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.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.