Report: Angels to discuss contract extension with Mike Trout

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that, as a way to find out exactly where the organization stands with superstar outfielder Mike Trout, the Angels plan to discuss a contract extension. Rosenthal doesn’t specify, but extension talks will almost certainly take place during the offseason, not during the final three weeks of the regular season.

Trout, 27, is under contract for two more years at $33.25 million annually. Given the recent news about Shohei Ohtani‘s elbow and the age of some of the other players like Albert Pujols, the Angels are at a crossroads of sorts. If Trout doesn’t want to sign an extension, the club could still make a strong attempt to compete for the next two seasons and hope he changes his mind about staying in Anaheim. Or the Angels could trade Trout to replenish the minor league system.

Trout is in the midst of what is arguably the greatest offensive season of his career. Entering Sunday’s action, he’s batting .314/.465/.623 with 33 home runs, 68 RBI, 92 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. Trout has very clearly been the best player in baseball since he started playing regularly in 2012. It is quite rare that a team would broach the idea of trading the best player in the game, but the Angels could potentially experience a third consecutive sub-.500 season. If their outlook doesn’t improve significantly in a division that currently includes the defending World Series champion Astros, the upstart Athletics, and the talented Mariners, it may make sense for the Angels to look towards the future and explore trading Trout if he doesn’t want to sign an extension.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.