With spring training having officially launched a couple of weeks ago, the spring games kicked off this week. As preseason baseball starts up, there are mounds of important things to keep an eye on. We've seen many teams sign key players to contracts, namely Mike Trout's recent deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
Trout has been stellar over the past couple of seasons and was certainly deserving of a new deal. Now that his 2014 compensation is locked in, the door is open for the Angels to knock out a long-term deal with the talented outfielder.
On a less fortunate note, the Angels will be without Josh Hamilton for an undetermined amount of time after he injured his calf during team drills the other day (via LA Times). He will likely be back in time for Opening Day, but patience with this injury will be key, as neither side wants to rush him back and risk him agitating his injury.
|Nelson Cruz, Orioles||1||$8 million|
|Mike Trout, Angels||1||$1 million|
|John Buck, Mariners||1||$1 million|
|Jeff Baker, Marlins||2||$3.7 million|
|Grady Sizemore, Red Sox||1||$700k|
The Angels signed OF Mike Trout to a one-year, $1 million contract (via USATODAY.com) that will lock him in through the 2014 season. As I mentioned above, this deal also opens the door for a long-term contract to get done between Trout and the Angels.
The 22-year-old outfielder said, in regards to his new deal, “It makes you feel good inside. It makes you feel like they want you here, and that means a lot to me.” Trout’s record-breaking pre-arbitration contract is well deserved as a two-time All-Star and two-time MVP runner-up behind Miguel Cabrera.
Honestly, because I think we felt like his performance was exceptional. There are players that force you to break a rule, and what Trout just did for two consecutive years forced us to break our own rule. There's nothing in the game that's hard and fast. We felt like his performance certainly merited treating him differently than the others.
In other signing news, the New York Yankees signed Brett Gardner (via Newsday.com) to a four-year, $52 million extension a few days ago, locking in the 30-year-old outfielder through 2018.
“Although he's going to be playing left field most of the time for us, I think he's one of the better leadoff/center fielders that this game can provide,” said Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager (via MLBTradeRumors.com).
Gardner has tremendous speed and is great at getting on base, making him one of their best players. Especially now that Derek Jeter will be gone, Gardner’s presence will be of that much more value in New York.
Latest Injury News
Jaime Garcia got some good news from Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday. Andrews stated that there was no structural damage in Garcia's shoulder and gave him a cortisone shot to relieve some of the soreness he was experiencing (via SportsInjuryAlert.com).
Matt Kemp will also be getting an MRI this Friday (according to ESPN) on his left ankle. He has already been ruled out of the Los Angeles Dodgers' opening game, but will finally have some sort of answers regarding his return after Friday's test.
As I spoke of earlier, the Angels received the unfortunate news that they would be losing outfielder Josh Hamilton due to a calf strain sustained during baserunning drills. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times shed some light on a loose time line for Hamilton’s injury:
Josh Hamilton (strained calf) says he'll be on crutches a couple days, re-evaluated in 4-5 days. Not worried about Opening Day. #Angels— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 25, 2014
Shaikin went on to say that Hamilton is in no rush back:
Josh Hamilton said he would take his calf injury "a week at a time." #Angels— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 25, 2014
Who's Working Out for Whom?
- The Texas Rangers worked out Joe Saunders, formerly of the Seattle Mariners, on Wednesday in hopes of finding some help pitching-wise. Last season, Saunders was 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA in 183 innings.
- Juan Rincon, who hasn't pitched in the bigs since 2010, will start working out for teams in hopes of landing somewhere for the 2014 season (according to RotoWorld.com).
- Johan Santana recently had several teams watch him workout, including the Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles (according to Jon Heyman).