From the L.A. Times, a story about the state of Mike Trout’s eventual crazy-riches. Current status: no discussions yet about any kind of long term deal for arguably the best player in baseball.
He’s making just north of the minimum now, as the Angels only have him a token bump from last year’s minimum salary. Which was their right, and it is their right to do so once again for 2014. It’s quite possible that the most overall production in baseball for 2012-2014 will be had by the Angels for less than the cost of Erik Bedard or someone like him. After that, though, it’s gonna be riches city for Trout, be it via arbitration, where he’ll likely make eight figures for all three years, or via a long term deal which buys out arbitration and some amount of his free agency.
For now, though, Trout is playing it cool, talking up his love of Anaheim while signaling that the future is unclear and he would consider planting roots elsewhere if he had to some day.
If I’m the Angels I pay through the nose now, while you can lock up the productive years while letting someone else worry about his age-30+ years. But then again, the Angels haven’t exactly been afraid of age-30+ years recently. For whatever that has been worth.
On Sunday, it was reported that second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets were discussing a potential three-year contract extension worth “north of $40 million.” Those discussions took a turn for the worse. The Mets feel extension talks are “probably dead,” according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Walker underwent a lumbar microdisectomy in September, ending his 2016 season during which he hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI over 458 plate appearances.
The Mets may not necessarily need to keep Walker around as it has some potential options up the middle waiting in the minor leagues. Though Amed Rosario is expected to stick at shortstop, Gavin Cecchini — the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline — could shift over to second base.
The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.
It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:
On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:
“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”
Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.