Angels general manager shoots down rumored interest in Holliday

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General manager Tony Reagins has shot down a FOXSports.com report claiming that the Angels are among three AL teams seriously pursuing free agent Matt Holliday, saying: “He’s a talented player, but our focus is not on him right now.”
The assumption, of course, is that Reagins’ focus is on re-signing John Lackey and/or Chone Figgins after already locking up fellow free agent Bobby Abreu to a multi-year deal. “I know where both of them stand, but as free-agent players they have earned the right to see what their value is,” Reagins said.
Interestingly, the FOXSports.com report that Reagins responded to was the same Jon Paul Morosi article that I made note of yesterday. My attention stemmed from Morosi reporting that “the Yankees, who need a left fielder, are interested” in Holliday, which completely contradicted a report by Buster Olney of ESPN.com claiming that the Yankees “are not interested in signing Holliday” because “corner outfield is not a priority for them.”
Morosi suggested that Holliday was unlikely to re-sign with the Cardinals and would instead end up in the AL. He mentioned three AL teams as being heavily in the mix, but Olney disagreed with the Yankees’ inclusion on that list and the Angels’ general manager himself issued a denial about their interest. That leaves the Red Sox, which either means that Boston is now the most likely AL destination for Holliday or Morosi was just throwing a bunch of stuff out there to see what would stick.

Watch: Mike Trout ties MLB record with his 25th home run

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It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:

In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.

Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.

Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.

Blue Jays acquire Tom Koehler from Marlins

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The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.

The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.

Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.