Baseball roundup: Angels to hook Trout for a long run?
The Associated Press | February 27,2014
TEMPE, Ariz. — Mike Trout has his first seven-figure contract. Up ahead is what figures to be a nine-figure deal.
“It feels good,” Trout said Wednesday after agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
The salary is the highest for a one-year major league contract for a player not yet eligible for arbitration who wasn’t coming to the big leagues from Japan or Cuba or wasn’t required to have a larger amount because of the maximum cut rule. Ryan Howard earned $900,000 with Philadelphia in 2007 and Albert Pujols with St. Louis in 2003.
Trout will become eligible for arbitration after this season and could become a free agent after the 2017 World Series. The sides are thought to be discussing an agreement through 2020 in the $150 million range.
Trout wouldn’t talk about the possibility of a multiyear contract.
“I just go out there to play the game,” he said. “If the money is where it’s at, that’s where it’s going to be.”
By agreeing to a one-year contract now with the 22-year-old, the Angels avoid having a long-term deal count toward their 2014 luxury tax payroll.
“It’s a landmark to do a $1 million with a two-plus player,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “I think it’s fitting and Mike’s earned that and we’re glad to provide that for him.”
Trout was voted AL Rookie of the Year and finished second in MVP voting in 2012, when he hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals. He was second again to Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in MVP voting last year, when he batted .323 with a .432 on-base percentage, 27 homers, 97 RBIs and 33 steals.
“We thought his performance was exceptional,” Dipoto said. “There are players that force you to break rules. What he did for two consecutive years forced us to break our own rule. His performance certainly merited us to do differently than any of the others.”
Trout had a $482,500 salary as a rookie and earned a $10,000 bonus for winning Rookie of the Year. The Angels renewed his contract last year for $510,000 — just $20,000 above the major league minimum at the time.
“The Angels could have easily just done the same thing that they did last year,” Trout said. “It makes you feel good inside. It makes you feel like they really want you here. It means a lot to me.”
NOTES: Because of the maximum cut rule, some players not eligible for arbitration have had higher salaries. Shortstop Jose Iglesias agreed to a deal with Detroit in January that pays $1.65 million while in the major leagues and $1,237,500 while in the minors. The major league base represents the maximum 20 percent cut from the average of the $8.25 million, four-year deal he completed.
Yanks brass OK
with Jeter health
TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has no concerns about the health of shortstop Derek Jeter, who was limited to 17 games last season due to leg injuries.
Jeter is scheduled to play Thursday against Pittsburgh in his first spring training game of his final season.
Cashman said Wednesday he is “more curious as to like how the weather report is for tomorrow than what he’s going to look like.”
“What happened last year was unfortunate and unexpected,” Cashman said. “I’ve been conditioned not to worry about Derek Jeter, and I haven’t deviated from that.”
Jeter, who turns 40 in June, broke his left ankle in the 2012 AL championship series, then broke it again last spring during his rehabilitation.
“I’m looking forward to being out there,” Jeter said. “I feel good now, so last year doesn’t matter. Since I’ve been here this year, everything has been like a normal spring. You can’t really compare last year and this year. Two entirely different years. Last year I felt as though I was rehabbing, this year I’m good to go.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi is handling Jeter’s spring training in a normal fashion.
“Everything he’s done has been good,” Girardi said. “So, last year where we had some concerns, the way he was running, the way he was moving, we haven’t had any of that.”
Jeter got to meet 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston before the Yankees played Florida State on Tuesday. Winston is a closer and outfielder for the Seminoles.
“He’s pretty remarkable,” Jeter said. “I think it’s cool that he’s playing two sports. You don’t see that too often now.”
NOTES: 1B Mark Teixeira, recovering from right wrist surgery July 2, expects to face a pitcher in batting practice for the first time next week. He could be ready for a game in about 10 days. ... OF Alfonso Soriano (flu) worked out for the second straight day and could play Sunday. ... INF Eduardo Nunez is out with flu. ... If more improvements are needed to the roster, Cashman maintained any moves would not involve adding a big salary. “We’ve spent our money,” he said.
Angels Hamilton strained
calf, out at least 2 weeks
TEMPE, Ariz. — Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will be sidelined for at least two weeks because of a strained calf muscle, and pitcher C.J. Wilson does not appear to be seriously hurt after getting struck on the head by a line drive in batting practice.
Both players were injured during a spring training workout Tuesday.
Hamilton struggled in his first season with the Angels after agreeing to a $125 million, five-year contract, hitting .250 with 21 homers and 79 RBIs. The 2010 AL MVP reported to spring training 20 pounds heavier than last year after losing about 25 pounds following the 2012 season.
Hamilton left the clubhouse on crutches Tuesday after getting hurt during a baserunning drill.
“It’s something that will definitely heal on its own and it’s just going to take some time and the timeframe we’re getting is the minimum of a couple of weeks,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. “As of right now we’re very optimistic that he’ll get back in here and he can get back in shape for the start of the season.”
Wilson, also starting his second season with the Angels. was hit by a liner off the bat of Yorvit Torrealba.
“Everything is fine, except that pitch I threw. Shoulda caught it,” Wilson tweeted. “Lesson is to not pitch to contact!”
Wilson, 17-7 last year, could make his exhibition debut Saturday.
Nats won’t hurry
VIERA, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg says he’s “ready to rock.” Even so, the Washington Nationals aren’t rushing his spring debut.
Strasburg isn’t scheduled to pitch in the Nationals’ first two exhibition games. The team hasn’t announced when Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez or Doug Fister will make their first appearances this spring.
“It’s just kind of the way it stacks up,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said Wednesday. “There’s no meaning behind it one way or the other. It’s how he feels and how we stack that rotation.”
“I’ve talked with (pitching coach Steve McCatty) a lot about it and it’s just kind of the way it falls,” he said.
Williams added things will likely change following the team’s off-day on March 18. That’s when the Nationals could start setting up their rotation for the regular season.
The Nationals will open exhibition play Friday in Port St. Lucie against the New York Mets with Taylor Jordan getting the start. Jordan Zimmermann is set to start in Washington’s spring home opener against Atlanta on Saturday.
Strasburg is listed for a bullpen session Saturday.