Mike Trout: still a Phillies fan

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Commence your six-year premature free agency speculation, Philly Pholks. Mike Trout grew up in Phillies country and, according to his dad in this CSNPhilly.com interview, Trout still roots for them:

Trout’s father recalled a story from a few years back when in the middle of the night, Jeff heard Mike scream from his room.

“Dad, we got Roy Halladay!” Mike yelled. To which his Dad responded: “the Angels got Halladay?”

“No, the Phillies did!” Mike replied. “Son, you’re a member of the Angels. What’s with this we?!”

That was in December 2009, six months after Trout was drafted by the Angels and had already played in Rookie and Low-A ball for the club.

Still, it was almost three years ago. We should test this to see if he’s still Phaithful. Quick: someone tell him that Ryan Howard’s contract sucks and see if he gets all whiny about it.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).