -- or a lot? -- luckier when it comes to injuries.

They like their core of position players. They love their MVP center fielder. They have a large group of starting pitchers to choose from once Spring Training begins in February. Their bullpen has the potential to be a real asset. And they have the longest-tenured manager in Major League Baseball.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heaney paid homage to 'Office Space' with gingerbread

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Heaney paid homage to 'Office Space' with gingerbread

 

Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney managed to holiday-spice up his return to normalcy in the best way possible: He and his wife Jordan destroyed gingerbread houses a la the printer scene from "Office Space."

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Trout's MVP year can't overcome injuries to staff

Trout's MVP year can't overcome injuries to staff

The Angels entered the 2016 season with the best player in baseball and high hopes that the men surrounding him would get the club back to the postseason.

Those hopes never materialized because of a rash of injuries, but one thing remained certain as the season ended with the disappointment of a 74-88 record: As long as you've got Mike Trout, there's always reason for optimism.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout got a touchdown ball from the Eagles' win

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Trout got a touchdown ball from the Eagles' win

Earlier this week, Mike Trout gave a bunch of players on the Philadelphia Eagles -- the New Jersey native's preferred NFL team -- a pair of his Trout sneakers. It was the kind of gesture that makes one the MVP (most valuable present-giver). But could the Eagles possibly give Trout a gift in return that matched up?

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Revere, Angels agree to 1-year contract

Revere, Angels agree to 1-year contract

The Angels and outfielder Ben Revere have agreed to a one-year contract, the club announced on Friday.

The deal is worth $4 million plus incentives, according to multiple reports.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Improved defense makes Angels team to watch

Club adds Espinosa to join healthy Simmons for stellar defensive middle infield

Improved defense makes Angels team to watch

Looking at projected standings in December is probably more useful as a conversation starter than as serious data -- and, of course, those projections will continue to change over the rest of the offseason as more signings and trades occur -- but one of the more interesting conversations they've started this winter revolves around whether the Angels -- who won just 74 games in 2016 -- might actually be contenders in 2017.

Obviously, simply having Mike Trout makes any team interesting. But for the Angels, they have another pretty big strength, which is that they took what was already one of baseball's best defenses and made moves this offseason to make it even better.

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Full recovery for Carew at top of wish list

Hall of Famer undergoes heart and kidney transplant

Full recovery for Carew at top of wish list

Few times of the year are as busy as this one. We're all in a hurry, it seems, and too often we turn minor tasks into what we perceive as Herculean feats, while no annoyance feels trivial.

Every red light, every long line at a checkout counter can seem like the straw that breaks the camel's back.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Most amazing American League games of 2016

Most amazing American League games of 2016

The Indians came thisclose to bringing a World Series title home to their fans and to the American League after an amazing 2016 season. Taking the Chicago Cubs to the 10th inning of the seventh game of the Fall Classic was just about as memorable as it gets.

But the Indians were one of 15 teams in the AL, and each one had its own Game of the Year. In consultation with the MLB.com beat reporters for every team, here are the best individual games for each AL club during another fantastic year in Major League Baseball:

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Skaggs shows giving spirit at holiday party

Skaggs shows giving spirit at holiday party

Imagine 11-year-old Tyler Skaggs, a kid from Southern California, a Little Leaguer who loves the Angels and is glued to the television on an October night as he watches his heroes -- Troy Glaus, Tim Salmon, Darin Erstad, Garret Anderson -- help bring his team a World Series championship.

Fast-forward all these years later and Skaggs is a starting pitcher for the very same team he rooted for as a kid. He's making a living playing baseball at the highest level, plying his trade every fifth day on the mound, and Skaggs helps children who look up to him just as he looked up to that magical 2002 title team.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout gave the Eagles a special holiday gift

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Trout gave the Eagles a special holiday gift

Mike Trout makes no secret of his love for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Millville Meteor regularly attends home games at Lincoln Financial Field, and he even had the privilege of singing "Fly, Eagles, Fly" back in October. And so, during this season of giving, Trout decided to give a gift to the football team nearest and dearest to his heart: namely, the gift of extremely sharp footwear.

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Christmas 'the best' for Street and his family

Christmas 'the best' for Street and his family

Huston Street is hard at work. The Angels' veteran relief pitcher is working out daily in his hometown of Austin, Texas, coming back from the knee surgery that ended his season in late July. He says he's healthy and eager to get right back into the swing of things when Spring Training starts in February.

But right now, it's December, better known in the Street household as the best month of the year. Street, his wife, Lacey, and their trio of boys -- 6-year-old Ripken, 4-year-old Rider and 18-month-old Rafe -- are fired up for Christmas and all the joy that comes with it.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.