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.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.