The past few days have been busy ones for Jerry Dipoto and the Los Angeles Angels Front Office, along with Tim Mead and the Angels Media Relations Department. They had what was similar to a high schoolers curfew when it came to giving Jason Vargas a qualifying offer with a 2:00 time limit. They found a pretty nice replacement for Dino Ebel (who was promoted to bench coach) and hired former-Angel infielder Gary DiSicina as the new Third-Base Coach. Fan favorite Mike Trout is nominated for the American League's Most Valuable Player and the next day is awarded with his second straight Silver Slugger Award. Ken Rosenthall reported late Tuesday afternoon that the Angels were hiring Rick Eckstein for a position on the coaching staff. Also, the first attempt at a "challenge" in baseball started with Angels prospect, C.J. Cron.
I've been busy myself driving to meet some great people at the FOX Sports and Scout.com offices, along with battling a small flu so I'll do my best to catch you all up on what's been going on the past few days.
2:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Monday, November 4th: Jason Vargas is not given a qualifying offer and hits the free agency market.
If you didn't know the Angels had until 2:00 P.M. PST to give Jason Vargas a qualifying offer of $14.1 million to keep him from free agency. They didn't make the offer, which allows Vargas to hit the free agent market and look at offers from other teams. Both parties however are interested in making a deal, for slightly less money. If the Angels were to make a deal with now free agent Vargas, I'd expect it to be in the high $20 million range for around three years.
10:30 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, Tuesday, November 5th: Gary DiSicina is named the new Third Base Coach.
Many Angels fans were happy with this move, as they should be. DiSicina managed the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston's Triple-A affiliate) to an 80-63 record and also lead them to the Governors' Cup where they fell to the Durham Bulls. DiSicina spent 12 seasons in the Angels middle infield, and spent the 2011-12 season as the club's Field Coordinator of Player Instruction. DiSicina will be taking over the duties of Third Base Coach, previously occupied by Dino Ebel, who was promoted to Bench Coach earlier this off-season.
3:45 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Tuesday, November 5th: Mike Trout is a finalist for the American League's Most Valuable Player.
No surprise here. Mike Trout was nominated as a finalist for the American League Most Valuable Player. Joining him as finalists are Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, and Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. During the announcements on MLB Network, analyst had already seemingly given Miguel Cabrera the award, but also used the term "best player in the game" to describe Trout. Maybe, just maybe, this will reach the minds of the voters (members of the Baseball Writer's Association of America), and Trout will gain more votes over the process.
4:10 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Tuesday, November 5th: Ken Rosenthall reports that the Angels will be hiring Rick Eckstein to the coaching staff.
I'm not a fan of rumors, but this was one I couldn't ignore since Rosenthall usually has really good sources. Eckstein (brother of former-Angels shortstop David) was the Washington Nationals Hitting Coach this past season, and will more than likely be given the position of Facilitator of Fdvanced Fcouting, as well as possibly fill in as the Assistant Hitting Coach.
6:30 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Tuesday, November 5th: Instant Replay "Challenge" is tested and used for the first in the Arizona Fall League with Angels prospect C.J. Cron being the first victim.
C.J. Cron was called out at first, and for the first time ever, we saw a "challenge" in baseball when Mesa Solar Sox Manager Bill Richardson decided he didn't like the call. The replay showed evidence that proved Cron was truly, out at first.
12:05 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Wednesday, November 6th: Angels sign former first-round draft pick Chris Volstad to a minor league contract, along with an invite to Spring Training.
Chris Volstad was drafted 16th overall by the Florida Marlins in 2005, but has not had the success expected from him. Over Volstad's career, he's pitched in 130 games (123 started) and has totalled 703.2 innings pitched over those games, with a 4.94 career earned-run-average. Volstad was signed to a minor league contract by the Angels, and given an invitation to Spring Training this upcoming March.
3:25 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Wednesday, November 6th: Mike Trout wins second straight Silver Slugger Award.
Again, to no surprise, Mike Trout won his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award in his second full season in the Major Leagues. Trout became the first American League player to reach the milestone (two Silver Slugger Awards in first two full seasons). As one of my colleagues brought up, the all-time Silver Slugger Award leader is Barry Bonds with 12. It's early, but it's not hard to say we can expect to see Mike Trout get near that record.
Hopefully I caught you up a little bit with the past few days. I have to tip my hat to the Angels Front Office and also their Media Relations Department for the work they've put in over this span. Tim Mead, Eric Kay, Adam Chodzko, and their other staff are hard workers and any chance I get I thank them for their work, so if you ever get the chance to meet them, please do the same.
If you have any questions, or would like more information on the Los Angeles Angels, follow me on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard, and ask away. Also, don't forget to follow @ScoutAngels and @ScoutMedia for updates on all sports across the board.