AL West Notes: Barton, Angels, Wilhelmsen

Happy birthday to Rangers manager Ron Washington, who turns 59 years old today.  Let's celebrate by taking a look at some items from Washington's division…

  • Daric Barton admits that he has been thinking about his multiyear contract negotiations with the Athletics, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  "It's always in the back of your mind," Barton said. "It's not something you like to think about, but realistically, it happens."  We heard about these negotiations last month, with MLBTR's Tim Dierkes noting that Barton's walk-heavy production could make him a bargain for the A's if they choose to go to arbitration with the first baseman.
  • The Angels are integrating young players into their lineup while still remaining competitive in the AL West, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
  • Mike Trout is having a nice season at Double-A Arkansas, but ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill predicts Trout will only reach the majors in 2011 if the Angels want to give him a few token at-bats in September.  Churchill speculates that Trout might skip Triple-A altogether and potentially make the Angels out of Spring Training next year, or at least be in the majors by May 2012 (or after next year's Super Two cutoff date).
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports profiles Mariners right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen, who made his improbable Major League debut this season after spending five years away from the sport.

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