The latest incredible thing Angels rookie and MVP frontrunner Mike Trout has done, via Austin Laymance of MLB.com:
On Thursday night, Trout (21 years, 16 days) became the youngest player since at least 1901 to record 40 steals and 20 homers in a season. Trout swiped his 40th base in the third inning of a 14-13 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Cesar Cedeno accomplished the feat in 1972 at 21 years, six months and one day.
Through 102 games Trout leads the league in batting average (.345), slugging percentage (.601), OPS (1.011), stolen bases (41), and runs scored (99). And if you’re into Wins Above Replacement, Trout is blowing away the competition with 8.9 WAR while no one else in baseball is higher than 6.2.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: