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.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.