UPDATE: The original version of this post linked to a story that, it has been brought to our attention, was blatantly plagiarized from Bill Shaikin’s report from the Los Angeles Times. Apologies to Shaikin and the Times. And shame on the jerks who just reprinted their article without link or attribution.
The Angels have been negotiating with the Anaheim city council over their lease at the Big A. Which I don’t think is “The Big A” anymore, but old habits die hard. Anyway: under the lease the Angels had the right to relocate after 2016 if they wanted. It’s now been extended to 2019 as Arte Moreno and the city continue to negotiate over a longer term arrangement.
The more interesting part for those of us without a stake in the lease: the Angels can now drop the “of Anaheim” from their name if they want to:
Another portion of the lease that will energize fans is that Anaheim is giving up it’s stake to the Halos name. In the past, the Angels were required to have “Anaheim” in their name, hence the “of Anaheim” in their title. In it’s current state, Moreno can remove the suffix and simply call his club the Los Angeles Angels.
They’ve been the Los Angeles Angels. The California Angels. The Anaheim Angels. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. At this point, it really doesn’t matter where they say they’re from. We know where the ballpark is. I just regret that they didn’t go with “The O.C. Angels” at some point. They coulda ridden some temporary pop culture wave with that about ten years ago. Alas.
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.
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.