Over the winter, Yankees president Randy Levine made a comment about Angels outfielder Mike Trout to explain why the Yankees didn’t offer second baseman Robinson Cano — now a Mariner — a ten-year deal. Levine said, “If Mike Trout was here, I would recommend a 10-year contract. But for people over 30, I don’t believe it makes sense. I don’t think Hal [Steinbrenner] thinks it makes sense. We were very clear about that.”
Trout, at the time, was still negotiating a contract extension with the Angels. He would agree to a six-year, $144.5 million extension with the Angels at the end of March. In the meantime, Major League Baseball investigated Levine for his comment, as it could be considered tampering. Club officials aren’t allowed to discuss players under contract for other teams as they could influence, positively or negatively, that player’s marketability.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that commissioner Bud Selig is considering fining Levine for his comment. The amount of the potential fine has not been disclosed.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.