Mike Trout sidelined at least another week with back issues

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mike Trout will go at least another week without doing any baseball activity because of his ailing back, Los Angeles Angels trainer Mike Frostad.

There a chance the injury could affect the three-time AL MVP in some capacity for the rest of his career, Frostad added.

Trout left a game against Houston on July 12 with what was first called back spasms, then went on the injured list a week later with what was called rib cage inflammation. The mercurial injury has since been revealed to be a relatively rare spinal dysfunction that Frostad said is “something that he has to manage not just through the rest of the season.”

Trout has been examined by Dr. Robert Watkins III, a top back specialist and the co-director of the Marina Spine Clinic in Los Angeles who told the Angels it’s rare to see the condition in professional athletes.

“We just have to take into consideration what he puts himself through with hitting, swinging on a daily basis just to get prepared, and then also playing in the outfield, diving for balls, jumping into the wall – things like that,” Frostad said. “And there’s so many things that can aggravate it. But this doctor hasn’t seen a lot of it.”

Trout received a cortisone injection last week, which provided some relief, Frostad said before Los Angeles wrapped up its three-game series in Kansas City. It could be at least another week before he begins any baseball activities, and the Angels have not discussed shutting him down for the season.

“I don’t think we’re at a point where we’re going to make that decision,” Frostad said. “He’s going to have a follow-up here once we get back and we’ll just kind of see what the doctor thinks at that point.”

Trout, the second-highest paid player in the game at $37.1 million, has not spoken to reporters since last week’s All-Star Game.

He had been enjoying a nice bounce-back season after a calf injury limited him to just 36 games last season. The 10-time All-Star was hitting .270 with 24 homers and 51 RBIs in his first 79 games, providing a rare bright spot in what has been a dismal season for the Angels.

“He’s been a great teammate,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He’s been the dugout, helping out his teammate – he’s obviously a good sounding board for a lot of young players. For them to have him here and know that he’s supporting them is huge, I’m sure, for some younger guys.”

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.