On this date two years ago the Phillies signed Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125MM extension. Right away, critics of the deal wondered why the Phillies would commit nine figures for Howard's age 32-36 seasons when he doesn't play a premium position. Their questions persist two years later since Howard's on the disabled list and his power numbers are in decline. Here are today's links…
- The Angels don't have immediate plans to call top prospect Mike Trout up from Triple-A despite his hot start and the Angels' offensive troubles, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports. "But when you play at the level Mike is playing at now, you become more of a focal point of fans, the media and the organization," manager Mike Scioscia acknowledged.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com says teams would do well to lock up stars such as Andre Ethier, Starlin Castro and Alex Avila to extensions.
- Lance Lynn's emergence means the Cardinals don't need to add Roy Oswalt or another starter to the rotation, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. The Cardinals' rotation seemed thin when Chris Carpenter hit the disabled list this spring, but GM John Mozeliak's patience is paying off so far.