Mike Trout says back injury is getting better

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM, Calif. — In the span of four days, Mike Trout went from his career in peril to possibly picking up a bat by the end of next week.

The Los Angeles Angels star visited with Dr. Robert Watkins, a back specialist and co-director of the Marina Spine Clinic in Los Angeles. Trout is slated to begin rotational exercises and could return to swinging a bat shortly after that.

“It went from my career is over to now hopefully I’m going to play here soon,” Trout said with a laugh. “Coming out of the workouts, it’s been great every day. It’s getting better. It’s very promising to start rotational stuff. I’ll do that for a couple days in the weight room and if that goes well, I’ll start swinging.”

Trout’s future appeared uncertain when athletic trainer Mike Forstad said that the three-time AL MVP had a rare spinal condition, and that it was an issue Trout could have to “manage not just through the rest of this season.”

“I think that’s what Frosty was initially getting at – keeping a routine so that it doesn’t come back,” Trout said. “Once you let it settle down, get the inflammation out of there and build the muscles up around, it’ll be good.”

Trout left a game against Houston on July 12 with what was first called back spasms. He was placed on the injured list on July 18 with the designation of rib cage inflammation. Frostad said the exact injury was a “costovertebral dysfunction at T5.”

“I couldn’t pinpoint how it happened. I think it happened over time,” Trout said. “I was swinging more than I usually do. It just flared up. I couldn’t tell you exactly. As a baseball player, you swing a lot and do a lot of activity and sometimes things act up.”

Since going on the injured list, Trout said he has been jogging and doing leg workouts. He has also been doing a core program to strengthen the muscles around the area.

This is the second straight year that Trout has been battling injuries. He was limited to just 36 games last season due to a calf injury.

The 10-time All-Star is batting .270 with 24 homers and 51 RBIs in 79 games this season, but has just one multi-hit game and six RBIs in the past three-plus weeks he played.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

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.