Angels' Smith trying to strike out degenerative disease

Reliever raising funds for study of Huntington's, which affects his mom and maybe him one day

Angels' Smith trying to strike out degenerative disease

The real Lee Smith is a strong, intelligent woman with a zest for life and a wholesome disposition. Joe Smith will tell you that, and these days the Angels' reliever will frequently say it to himself.

He needs the occasional reminder, because Huntington's disease has progressively robbed his mother of her true identity.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels Spring Training tickets go on sale Dec. 5

Angels Spring Training tickets go on sale Dec. 5

ANAHEIM -- Angels Spring Training tickets will go on sale Friday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. PT, the club announced.

Tickets for the 15-game slate at Tempe Diablo Stadium will be available at Angels.com. They can also be obtained by calling the Ticketmaster national sales line (800-745-3000), SoCal sales line (714-663-9000) and all Arizona-based Ticketmaster outlets.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Lefty Roth clears waivers, becomes free agent

Angels also outright Marte, Williams to Triple-A Salt Lake

Lefty Roth clears waivers, becomes free agent

ANAHEIM -- Angels left-hander Michael Roth left the organization on Tuesday, electing to become a free agent just 28 months into his professional career after clearing waivers.

Outfielder Alfredo Marte and catcher Jackson Williams, both of whom were claimed by the Angels this offseason, also cleared waivers but were outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake. Roth, plucked out of the University of South Carolina in the ninth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, was able to elect free agency because it was his second time clearing waivers.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Erstad, Percival on Hall of Fame ballot for first time

Erstad, Percival on Hall of Fame ballot for first time

The newest list of candidates for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 is headlined by dominant pitchers like Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, as well as power hitter Gary Sheffield.

But beyond the stars, others who had stellar Major League careers also are eligible for the first time. Although they didn't throw with Johnson's velocity or swing with Sheffield's ferocity, at one time or another, many of them carried their clubs and will forever be remembered by baseball fans.

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Adam Berry and Cash Kruth are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Players' cut of postseason pool announced

World Series champion Giants earn record for full shares

Players' cut of postseason pool announced

After winning their third World Series in five seasons, the Giants' full postseason shares were worth a record-high $388,605.94, Major League Baseball announced Monday.

That figure breaks the previous high mark of $370,872.53 set by the Giants following their 2012 World Series championship. The American League champion Royals received postseason shares worth $230,699.73.

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

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Inbox: What do the Angels see in Baldoquin?

Beat reporter Alden Gonzalez answers fans' questions

Inbox: What do the Angels see in Baldoquin?

The Angels were busy early in the offseason, acquiring a starting pitcher from the Astros (Nick Tropeano), a relief pitcher from the Rays (Cesar Ramos) and a middle infielder from Cuba (Roberto Baldoquin) all within seven days of the World Series. A lot will still happen this winter, but conventional wisdom suggests that a lot of it won't involve the Angels. I tackled that subject, and several others, in this latest Inbox.

What's the word on the kid they just gave the big signing bonus to? What's his ETA at the bigs and position?
-- @Mar_e_o17

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels protect pair from Rule 5 Draft, but not Cowart

Angels protect pair from Rule 5 Draft, but not Cowart

ANAHEIM -- The Angels added catcher Jett Bandy and right-hander Dan Reynolds to the 40-man roster on Thursday, protecting both from exposure in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. To make room on the roster, the club designated catcher Jackson Williams and lefty Michael Roth for assignment.

That means third baseman Kaleb Cowart, the former No. 1 pick who has seen his stock plummet after back-to-back rough seasons in Double-A, has been left unprotected and can be plucked from the organization in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 11.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Closer Smith, two '02 Angels seek Hall of Fame votes

Righty in 13th year on ballot; Percival, Erstad are first-timers

Closer Smith, two '02 Angels seek Hall of Fame votes

ANAHEIM -- The strike-shortened season was over and the Angels were fed up with their bullpen woes. So on Dec. 14, 1994, they did something few in the industry anticipated: They landed baseball's all-time saves leader, signing a then-37-year-old Lee Smith to a two-year, $4 million contract that would lock down the ninth inning for a team that suddenly looked like a playoff contender.

Smith is on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the 13th of a maximum 15 years in 2015, one of three former Angels, along with two first-timers who were part of the World Series team in 2002 -- outfielder Darin Erstad and the man who followed Smith as closer, Troy Percival.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels acquire outfielder Robertson from Rangers

Marte designated for assignment to make room on 40-man roster

Angels acquire outfielder Robertson from Rangers

The Angels acquired outfielder Daniel Robertson from the Rangers on Thursday in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Robertson played in 70 games and made 41 starts as a rookie in 2014, batting .271 (48-for-177) with 23 runs, nine doubles, a triple and 21 RBIs.

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

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Ex-Hamilton aide Narron joins Angels' Triple-A team

Friend, chaperone during outfielder's return to stardom takes over as Salt Lake's hitting coach

Ex-Hamilton aide Narron joins Angels' Triple-A team

ANAHEIM -- The Angels have hired Johnny Narron, Josh Hamilton's former accountability partner, to be the new hitting coach at Triple-A Salt Lake, an industry source confirmed on Wednesday.

Narron was dismissed after three seasons as the Brewers' Major League hitting coach in October, and he will now work under longtime Dodgers infielder and former Rangers coach Dave Anderson, who was recently hired to manage the Bees.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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One for the road: Santiago starts MLB All-Stars finale

One for the road: Santiago starts MLB All-Stars finale

Angels left-hander Hector Santiago had only pitched one inning of relief during the Major League Baseball All-Stars squad's tour of Japan, but he got his chance to start in Thursday's exhibition finale against Samurai Japan at Okinawa Cellular Stadium.

MLB manager John Farrell started Santiago, and the 26-year-old lefty gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out two over four innings. Santiago took the loss as the MLB All-Stars fell, 6-4, finishing the trip with a 3-4 record in two exhibitions and the five-game Japan All-Star Series.

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

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Stanton's deal brings Trout's more into focus

Comparing Marlins slugger's $325 million pact with AL MVP's extension

Stanton's deal brings Trout's more into focus

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout once was thought to be the player to set the financial precedent. Many believed Trout was going to sign the first $300 million contract, become the richest man in his sport and set a new standard on Major League Baseball's salary scale.

Then along came Giancarlo Stanton.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Japan Series bonding: Santiago kisses Francona's head

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Japan Series bonding: Santiago kisses Francona's head

Don't try to understand why Angels pitcher Hector Santiago kissed Terry Francona's head on the flight to Okinawa for their last exhibition match in the Japan Series. 

For one, Santiago says it was for a dare, for team bonding. But also because it's best to be Francona: Simply take the world as it comes, reclined in your plush airplane seat, with a tranquil smile on your face.

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Angels hire Anderson to manage Triple-A club

Angels hire Anderson to manage Triple-A club

ANAHEIM -- The Angels have brought in longtime Dodgers infielder and former Rangers coach Dave Anderson to be their new Triple-A manager, a position vacated after Keith Johnson was moved to roving infield coordinator.

Anderson, who spent last year as the Orioles' Minor League infield coordinator, played for the Dodgers from 1983-89 and then in his final season in '92, winning the World Series in '88, while teaming up with Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB follows Shoemaker to victory over Japan

Angels righty allows two hits over five scoreless in 3-1 win in Sapporo

MLB follows Shoemaker to victory over Japan

The assembled team of MLB All-Stars ended the Japan All-Star Series on a high note Tuesday, beating Samurai Japan, 3-1, behind the strong right arm of the Angels' Matt Shoemaker.

After dropping the first three games of the official five-game showcase, the MLB club won the final two games. With an 8-7 victory in the preliminary exhibition game, the big leaguers have a chance to finish the barnstorming tour with a winning record with Thursday's upcoming exhibition finale.

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

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Halos taking patient approach with prospect Cowart

Third baseman among farmhands who took part in Arizona Fall League

Halos taking patient approach with prospect Cowart

ANAHEIM -- The 2015 season was supposed to be Kaleb Cowart's turn to take over as the Angels' everyday third baseman.

Instead, they're wondering how much longer he'll even be a position player.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB tabs Santiago for finale exhibition in Okinawa

Angels' Santiago slated to start against Samurai's Takeda in exhibition

MLB tabs Santiago for finale exhibition in Okinawa

SAPPORO, Japan -- When Major League Baseball's traveling caravan touched down in Sapporo on Monday afternoon, players huddled in sweatshirts and blazers, cursing the cold. They stared out the windows of their buses, spying fresh snow on the ground. Some ventured out of the hotel the next morning, which saw flurries give way to a wintry mix.

Needless to say, these players are ready for the warm weather that their final stop on the Japan All-Star Series will provide: mid-70s and sunny when they touch down in Okinawa for today's series-ending exhibition (6 p.m. JT, 4 a.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.TV).

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

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No doubt as Trout unanimous AL MVP Award winner

Outfielder, 23, is first Angel to take home honor since Vlad in 2004

No doubt as Trout unanimous AL MVP Award winner

ANAHEIM -- The game's best all-around player now has the hardware to back it up. 

As if there was ever any doubt, Mike Trout was named the American League's Most Valuable Player Award winner on Thursday. And just to prove there never was, the Angels' center fielder collected all 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, becoming the youngest unanimous MVP in Major League history.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

A team-by-team breakdown of who impressed and how each club's top player fared

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Fall League is known as baseball's finishing school because it has graduated a ton of talent to the Major Leagues since it began play in 1992. The AFL has produced 212 All-Stars, including 35 in this year's Midsummer Classic, 25 Rookies of the Year, 13 MVPs and five Cy Young Award winners.

Based on the quality of the talent in the AFL this year, more big leaguers and stars are on the way. The league wrapped up its 23rd season on Saturday, with the Salt River Rafters outlasting the Peoria Javelinas, 14-7, for their fourth title and first since 2011.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels coaches see Trout dialing back on K's

Ebel, Baylor say minor adjustments will sharpen AL MVP's strike zone

Angels coaches see Trout dialing back on K's

ANAHEIM -- Amid all the impressive context surrounding Mike Trout's American League Most Valuable Player Award -- youngest unanimous MVP in history, fifth-youngest MVP ever, fourth player to finish in the top two in MVP ballots for three straight years -- came a pessimistic stat that doesn't sit well with the Angels' center fielder:

Most strikeouts ever by an MVP.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Santiago, Blevins awed by Kabuki at theater in Tokyo

Santiago, Blevins awed by Kabuki at theater in Tokyo

TOKYO -- From their vantage point, Jerry Blevins and Hector Santiago watched actors flash across a traditional Japanese Kabuki stage. They could not understand what anyone was saying, so they instead paid attention to the intonation of their voices, the movement of their bodies.

"It's so expressive," Blevins said, after he and Santiago emerged from one of Tokyo's landmark theaters. "We were talking afterward, you could sense what was going on just because of how great they are in expressing themselves, both vocally and through body movement. It's a lot like theater in the U.S., except we don't understand the language. So we play a lot closer attention to pitch and tone and movements."

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Trout, Kershaw the right picks for MVP Awards

Trout, Kershaw the right picks for MVP Awards

This was not Mike Trout's best season, or even his second best. But he deserved the American League Most Valuable Player Award. Pitchers winning the MVP always feels a little icky. But Clayton Kershaw deserved the National League MVP Award, too.

Voting for the MVP Award is one of the most agonizing-yet-cherished responsibilities of members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (second only to the Hall of Fame vote), and I'm guessing this year's NL vote, in particular, was responsible for a lot of burned brain cells. But while there are nit-picky points to be made about Trout's strikeouts and the "pitchers don't deserve the MVP" arguments will rage deep into the night, it's hard to fault either selection announced Thursday night.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Richards headlines list of Super Two players

The 26 players named are eligible for salary arbitration

Richards headlines list of Super Two players

Major League Baseball and the Players' Association have finalized a list of 26 players with less than three years of Major League service time who are eligible for salary arbitration, also known as Super Twos, a Major League Baseball source confirmed.

The group is headlined by Mets closer Jenrry Mejia, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera, Angels pitcher Garrett Richards, Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, Astros slugger Chris Carter, A's third baseman Josh Donaldson and Yankees pitcher David Phelps.

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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.

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MLB stars take part in Japanese tea ceremony

Fowler, Choate, Santiago perform formal steps of tradition that dates to 14th century

MLB stars take part in Japanese tea ceremony

TOKYO -- A day after arriving to Tokyo from Osaka via bullet train, Astros outfielder Dexter Fowler, Cardinals reliever Randy Choate and Angels pitcher Hector Santiago participated in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony on Friday, several hours before their game against the Japanese National Team at the Tokyo Dome (6 p.m. JT, 4 a.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.TV).

After strolling through a garden with Buddhist statues and magnificently manicured greenery, the trio of players representing Major League Baseball in the Japan All-Star Series were treated to Matcha, a powdered green tea, and assorted sweets as part of a tradition that dates back to the 14th century.

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David Venn is executive editor of LasMayores.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Shoemaker solid over five innings in outing in Japan

Shoemaker solid over five innings in outing in Japan

In his first outing since the American League Division Series, Angels starter Matt Shoemaker held the Japanese national team to two runs over five effective innings in the MLB All-Stars' 2-0 loss in Game 1 of the Japan Series from the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan, on Wednesday.

The right-hander gave up six hits, walked one and struck out five. Shoemaker finished second on the American League Rookie of the Year ballot this week, behind White Sox slugger Jose Abreu.

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Towey belts walk-off homer in Fall League action

Halos prospect homers in 11th for Mesa, setting up Peoria-Surprise showdown

Towey belts walk-off homer in Fall League action

After scoring a run in the bottom of the ninth and 10th innings to extend its game against Peoria on Wednesday, Mesa finally reached the end of the line in the 11th. The Solar Sox held the Javelinas scoreless in the top half but needed to score in the bottom of the inning or the game would end in a tie, as mandated by Arizona Fall League rules.

Cal Towey, the Angels' No. 18 prospect, stepped up to the late to lead off the frame against right-hander Mitch Harris. Towey had drawn a pair of walks already and wanted to stick with his approach with the game on the line.

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

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Scioscia second in AL Manager of the Year Award voting

Skipper led Angels to best record in Majors, received four first-place votes

Scioscia second in AL Manager of the Year Award voting

ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia finished second in balloting for the American League Manager of the Year Award on Tuesday, losing to Buck Showalter after the Orioles' skipper garnered 25 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Showalter racked up 132 points, more than doubling the 61 attained by Scioscia and more than tripling the 41 by Royals manager and fellow finalist Ned Yost.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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