Mike Trout is in a class of his own. He’s racked up 54.7 Wins Above Replacement in his first seven major league seasons and collected two MVP honors after leading the league in runs scored in 2014 and 2016. He can reliably be counted on to deliver 20-30 home runs every year and has been decorated with six consecutive All-Star nominations. It goes without saying that his resume is extensive, and a 46-day stint on the disabled list hardly seems to have slowed him down at all. On Friday, he blew past another milestone with his 200th career home run.
Trout lost little time getting the Angels on the board. He took a 2-1 changeup from Marco Gonzalez and deposited it in center field to give the team a 1-0 lead in the first:
It’s the 32nd dinger of Trout’s season and the 200th since his big league debut in 2011. Not only did he become the third Angels player to reach 200 career home runs with the club, but he’s the fourth American League slugger to do so by his age-26 season. The other three to replicate the feat? Oh, just Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx and Alex Rodriguez.
Trout’s home run holds up against the greats, but it didn’t hold off the Mariners for long. Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager went back-to-back with solo homers in the fourth, and Robinson Cano and Mike Zunino tacked on another three insurance runs with an RBI single and two-RBI homer, respectively. The Angels currently trail the Mariners 5-2 in the top of the seventh inning.
In the meantime, you can gawk at Trout’s pretty, pretty home run spray chart here:
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.