West Notes: Trout, Angels, Sizemore, Eppler, Cain, Astros

Mike Trout is the game’s best player — really, he has been for some time — and he’s still three days shy of his 23rd birthday. That makes it all the more satisfying for the Angels that they have him locked up to a six-year, $144.5MM deal that does not kick in until next year. USA Today’s Glenn Davis explores how those happy circumstances came to pass in an interview with Halos assistant GM Matt Klentak. According to Klentak, Trout is not just immensely talented but also hard-working, detail-oriented, and grounded.

Here’s more on Trout and the game’s western divisions:

  • The Angels began thinking long-term extension as early as 2012, when Trout emerged as a force, but did not put the pedal down on talks until this winter. The extension came together in large part, said Klentak, because of “outstanding” communication between both sides, which allowed for multiple concepts to go back and forth before the ultimate framework was established. “Everybody knew where everybody stood, and it was a fairly positive, productive process all the way through,” Klentak explained. “That’s not always the case — I think that’s a credit to Mike, his character, and his family, and to [agent] Craig Landis as well.” The final contract, of course, gives the Halos control over their young superstar for an extended stretch without guaranteeing post-prime seasons, but also allows Trout to hit the open market at a young enough age to land another massive deal.
  • Klentak further noted that a major element of the drive to sign Trout, and other homegrown players before him, stems from the direction of owner Arte Moreno. “That’s something that Arte believes in strongly, that our baseball operations group believes in strongly,” said Klentak. “When you know the people as well as you get to know them over a player’s tenure in your organization, you feel more comfortable signing them to longer-term contracts.” Be sure to check out the rest of the piece for more of Klentak’s thoughts on Trout, the club’s overall composition, and the organization’s operating philosophies.
  • The Athletics appear to have decided against signing infielder Scott Sizemore despite previously showing interest, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland could still have interest in bringing him in next year, Slusser adds.
  • As the Padres reach the final stages of deciding on a GM, the club is “focusing most closely” on Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, who says Eppler may now be the frontrunner to take over baseball ops in San Diego. Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller had been said to be leading the final field, which is said to include MLB executive Kim Ng and Red Sox AGM Mike Hazen. Scott Miller of Bleacher Report noted recently that Eppler was still “in the picture” to take on the role.
  • As we noted earlier today, Giants starter Matt Cain is scheduled for season-ending surgery to clean up bone chips in his elbow. Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News provides further details on the problem, which Cain said he has been dealing with in some form for the past decade. “They’ve always been there,” said Cain. “For some reason, they got in a different spot and they got aggravated.” With the problem failing to abate, all decided it was best to have the procedure now so that Cain could be ready for a normal spring ramp-up. San Francisco’s pre-deadline addition of Jake Peavy was connected to the club’s fear that it would be without Cain the rest of the way, Pavlovic adds.
  • The Astros felt comfortable dealing away starter Jarred Cosart in large part due to the development of the club’s arms both at the major league and minor league levels, reports MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. The swap — which followed up on prior trades of Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles — enabled Houston to bolster its outfield corp (with Jake Marisnick) in addition to adding a well-regarded prospect in Colin Moran“We’ve got guys all the way up and down the system,” said GM Jeff Luhnow. “It’s one of those areas that could very easily, with one or two injuries, go from a strength to a weakness. We’re taking a calculated gamble in this, and it’s the right thing to do.” Of course, as noted earlier today, the deal also cleared two offseason 40-man spots for the Astros, who will have many young players to consider protecting from the winter’s Rule 5 draft.

22 Responses to West Notes: Trout, Angels, Sizemore, Eppler, Cain, Astros Leave a Reply

  1. Rarth 12 months ago

    The Astros did not receive Wates, they dealt him. The comp pick was a very underrated asset acquired by the Astros in the Cosart deal.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

      Yeah I goofed on Wates. It’s not like I’ve written about the deal four times or anything …

      And yes, the Comp pick is certainly a valuable piece of that deal, very much so. Don’t mean to demean it by not mentioning it here. Believe I mentioned in the write-up of the trade that it was especially important because it adds to what will be a huge draft pool next year for Houston. Number two pick, another top five pick, and something in the low-30’s for the comp … they could pick up a lot of talent.

      • SFGiantsfan_10 12 months ago

        The key is, will that talent sign due to the whole Brady Aiken fiasco? I say that it’s a 50-50 chance on whether or not future Astros draftees take stock of that whole mess before they sign.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          I’m sure that agents will think about it, and MAYBE some would even try to dissuade the Astros from taking a high-end guy, but ultimately there are limits to how much pre-draft negotiating power players have. With the slotting system, the lower you get picked, the less free cash there is to negotiate over.

          And it’s not like the Astros are the only team that has invited some scrutiny over how they deal with amateur players. The Phillies last year, the Yankees with the story on the international guy today …

          • SFGiantsfan_10 12 months ago

            True, true. You are right in that there’s only so much negotiation power draftees and their agents have with the team during the signing period.

            But I’m just saying that now the incident happened there’s no guarantee that it won’t rear its ugly head in future drafts for Lunhow and Co. Just in the same way future draftees could look at the seperate incidents with the Phillies and the Yankees and be slightly less inclined to take their offer.

          • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

            Yeah, it’s definitely possible there will be some ramifications, but I would emphasize that money always talks in the end.

  2. Karkat 12 months ago

    Can someone tell the BBWAA that Mike Trout is and has been baseball’s best player for a while now?

    • Jaysfan1994 12 months ago

      “But his team didn’t make the playoffs, so I’m voting for Miguel Cabrera because everyone knows RBI’s are the most important statistic to measuring a players worth.”


    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

      He’s going to win it this year. Won’t make up for the two snubs, but it’s something.

      • Karkat 12 months ago

        I don’t think there’s literally any more he could do at this point, so we’d better hope so! I’ll just start calling him “Three-time MVP Mike Trout” regardless xD

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          For sure. The silly thing to me is that the debate is framed as some kind of old school v new school or saber v [whatever] debate. Recognizing the value of defense and baserunning isn’t a new concept.

          It’s not as if someone is advocating for Jose Molina to take home the MVP because he saved some outlandish number of runs with pitch framing. (Even there, statistics are merely helping to quantify an impact that has long been recognized by people who are in the game.)

          • Karkat 12 months ago

            The thing that really, really bugged me in 2012 was how the defense from the traditionalists (and a lot of my Tigers fan friends, oddly enough!) was “But come on, it was the first triple crown since Yaz!” But it’s like, okay, leading (however narrowly) in those three categories has a name. Annnnnnnnnd?

            It’s stuff like this why I have to avoid places like ESPN and MLB Network and just be grateful that I have this website >_>

      • Jaysfan1994 12 months ago

        I wouldn’t say he’s going to win anything yet, Tanaka looked like a guaranteed winner for a Cy Young/ROTY before he got hurt.

        Although it’s hard to argue that anyone else has been better then Mike Trout this year in the mediocre American League.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          Sure. I usually hedge everything I say, but then I feel like I’m lawyering everything I write.

          Barring injury, or some unbelievable collapse from him and the club, it’s shaping up like he’ll run away with the voting. I think that plenty of people who haven’t voted for him in the past will feel like he’s paid his dues, or some such strained reasoning, and finally vote for him.

  3. alva9596 12 months ago

    you know, i just don’t understand why the Yankees end up releasing Scott Sizemore instead of keeping him in AAA. he couldn’t have possibly been all that bad for the Yankees. better yet, have him start him at 2nd base instead of trading for Stephen Drew (although Drew was alright during that 3rd game against the Red Sox).

  4. MadmanTX 12 months ago

    They make it sound like Arte Moreno knows what he is doing and directing the Angels the right way. I think his mistakes and pursuing offense instead of pitching say otherwise.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

      Runs are runs, whether you prevent them or score them. And it bears noting that pitchers present an inherently riskier long-term investment.

      Actually, the Halos’ staff has been average or better this year.

    • RyanWKrol 12 months ago

      He has always known what he’s doing. But the realities of baseball set in over the last few years, and major injuries (Morales, Weaver, Wilson, Haren) and a few meltdowns (Wells, Kazmir, Santana, Blanton) brought them back to Earth for a while. Same thing has happened to the Yankees, and of course… your Texas Rangers. It’s just the way the game works. If Arte Moreno didn’t know what he was doing, he would not have seen his club win 5 division titles in 7 years, and would never have been able to sign a star like Albert Pujols. Looks to me like the Angels are finally climbing back to where they should have continued to be from 2010 through now.

  5. $21621694 12 months ago

    Cabrera is better than trout…. let the discussion begin

  6. “When you know the people as well as you get to know them over a player’s tenure in your organization, you feel more comfortable signing them to longer-term contracts.”

    Hmm, then please explain the signing of Pujols whom no one in the Angel organization knew beforehand. I smell a bit of fibbing here.

    • RyanWKrol 12 months ago

      A light bulb didn’t just suddenly go off when the Angels made him the offer. They were on him for years after the way they missed out on him in the draft. Hindsight though. He was picked quite low in that draft. Still, it was a situation that had been brewing for years, and Arte finally got his coveted superstar.

      • Not the point I’m making. Pujols had zero tenure in the Angel’s organization yet was given a 10 year deal. Obviously it was more than tenure that did that deal. It was superstar status that did it. For the same reason they signed Trout. Not because of socalled tenure.

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