MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez is reporting that the Angels and outfielder Mike Trout are close to finalizing a contract extension worth $144.5 million over six years. [Update: The Angels official Twitter confirms the deal. The team will make an announcement on Saturday.]
Trout is currently eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season, so the extension would cover all three arbitration years and the first three years of free agency.
Trout was the runner-up in AL MVP balloting in each of the last two seasons, losing both times to Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers. Cabrera made headlines yesterday when he agreed to a ten-year deal worth $292 million, with eight years and $248 million of it being new.
The average annual value of Trout’s reported extension, in excess of $24 million, doesn’t touch Cabrera’s AAV of $31 million.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.