From our friend Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports …
The Los Angeles Angels and star center fielder Mike Trout are discussing a six-year contract extension that would pay him in the range of $150 million, a source close to the negotiations told Yahoo Sports.
Passan says “the gap between the sides is in the low eight figures” and there is optimism that it will soon be bridged. Perhaps by the end of this month.
Trout is among the best players in baseball and doesn’t turn 23 years old until this August, but he’s not even arbitration-eligible yet and a $25-plus million average annual value on a six-year deal that will only cover two seasons of free agency seems ridiculous. Passan estimates that Trout’s salary in 2018 — the final year of this proposed six-year deal — could be as high as $38 million. We’ve reached new territory, people.
Trout, 22, owns a .314/.404/.544 career batting line through his first two major league seasons.
If the six-year deal is completed, Trout will be eligible to hit the open market at the ripe age of 28.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.
Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:
Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.
Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.
Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.
Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.