Mike Trout on contract extension rumors: “I haven’t heard anything”

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As of late last month there were numerous reports about the Angels and Mike Trout working on a massive long-term contract extension, but as Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com notes that talk has gone silent recently.

Gonzalez asked Trout what the extension rumors being quiet meant and here’s how the Angels center fielder replied:

I haven’t heard anything, either. Is that good or bad? Uh, I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I’m just getting ready for the season, worried about getting off to a good start.

Trout indicated that there hasn’t been a snag in the negotiations, but mostly he just didn’t want to talk about the situation at all.

Unlike, say, Max Scherzer’s extension talks with the Tigers there’s no strict self-imposed deadline in Trout’s case and he’s under the Angels’ control through 2017.

Rays sign lefty Ryan Merritt to a minor league deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.

Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.

His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.

The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.