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.”

Gallegos agrees to $11M, 2-year contract with Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said Monday before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.