Athletics

MLB rumors: Mike Trout, Angels nearing record $430M contract extension

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MLB rumors: Mike Trout, Angels nearing record $430M contract extension

The A's will have to deal with Mike Trout in the American League West for a long, long time. 

Trout and the Angels are nearing a record-breaking 12-year, $430 million contract extension, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Tuesday. The new deal easily would become the largest in professional sports history. 

The 27-year-old was scheduled to become a free agent in 2020. He could have created a super team with Bryce Harper on the Phillies, the team for which he grew up rooting. Or maybe all the money the Giants threw at Harper could have gone to Trout, and then some. 

That no longer can be the case. 

Once Harper signed his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies, the Angels couldn't waste any time. There always have been connections to Trout and the Phillies, and Harper didn't hold back in telling the world he’d recruit the star center fielder to Philadelphia. 

Instead, Trout will continue to play for the team with which he's put together arguably the greatest start to a career in MLB history. The two-time AL MVP has a .307/..416/.573 slash line over his eight-year career with 240 home runs. 

Since 2012, when Trout won the AL Rookie of the Year and was the MVP runner-up, he has averaged 34 home runs and 26 stolen bases. His 64.3 bWAR is the most ever through an age-26 season. 

Though he probably never was going to join the A's, the team can't be happy to see Trout in the AL West for so many years to come. Since joining the big leagues, he's been an unstoppable force against Oakland.

Trout is batting .310 with 30 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 124 career games against the A's.

[RELATED: Six Harper-level free agents Giants should chase in coming years]

In an offseason where baseball stars are on the move finding new homes, Trout will have a halo and a heavy wallet for more than the next decade.

A's vs. Mariners lineups: Seattle turns to opener to start in Oakland

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A's vs. Mariners lineups: Seattle turns to opener to start in Oakland

OAKLAND — The A's will try to bounce back from a disappointing 9-2 loss Friday night as they once again host the last-place Seattle Mariners.

Seattle will employ an opener, with right-hander Gerson Bautista taking the hill. The 24-year-old has only pitched 3 1/3 innings this season, allowing two earned runs on four hits and four walks, with one strikeout.

Bautista will be followed by veteran left-hander Wade LeBlanc. The 34-year-old enters Saturday's game with a 3-2 record and a 5.31 ERA in eight outings. In eight career games against the A's, LeBlanc has gone 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA.

Oakland will counter with 26-year-old Frankie Montas. The right-hander is having a breakout season with an 8-2 record and a 2.84 ERA in 13 starts. He has struggled against the Mariners, however, going 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in four career appearances, including one start.

The A's lineup will feature all right-handed hitters except for first baseman Matt Olson, who returns to the three-hole after hitting sixth on Friday. Mark Canha will bat fifth and Ramón Laureano moves up to sixth.

Chad Pinder will once again fill in for Stephen Piscotty in right field and bat eighth. Piscotty will miss his second straight game following surgery to remove a melanoma from his right ear. The A's expect him to return within a week.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Mariners game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 6:07.

Seattle Mariners (30-43)
Mallex Smith, CF
J.P. Crawford, SS 
Domingo Santana, RF
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Omar Narváez, C
Kyle Seager, 3B 
Tim Beckham, DH
Mac Williamson, LF 
Dylan Moore, 2B

Gerson Bautista, RHP (0-0, 5.40 ERA)

Oakland A's (35-35)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Khris Davis, DH
Mark Canha, LF 
Ramón Laureano, CF 
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Chad Pinder, RF
Josh Phegley, C

Frankie Montas, RHP (8-2, 2.84 ERA)

A's struggles against Mariners, last-place teams could prove costly

A's struggles against Mariners, last-place teams could prove costly

OAKLAND -- One of the most impressive parts of last year's A's team was the way they beat up on bad teams. This season has been a completely different story.

Following their 9-2 loss to the last-place Mariners on Friday night, Oakland fell to 3-5 against Seattle on the season and just 9-9 against last-place teams in baseball. And that doesn't even include the A's 0-6 mark against lowly Toronto, currently 25-44 on the season and only out of last place thanks to the horrific Baltimore Orioles.

If the A's end up missing the postseason by a game or two, some of these losses could prove to be their undoing.

"We're chasing some good, good teams," said Friday's starter Chris Bassitt. "We just can't give any games away, and unfortunately, I kind of feel like I did tonight."

At 35-35, the A's are fortunate to still be well in the mix for a wild-card berth, just 2 1/2 games behind Texas for the second spot in the American League. But these types of uninspired losses against poor competition have to stop.

For whatever reason, the A's have really struggled to play good baseball against the Mariners this season. After losing the first two games of the season in Tokyo, Oakland dropped two more in Seattle last month. The A's did bounce back to sweep the Mariners later in May, but once again looked shaky in Friday's blowout loss.

"Everybody in the big leagues is going to give you a challenge and we just didn't play well enough to win the game tonight," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "(Seattle) won the first four games (against us) -- two in Tokyo and two at their place -- and then we ended up sweeping them (last series). Coming off a road trip with a day off, we'd expect to do a little better today. We just didn't. So come back out with a little better effort."

[RELATED: A’s Piscotty undergoes surgery to remove cancer from ear]

The A's still have a chance to win this series against the Mariners, but now there's no margin for error. Right-hander Frankie Montas will get the ball Saturday, followed by Tanner Anderson on Sunday. Oakland could really use two wins.