Brian Wilson was the most noteworthy name among those who were non-tendered last night. There’s still a chance he could return to the Giants at a discounted rate, but Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that his tenure in San Francisco is almost certainly over.
The Giants technically can negotiate a lower-priced, incentive-rich deal with Wilson now that he is a free agent, but multiple sources said the 30-year-old right-hander is upset about the Giants’ stance and has told people he will sign elsewhere.
Wilson made an $8.5 million salary this past season and the Giants weren’t willing to offer him the minimum guarantee of $6.8 million through arbitration coming off his second Tommy John surgery. While Wilson apparently took issue with that, it was an understandable decision from a business perspective, as the Giants’ bullpen is already pretty expensive and $6.8 million is a lot to guarantee to a reliever, especially one who is still rehabbing from surgery.
Wilson figures to land a deal similar in structure to Ryan Madson’s one-year contract with the Angels, which includes a $3.5 million base salary and $3.5 million in possible incentives based on days spent on the roster and games finished. The Dodgers and Red Sox have been mentioned as two possible landing spots.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.