The Angels and superstar outfielder Mike Trout have agreed to terms on a six-year extension which is reportedly worth $144.5 million. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has the year-by-year breakdown:
2015: $5.25 million
2016: $15.25 million
2017: $19.25 million
2018: $33.25 million
2019: $33.25 million
2020: $33.25 million
While the Angels surely would have liked to have him for longer, they have to be thrilled that they were able to buy out three free agent years. The deal includes a $5 million signing bonus and Trout will receive a full no-trade clause. The two sides already agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal for 2014 in February, so this new extension will not count toward the team’s luxury tax until 2015. With high-priced names like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton already on the payroll, that’s a big deal.
Trout’s extension is the second-largest ever for a player with less than three years of MLB service. Buster Posey still holds the record with his eight-year, $159 million extension with the Giants. However, Trout’s $24.1 million AAV (average annual value) blows away Posey’s $19.875 million AAV.
Trout will be 29 at the end of the extension, which sets him up for another major payday. If he can keep up his current pace, his next deal will likely be the richest in baseball history.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.