Red Sox

Mike Trout's huge reported Angels extension gives Mookie Betts his blueprint

Mike Trout's huge reported Angels extension gives Mookie Betts his blueprint

We're still weeks away from meaningful baseball games, but Mookie Betts' projected value in free agency continues to rise.

The Los Angeles Angels are finalizing a gargantuan 12-year contract extension with outfielder Mike Trout worth more than $430 million total, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Tuesday.

That's an average annual salary of $35.8 million, smashing Zack Greinke's previous record of $34.4 million per year and making Trout the highest-paid player in baseball by both annual salary and total contract worth.

Trout and Betts, both former American League MVPs and generational talents, both were set to become free agents following the 2020 season and launch historic bidding wars for their services.

But the Angels reportedly got ahead of the game Tuesday -- and in the process set a target for Betts to shoot for in free agency.

We already knew the Boston Red Sox outfielder would be within his right asking for a deal north of $350 million after Bryce Harper's 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

With Trout re-upping the bar to $430 million, though, Betts can make a case to earn at least $400 million total or at least $35 million per year if he desires a shorter deal.

Why? Because even if you think Trout is the best player in baseball, you could argue Betts is right behind him: Both players have very similar career 162-game averages at the plate, while Betts has three Gold Gloves to Trout's zero.

The timing of Trout's reported extension is important, as well. Betts signed a one-year, $20 million extension with Boston in January during arbitration, but do the Red Sox try to follow the Angels' blueprint and lock up their superstar to a long-term deal either this season or next before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2020?

If they don't, they'll have to compete on the open market for one of the best players in the game -- and put a Trout-like number on the table to convince Betts to stay in Boston.

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Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton 'will be down for a bit' with calf injury

Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton 'will be down for a bit' with calf injury

Wednesday was another tough day on the injury front for the New York Yankees.

Manager Aaron Boone revealed slugger Giancarlo Stanton "will be down for a bit" due to a Grade 1 right calf strain. The news comes one day after it was announced right-hander Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2020 campaign.

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Injuries have been par for the course with Stanton ever since he first donned Yankee pinstripes in 2018. The former National League MVP has played in only 176 of 324 regular-season games with New York due to bicep, shoulder, and knee ailments.

The Yankees still boast a well-rounded roster that can survive Stanton's absence for a while, but his presence in the middle of the lineup is key to their success. If the 30-year-old indeed misses time, it could be Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, or Mike Tauchman taking his spot in the lineup.

New York's 2020 season begins March 26 vs. the Baltimore Orioles.

MLB Rumors: Red Sox unlikely to 'buy' prospects from Padres in a Wil Myers deal

MLB Rumors: Red Sox unlikely to 'buy' prospects from Padres in a Wil Myers deal

The Boston Red Sox are looking to replenish their farm system, and the San Diego Padres have the talented prospects to make a deal worth their while.

With the Padres looking to ship Wil Myers and part of the $61 million remaining on his contract, the Red Sox would appear to be the perfect fit, especially after clearing some space on their payroll by sending David Price and Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston had flirted with San Diego about a similar deal involving Betts, but the Sox instead went with L.A.'s offer.

Since then, the two sides reportedly have discussed a trade that would send Myers and half of his salary to Boston in exchange for a package of prospects that may include pitcher Cal Quantrill.

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Although such a deal makes sense on paper, it's "unlikely" to happen, according to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe.

Speier writes:

However, while the concept is interesting for a Red Sox organization intent on replenishing its upper levels and young big league talent, two major leagues sources characterized any such trade as unlikely. One of those sources characterized the idea mostly as “tire kicking” by the Red Sox rather than a deal with real legs.

The Padres, after all, are trying to improve their chances of contention rather than simply shed payroll. Their goal in pursuing Betts wasn’t to shed Myers’s salary but to add an elite talent. As such, they have little motivation to give up prospects and/or potential big league contributors for the sake of moving Myers unless they could reallocate his salary to acquire another player (likely via trade) such as Francisco Lindor.

As much as the Padres would love to rid themselves of most of Myers' bloated contract, trading him and a package of top prospects for cash doesn't make a whole lot of sense. As Speier notes, that changes if a player of Betts or Lindor's caliber is thrown in the mix. But since that isn't the case, there doesn't seem to be much of a benefit for an up-and-coming San Diego club.

There's still a chance the deal's framework could change -- potentially with a third team involved -- but as of now, a straight-up deal to "buy" Padres prospects probably isn't on the table.