AL West Notes: Avery, Freese, Trout

Let's take a look in at the American League West:

  • After being acquired at the trade deadline last year for Michael Morse, outfielder Xavier Avery of the Mariners has the attention of new manager Lloyd McClendon, reports MLB.com's Greg Johns. The speedy 24-year-old is very much in contention to join Seattle's outfield mix, said McClendon, who gushed that Avery "has a couple tools that are game-changing."
  • Another recently traded player, David Freese of the Angels, is all but assured a regular spot with his new club. As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times recently reported, for Halos' GM Jerry Dipoto, getting Freese was in part about taking advantage of his former club's good work. "The Cardinals are in a pretty unique position of depth, like the Braves in the '90's," he explained. "That made Freese an expendable piece for them. Any time a player is traded, it doesn't mean it's a pending disaster for the other team." Dipoto said that the club is not expecting Freese to be "a gaudy, 30-home run third baseman," explaining that the team "understand[s] what we're getting."
  • The most irreplaceable player in the game, without question, is Angels center fielder Mike Trout. In an ESPN Insider piece, Dave Cameron argues that Trout should decline to accept an extension of the type rumored (giving up three or four years of free agency with a total $140MM to $170MM guarantee). As Cameron argues, Trout has done enough already that he'll earn a huge arbitration salary even if he suffers unexpected performance decline or takes a serious injury. With his downside protected in all but the most dramatic of scenarios, and the Angels' roster profile not inspiring much future confidence, Cameron says that the rewards are worth the risk of Trout waiting to sign a new deal.


Leave a Reply

56 Comments on "AL West Notes: Avery, Freese, Trout"


Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

Xavier Avery has a .685 career OPS in the minor leagues.

DogleggedWalnut
1 year 5 months ago

I think that would lead the team from last year outside of Seager.

algionfriddo
1 year 5 months ago

I see Michael Saunders getting another ‘Wedgie’ in 2014.

Scott
1 year 5 months ago

Of course the Mariners fan wants Trout out of his division.

GD
1 year 5 months ago

As long as he stays on the Angels we’ll be fine. lol. Angels can’t seem to figure out how to Win even with Trout on their team. I still would like Trout out of the division if we can’t have him!!!

Aramis Ramirez' Basement
1 year 5 months ago

It’ll be fun to follow the Mike Trout saga.. Amazing to think the amount of money a player of that caliber and that age will get in this exploding amount of cash in baseball. It’ll be fun.

brewersfan729
1 year 5 months ago

It’s easy to write that a player should decline $150 million guaranteed. It’s a completely different story when that contract is put in front of you.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Agree. That is type of money where if you told me I had a 85% chance of $300M, or 100% chance at $150M, it’s hands down for me taking the smaller pot. Make the smart choice for me, buy out a few years of free agency, then reenter the market in your late 20’s and get that 10 year deal. I mean, look at Grady Sizemore. He was fantastic his first 4 years. Then he got injured, now he can’t get that big contract. Does your life change much from $150M to $300M? Then to me you shouldn’t really chance it.

Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

And Grady Sizemore has still totaled career earnings north of $28MM.

King Kyle
1 year 5 months ago

Which supports his point. Had Sizemore signed a long term deal after his third great season, or so, he would have likely earned a lot more than $28mm.

Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t think it does support his point. He’s arguing that Mike Trout should take the money that is being put in front of him right now, as opposed to what may be there in the future.

Grady Sizemore signed a 6-year contract worth $23.45MM prior to the 2006 season — one year after his first full season. The guaranteed money was right there in front of him and he took it — exactly what LazerTown is arguing Mike Trout should do.

I’m not sure what your qualifier of Sizemore signing after his third great season really adds to the discussion, other than assuming a bigger payday. If anything, you’re arguing towards Dave Cameron’s point of view.

John Murray
1 year 5 months ago

Long-term contracts could be facing a crossroads, rapidly. With the A-Rod and Pujols contracts looking bad, there will be much scrutiny placed on the Cano contract; and if the Yankees turn into the 2013 Angels this season, will the less financially stable teams seriously want to take the risk of spending lavishly and wind up no better off? Were I Mike Trout – I’d be jumping at that $150 million contract, because contracts could really be headed for a state of flux.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

Long term contracts will always be part of the game. Whether it’s a financially stable team or not, how better off a team is while spending lavishly will always depend on how much pitching they have. The Rays could skyrocket their payroll to $100 million+ and would probably be a 100+ win team. Heck, if you put Trout (with an extension) on the A’s, they’re probably World Series favorites across the board. I think scrutiny of the Cano contract in the first couple years would be premature. The idea is to build around him, and they’re still building. Maybe in the 5th year, there’s more reason for judgement. I think big contracts will always exist. And right now, I think the perception is mostly fueled by the fact these free agent markets have gotten so weak — because of emphasis on player development and lack of superstars as opposed to 10-15 years ago — that second-rate players are getting those huge contracts. It’s all relative to the strength of the market.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

Amen. Signing an extension now would be highly beneficial for both parties involved. I think it would also be beneficial for the game in general. Sort of the pinnacle for teams locking up good young players they bring up and can build around.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

This is no offense to the Angels at all, but this is unlikely to be his dream team, especially growing up on the East Coast. He has no reason not to test free agency, and when he does, the Phillies will be licking their chops.(Amaro would be gone by then, Hallelujah)

He could very easily stay, but he is the best in the game and will continue to make millions of dollars even if he hits a buck 80 for 2 years.

I wonder if he wants to also to be a face of a franchise, like Cutch or Wright, an opportunity I’m not sure he’s getting with Pujols, Weaver, and Hamilton around.

dylanp5030
1 year 5 months ago

He’s the face of the franchise, no doubt.

Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t think the presence of Pujols, Hamilton, or Weaver keeps Trout from being the face of the Angels.

I’m pretty sure everyone in the ballpark and everyone watching at home know that Mike is the best player on the team and it isn’t even close.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

Best of the team doesn’t always mean face of the franchise. And I’m talking about a distinct face, as in this player clearly represents this team the way no one else could, perhaps even intangibly. Chase Utley is probably the Phils, but Cole Hamels is present in Philly his whole career and probably better too. I don’t even need to argue for guys like Derek Jeter or Troy Tulo.

Like I said, maybe Trout is the face and all eyes are truly on him, but he might want that East Coast love where his family is at in the long run.

abes_seed
1 year 5 months ago

Trout is definitely the face of the Angels, and is the face of MLB! I haven’t seen such widespread love for him in ages.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

I agree that he is the face of MLB, hands down. But I don’t think of Angels immediately when I see Trout’s name, the same way I think Yankees when I hear Jeter’s name, or the Mets when Wright is talked about. I wouldn’t guarantee him to be a franchise player of the Halos, the same way people were hesitant to call Cano or Pujols a franchise player as their free agent years approached, because they ultimately. I hope you get what I’m saying.

Dean_Chance
1 year 5 months ago

Then you dont really understand the Angels. Mike is hands down THE GUY. I know its killing you, but you are just gonna have to accept the fact that Mike Trout aint gonna be a Philly

Riaaaaaa
1 year 5 months ago

The Phillies aren’t the only team with money that would want the best player in baseball.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

He grew up in South Jersey, so I have high hopes that he would want to return to the team he cheered for.

Riaaaaaa
1 year 5 months ago

That doesn’t mean anything lol. I wouldn’t get your hopes up he will go to whoever offers the most money. Many teams have more money/payroll flexibility to get Trout compared to the Phillies. I can’t imagine how the Phillies will be able to attract any free agent out there with the way that team stands presently. It’s cute that you are so certain they will sign him though.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

Hey, residence had an effect on A.J. Burnett at the very least, and all across sports players sacrifice a few million for the optimal city to play. And the Phils have enough money to stay competitive in the Mike Trout sweepstakes, especially after Howard is gone (one more thing to look forward to). Didn’t we also get Cliff Lee from NYY and TEX after offering a lot less money?

Riaaaaaa
1 year 5 months ago

Last I checked, Burnett lives in Baltimore. Want to know why he didnt choose to play for the Orioles? Because they didnt make him a good enough offer. My point is many teams will make offers the Phillies wont come close to matching. I know you are a phillies fan but you could at least be realistic, It does not matter who he was a fan of growing up especially if he gets blown away by a certain team’s offer. Things have changed since the Cliff Lee deal and teams have more money than they ever had before.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

I mentioned this in another comment, but I suppose you didn’t read, Roberto Hernandez reportedly signed with us because he grew up a Phillies fan, even though there were better teams offering slightly more money. Most of the time it may not be a factor, but what I’m saying is (even with the Burnett case), money does come first, but if the money is already put up, then these little factors could make the difference.

Riaaaaaa
1 year 5 months ago

But when you have the best player in baseball. I HIGHLY doubt all the offers will be in the same price range as the phillies. Besides, Trout probably wants to win a ring, why would he go to Philly?

Uriel Alessandro
1 year 5 months ago

You gotta wonder, though, how much the likes of Pujols and Hamilton are taking away in the sense of pressure to perform and media spotlight. With less of those stressors he’s more free to perform and be under less scrutiny.

BK
1 year 5 months ago

Wishful thinking. These are adult men, not 24 year old children. Just cause he wore a Phillies hat doesnt make them much more likely to steal him away like the media has talked. Its a job, and people tend to really love the organization you came up with (barring a scarring experience). If the Angels can make a strong offer, he should take it and leave room for a second contract.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

A.J. Burnett singed here becuase of proximity to home. Roberto Hernandez reportedly signed because he grew up a Phillies fan. Cliff Lee took significantly less money to come here primarily because he wanted to not be DH’ed for (and now is one of our best hitter har har). The little things can matter because people are different and want other things more than a few extra million.

And I bet there was plenty of love between Albert Pujols and the Cardinals, along with Robby Cano and the Yankees, that is, until their contracts expired.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

If Pujols and Hamilton were still knocking the seams off the baseball, and Weaver was having another Cy-Young-caliber season, Trout would still be the face of the franchise. He’s the one everyone (from kids to old people) come to the park to see, more than anyone. He’s their most marketable asset. It all depends on where Trout is as a player, and mentally, when he’s eligible for free agency. But I also think it’s fair to argue the state of the team being a factor when that time comes. The Angels could be a perennial playoff contender again, and Trout won’t want to leave. Just being able to play with Albert Pujols could be a deal breaker. Or they could fall back again by the time he’s eligible, and decide to sign with a team like the Phillies, if that team appears to be much closer to a championship. It all depends. We won’t know until the time comes.

Alex Mejia
1 year 5 months ago

All I’m hoping to get out of David Freese is a decent improvement over Alberto Callaspo and others. Hit .260 to .280 with 12-20 homers and decent OBP/defensive range and I’ll be happy. That would be a huge improvement compared to the past few seasons of bad to historically bad 3B play. Chone Figgins feels like such a long time ago.

Drew M
1 year 5 months ago

So just have a repeat of last year? (His worst statistical year of his career)

cardsfan67
1 year 5 months ago

I love Freese and think you will get your wish with the bat, but I am not so sure on the defensive side. In St. Louis he was a guy that was in the lineup for his bat and you just kind of live with his glove.

Alex Mejia
1 year 5 months ago

Sounds better than Alberto Callaspo and his Daily 3 boneheaded plays. Yes Drew M, a season like that would sadly be an improvement over what the Angels have been getting out of 3B recently. I’d love more production, but just that stat bump could give the team some extra wins in the long run. And poor Bourjos isn’t rotting away again like he had been.

John Murray
1 year 5 months ago

It’s a deal that might cost DiPoto his job, because he committed a cardinal (pardon the pun) sin – if you’re thin on the mound, you’d better have a strong defense. Trading Bourjos – an elite defender – for an extra bat and poor glove was not the smartest move in a division with some tough pitching staffs.

Alex Mejia
1 year 5 months ago

That’s true, but this and the Trumbo deal could end up working out too. Gotta wait and see there. I’m really going to miss Peter.

Scott
1 year 5 months ago

The case for Freese’s “poor glove” is sketchy at best. By B-Ref, he had a career 0.0 dWAR (league average) prior to 2013, when he was a poor -1.5 dWAR. That’s 328 games at league average, and then 138 where he was poor while playing with injuries for most of the year.

Likewise, according to Fangraphs, he was +7.4 with his glove in his career through 2012 (slightly above average), and then a poor -14.9 in 2013. Again, when he played through injuries.

The case seems to be that he’s a pretty average fielder in his career, whose reputation at 3B was damaged by an injury plagued campaign in 2013. Not exactly a “poor glove.”

Dean_Chance
1 year 5 months ago

Not really. Trading Bourjos was as much about putting Mike back in Center as anything else. They know Mike wants to play there and they are trying to get him to sign long term. That was going to be much harder if he was going to be relagated to Left. Besides, Bourjos hasnt gotten through a season without being injured yet. That guy has still to prove he has any value at all. Its the Cards who could come up empty here, more so than the Angels.

John Murray
1 year 5 months ago

Actually, at this point in time, Mike Trout is the most irreplaceable player in the game – for fantasy league owners. When you’re the best statistical player on a team of underperformers, nobody really knows how irreplaceable he is.

Brian McPherson
1 year 5 months ago

Trouts favorite player is Jeter and I think he goes about his business in the same understated way of business first. He also realizes the love that a fan base has for homegrown talent. I see Trout staying his entire career with the same team just like Jeter.

I Want My Bird
1 year 5 months ago

Love how the same site that has an ad for ‘Pretty Ukraine Ladies’, is pretty uptight about my comment that Insider isn’t worth it.

GD
1 year 5 months ago

I want to see what kind of $$$ Trout can make in the open market. I don’t think he should give up ANY FA years, or take any kind of a discount. Minimum he’s going to get $300m, but with the kind of money coming into MLB by the time his Arb years are over he could easily be well over $300m!

Dean_Chance
1 year 5 months ago

Easy to say when it isnt you taking the risk. Trout is going to sign.

northsfbay
1 year 5 months ago

You assuming that Trout will be healthy and productive. If he gets injured, he doesn’t get much money.

David X
1 year 5 months ago

You take the gigantic pile of money ($150 million) when it’s offered because it’s already more than you can spend in a lifetime, and it’s guaranteed. What’s the point of holding out for the second $150 million? Ask the guys at Snapchat how they feel right now about turning down $3 billion from Facebook.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

I hope you’re not a Mariners fan. Those would be some big words for a team that hasn’t finished ahead of the Angels since 2003. And has a lot of playoff appearances to go before even catching up with the Angels’ track record since then. Even bigger words now since the Astros are in the division, and have even been to the World Series, and within the past 10 years. Now that I think about it, the Mariners are the only team in the current AL West that has never been to a World Series.

Taylor Hope
1 year 5 months ago

Luckily not the only team in the division who have failed to win one, though. I mean, getting to a World Series is cool and all but the Rangers have been around longer and haven’t won a championship.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

Agreed. But look at the A’s blowing their last two postseasons. We at least got to the big show in the past 5 seasons.

Taylor Hope
1 year 5 months ago

Absolutely. Getting there is the first step. I personally believe that Texas will win the division this year.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

I of course am biased, so i will say we will win the division. But i think the A’s will give us a run for the money. I predict 94 wins for Texas and 91 for Oakland.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

That actually makes the previous comment I relied to an even bolder statement. Because the Angels are the only team in the current AL West to win a World Series in the past quarter century. Count the Twins though if you factor in the pre-Wild Card divisional format. But I personally gave the Rangers and Astros a mulligan in their 2005 and 2010 appearances, because those were their first pennants after years of struggling to even contend. They were serious underdogs as organizations, so I think just making it was an accomplishment for both clubs. But, a second consecutive appearance for the Rangers did put them in that position where they must win the ring, and didn’t.

Tommy Gunn
1 year 5 months ago

6 years, 5 million per year, buys out two FA years. $150Mil signing bonus.

What the ?
1 year 5 months ago

“Plane” and simple? So you’re saying they left via airways? I should hope with that kind of money they wouldn’t have taken a bus.

Anyway, both Pujols and Cano left for more money, but Pujols turned down more from the Marlins. And in both cases, rightly or wrongly, the players felt that their previous teams weren’t treating them with the respect they felt they had earned from the years of hard work. That played in just as much as the money did.

BK
1 year 5 months ago

Marlins were less a mess than the Philies are now.