Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Beasts of the American League

With Opening Night being a few hours away, I wanted to look at three teams that I think are the teams to beat in their respective divisions. Now obviously things like slumps, failed expectations and critical injuries have a way or derailing a team's championship dreams. But I think these three AL teams will be the pace setters of their respective divisions.

American League East
How can I go against the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East: Baseball's most competitive division. Since 2008, the Rays have made the postseason three times and lost in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. They've averaged 90 wins a year during that stretch with a franchise high of 97 in 2008.

Led by franchise players Evan Longoria and David Price, I believe the Rays are primed for a damned good run this season. Gone are outfielder BJ Upton and starter James "Big Game" Shields but Tampa received  one of the game's top prospects in Wil Meyers in that trade who was  impressive in Spring Training and will start the season with the Triple-A Durham Bulls. Upton's departure opens the door in center for Desmond Jennings to play in a full-time capacity. "Super" Sam Fuld will get a chance to bounce back from a disappointing 2012 and Matt Joyce will play rightfield.

The infield will be anchored by third baseman Evan Longoria and free agent signing James Loney will hold down the first base position. The middle infield will be populated by shortstop Yuniel Escobar who the Rays acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins and Ben Zobrist will play second base, as well as, every other position on the diamond at some point during the season. Jose Molina will be the man behind the plate for the Rays. Kelly Johnson will also see time at second base.

 Though the pitching staff seems to have lost a step with the trading of James Shields, by no means are they understaffed. Heading up the staff that lead the league with a .314 team ERA is the AL Cy Young Award winner David Price. Follwing Price will be Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore and rounding out the rotation (for now) is Alex Cobb and Roberto Hernandez. The bullpen is solid with closer Fernando Rodney coming off an impressive display in the World Baseball Classic and Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta and Jeff Neiman filling in the 6th to 8th innings. 

If his pieces stay healthy, I see Joe Maddon's Rays making a full season run to the American League East Title

American League Central
The Detroit Tigers are heads and shoulders above the rest of the division and possibly are the most well rounded team in the American League. The team that made the World Series last year will only get better with the addition of Torii Hunter and the return of C/DH Victor Martinez. I believe that Hunter will provide a valuable learning resource for the ever improving Austin Jackson. Designated Hitter Martinez gives Prince Fielder some much needed protection from the 5 hole in the lineup. And I don't need to mention the reigning AL MVP. Right? Ok, moving on.

The outfield looks like it will be made up of the aforementioned Hunter and Jackson along with Andy Dirks. The infield will be anchored on the corners by All-Stars Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder at third and first respectively with Jhonny Peralta at short and Omar Infante at 2nd base. The ever consistent Alex Avila will be behind the plate for the Tigers.

If the lineup was solid, the rotation is even more so. The starting five of Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello makes for a deep rotation. Add Drew Smyly to that mix and it gets even more impressive. The bullpen might be the team's weak spot since there isn't one particular player to step up and grab the closer's role. The closing will be done by committee with Phil Coke or Octavio Dotel looking to me as being the player to settle into the role.

I think the Detroit Tigers will thoroughly thrash the American League Central division giving manager Jim Leyland another chance to make it to the World Series.

American League West
One word describes the Angels offense: SCARY!!!!!!! As if a team with Albert Pujols, Mike Trumbo and AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout wasn't scary enough, Angels owner Arte Moreno goes out and plucks Josh Hamilton from division rival Texas Rangers. Add Howie Kendrick, Albert Callaspo, speedy centerfielder Peter Bourjous and franchise mainstay Erick Aybar and you have a solid lineup from top to bottom. The lineup was deemed solid enough that Kendry Morales was traded to division rival Seattle Mariners for workhorse pitcher Jason Vargas. Chris Ianneta will round up the lineup and man the rotation from behind the plate. 

Where the offense is scary, the pitching is slightly so. Not to say that a rotation headed by Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson is shoddy, but the trading away of Earvin Santana, the free agent loses of Dan Haren to Washington and Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Dodgers makes for three decent sized holes to fill. Luckily the Angels have the aforementioned Jason Vargas who put up solid numbers with the Mariners last season (12-11 4.21 ERA in 199 innings pitched with 127 K's and 52 walks for a WHIP of 1.28) and National League mainstays Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson round out the starting five. The Bullpen is a bit more dominating with fireballer Ernesto Fieri being backed up by Ryan Madson. Rounding out the bullpen are Scott Downs, Kevin Jepsen and Sean Burnett among others. 

I think this season is when the Angels set franchise records in runs scored and homeruns. If Pujols can start strong, this team will be difficult to beat.

Just a few points on the rest of the American League. In the East, I want to see how the Blue Jays play well together. As we saw with the Marlins last season, just because you put All-Star caliber players together, it doesn't guarantee that they will win games. I want to see if the Orioles are the real deal or if they were just a "flash in the pan" with their performance last season. The Yankees are injury riddled and to be honest, as much as I like to see them shift from power baseball to small ball I don't know if the pitching staff will be enough to keep them in games if runs aren't manufactured. The Red Sox are in the same boat (albeit for different reasons) as the Yankees: Both teams need to rebuild in markets where the word REBUILDING does not want to be heard.

In the American League Central the White Sox will be the team to stay somewhat close to the Tigers with the Royals, Indians and Twins all trailing the pack. The Royals will continue to improve with Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and staff ace James Shields and the newly stocked Indians of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourne need to get some pitching to accompany the new bats. The Twins specifically are looking at 2014 to be the year when they jump back into the fray.  

In the American League West, the Rangers power has been depleted with the losses of Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young. The looming free agency of Elvis Andrus might prove to be story of the year for Texas. As with the Orioles, I want to see if the A's are the real deal. The Mariners seem to be putting the pieces in place to continue to improve behind Felix Hernandez. The Astros? Well all I can say is welcome to the American League.

So there you have it folks. Next post will be the Beasts of the National League. Let me know what you think about these predictions.

Sisco Kid

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday For Verlander and Posey

It was announced today that  franchise players Justin Verlander of the American League Champion Detroit Tigers and Buster Posey of the World Champion San Francisco Giants agreed to multi-year extensions.

Justin Verlander was signed to a 5-year $140-million dollar extension which starts during the 2015 season. He was already signed for 2013 and 2014 at $20-million per year from the five-year, $79.5 million contract he signed after the 2009 season.  According to the article Verlander agrees to record five-year extension by Jason Beck of
Verlander will make $28 million each season from 2015-2019, the years of the extension, and could vest a $22 million option for 2020 if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young voting in 2019. option for 2020 is $22-million.
In total, his contract calls for a total of 7-years $180-million which breaks down to an average of $25.7 million per year.

Buster Posey signed a 9-year $167-million contract extension. According to the article Buster Posey gets $167M, 9-year deal from Giants by Janie McCauley of the Associated Press:
Posey had been due to make $8 million this year. He instead gets a $7 million signing bonus, with $5 million payable Oct. 15 and the remainder Jan. 15, and his 2013 salary is reduced to $3 million.

He will make $10.5 million in 2014, $16.5 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016 and $21.4 million in each of the following five seasons. The Giants' option is for $22 million with a $3 million buyout
I'm not sure if the Verlander deal with payoff in the long haul but it is good to see both them and the Giants spending money to keep their own players that they develop. I've always said that doing that is the way to go.

So with the amount of money signed by both the Tigers and the Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the St. Louis Cardinals with the Wainright extension, I don't want to hear complaints from Baseball fans that the New York Yankees keep overpaying players and signing them to long contracts. It seems that the rest of the league is starting to open those cash caches that Forbes recently reported that teams seem to have.

Sisco Kid

For Further Reading
- Click Here to access the career statistics for Justin Verlander from Baseball
- Click Here to access the career statistics for Buster Posey from Baseball

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Picks For Division Standings

This is just a quick breakdown on how I think the divisions will end up. I'll do an in depth review in a few days. Mind you this is based on where the teams stand right now. Here goes:

American League East 
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox

American League Central
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians
Minnesota Twins

American League West
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros

National League East
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves
Philadephia Phillies
New York Mets
Miami Marlins

National League Central
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals
Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs

National League West
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
San Diego Padres

Ok. There it is. Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Sisco Kid

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Happened to Dan Uggla

It hindsight seems that the Miami Marlins who take a lot of heat (and deservedly so) for their salary dumps is definitely the winner of the Dan Uggla trade that they made with the Atlanta Braves in 2010. Granted Omar Infante was traded to Detroit last season with Anibal Sanchez and 2013 compensation draft pick round A to the Detroit Tigers for minor leaguer Brian Flynn, Rob Brantly, Jacob Turner and 2013 compensation draft pick round B and Mike Dunn is a fixture in their bullpen, if they had chosen to resign Uggla, they might be stuck with a player who is playing way below expectations. Here is what I said about the trade in my blogpost The Florida Marlins Play the Trade Game from November 16, 2010:
It was reported that the Marlins were trying to sign Uggla to a 4-year 48-million dollar extension which Uggla rejected. It is believed that Uggla was looking for a deal in the 5-year 71-million dollar range...From what I've read, the general consensus believes that the Marlins basically gave away Uggla and to a division rival no less. Uggla has been an offensive force for the Marlins from the second base position who in 5 major league season is hitting an average of .263 with 32 Homeruns and 97 RBI. Uggla is good for about 161 hits a season (35 2B/3 3B/32 HRs) and an OPS of .837 (.347 OBP/.488 SLG). Uggla is also a consistent player having played an average of 155 games per season. Economically, the deal might benefit the Marlins more...Had they not traded Uggla now, they might have ended up trading him during the season with risking losing him after next season.
Look at his numbers while with the Marlins: .263 with 32 Homeruns and 97 RBI. Uggla is good for about 161 hits a season (35 2B/3 3B/32 HRs) and an OPS of .837 (.347 OBP/.488 SLG). I don't know if it was the tropical sunshine in Miami that had Uggla hitting like that but he sure isn't hitting that way in Atlanta.

In his two seasons with the Braves, Uggla is averaging a .227 batting average with 28 homeruns and 80 RBI. He's been good for 132 hits (26 2B/0 3B/28 HRs) and an OPS of .750 (.329 OBP/.421 SLG). He's below his career average in all catergories. I can't even blame it on him striking out more in Atlanta than when he was in Florida. He averaged 158 K's with 76 walks with the Marlins and in Atlanta he's averaged 162 K's and 78 walks.

Perhaps he has regressed in terms of plate discipline. And looking at his spring training performance this season, the regression seems to have continued. In 55 at-bats Uggla is hitting .182 with only 10 hits with 1 HR, no other extra base hits, 3 walks and 19 strikeouts.

Defensively he's no worse than he was in Florida. He's a decent fielder who you can count on playing 154 or more games a season (his lowest was 146 in 2008). I would say that perhaps a change of scenery would benefit Uggla but with the Atlanta Braves on the hook for $39 million dollars over the next three season, it would seem that they are both stuck with each other.

Can Uggla snap out of his apparent hitting funk? Can hitting coach Greg Walker help Uggla find his stroke or will this go down as one of the worst trades ever made by the usually reliable Atlanta Braves.

What do you think. Let me know.

Sisco Kid

For Further Reading
- Click Here to Access Dan Uggla's career statistics from Baseball

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Porcello Trade Talks in Motown

The talk of this preseason for the Tigers is the potential trade of starter Rick Porcello by the end of Spring Training. Porcello is 24 years old and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 1st round (27th pick) of the 2007 amateur draft. Porcello would be called up during the 2009 season finishing with a 14-9 record with a 3.96 ERA in 31 games started. In four years with the Tigers, Porcello has a 48-42 career record with a 4.59 ERA. He isn't a power pitcher. He averages 109 strikeouts a season but he has been an effective starter. So why all the trade talks.

It would seem that Porcello has been deemed tradeable since the Tigers signed Anibal Sanchez to a 5-year $80-million dollar head shaking of a deal during the offseason. Why head shaking? At 29 years of age, Sanchez has been in the league seven years and has a 48-51 career record with a career 3.75 ERA. His best season was in 2006 when he went 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA. As I said then (and still believe now) why would the Tigers spend so much money on this guy. I mean who knows. Maybe the pitching staff saw something in Sanchez that they felt worked well in Detroit. But to sign Sanchez and make Porcello expendable makes no sense to me.

As it stands, Porcello has been on point this Spring Training. As Lynn Henning of the Detroit News in his article Trading Rick Porcello makes most sense for the Tigers states:
Porcello has been dynamite this spring, as opposing teams' scouts have noted in reports to their front-office bosses. He has scrapped his old nemesis, the slider, and has fashioned a dandy curveball as his second pitch.

His flagship pitch remains his sinker, and never has it showed as much pop or downward bite as it has this spring, with Porcello throwing sinkers and four-seam fastballs that have cruised consistently in the 90-94-mph range.

His change-up has been solid. And, as the numbers show, he has been throwing all of his pitches not only for strikes but for well-located strikes.
The Tigers have done well in recent years with free agent signings and trades. Perhaps there's a reason why they do what they do and I am here writing about it on a blog page. =) I just don't see the wisdom in parting with a young potential cornerstone of your pitching staff because you've locked into a pitcher who, in my opinion, is not as good. I guess time will tell whether or not Detroit trades Porcello AND if Sanchez proves me wrong by succeeding in Motown.

What do you think. Let me know.

Sisco Kid

For Further Reading
-Click Here to Access Rick Porcello's career statistics from Baseball
-Click Here to Access Anibal Sanchez's career statistics from Baseball

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Yankees Should Trade Robinson Cano If...

I'm going on a limb here folks. If the Yankees are in third place or worse by the deadline they should trade Robinson Cano. His agent, Mr. Scott Boras, is going to want to fleece the Yanks for a contract of over $200 million with at least 7 or 8-years. A 5-year deal would be much more economical but knowing how Scott Boras is when negotiating deals for his clients, economical isn't a word that he would use. Look at the Kyle Loshe contract situation as an example. Spring training is half done and he is still unsigned looking for the "big" annual salary. But back to Cano.

Cano tuned 30 this past October which means if they do sign him to a long term deal he'll be almost 31 when he signs it. Which means the Yankees will possibly be left with an aging 2nd Baseman of possibly decreasing skills hogging up the majority of the payroll. Sound familiar (A-Rod and possibly Mark Teixiera)? OR Cano leaves via free agency leaving the Yankees with a compensation pick. The fate of this team might be set with the believed announcement that Mariano Rivera is set to retire at season's end.

The ownership needs to make a stand now and decide if the team gets mediocre for a long time with big contracts or do they rebuild now and lose a year or two building around young players. It is time for the Yankees to look at how teams like the San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays are doing it through internal development and timely free agent signings. That means also trading Curtis Granderson or letting him go at the end of the season. It is time for the team to look at the future in a realistic manner even if the profits take a hit.

Real fans will understand that rebuilding is necessary rather than just plugging the holes in the now ready to explode dam. The bandwagon fans can just hop off and go back to doing what they did before the team started being successful.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big Robinson Cano fan but I have to be honest with you all, the prospects for the team's success is not looking good. Realistically speaking the team really does need to be overhauled and rebuilt from within. I believe if the Stienbrenners don't start to rebuild in earnest, the Yankees will become an irrelevant and broken shell of the successful franchise they were from 1995-2012.

Sisco Kid

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Can It Get Worse For The New York Yankees

I was planning to write one of these near the end of Spring Training but I have to wonder: Can Things Get Worse For The New York Yankees. The Yankee haters are loving what they see and the network bigwigs at Fox who love the Yankee rating shares are hating what they see. Both sides see a team that might be at risk of not only missing the postseason but a team that might be left behind in a division that was already believed to be best in Baseball. Add to the mix a Boston Red Sox team that many pundits have also not making the playoffs, you're looking at the possibility that both the Yankees AND the Red Sox might not make the playoffs for the first time together since 1993. This season looks like one of the most craziest in a long time.

With Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Mark Teixiera and Alex Rodriguez all out with injuries AND Yankee Captain Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Michael Pineda are coming off major surgeries, things are looking bleak in the Bronx. As it was, I said the Bronx Bombers nom-de-guerre might have been a bit misnamed for this particular team and this was before Tex's wrist injury.

Last season Granderson, Teixiera and Rodriguez accounted for a combined 85 homers and 247 RBI. Add the departing Raul Ibanez's 18 homers and 62 RBI with Russell Martin's 21 RBI and 53 RBI and that's a whopping 124 homers and 362 RBI that is missing from last year's franchise setting record of 245 homeruns. Five players alone made up roughly 50.2% of the entire team's power production. Not good folks.

So what are the Yankees to do this season. Now this is no way indicative of what the lineup will look like, but here is what I think it may look like come opening day:
Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Travis Hafner DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B/3B
Juan Rivera/Matt Diaz LF
Eduardo Nunez/Jayson Nix 3B
Francisco Cervelli/Chris Stewart C
Brett Gardner CF
Not very Bronx Bomberesque. Luckily the strength of the team lies with the pitching led by C.C. Sabathia Hideki Kuroda and Ivan Nova. Andy Pettitte returns once again for the team. The bullpen is solid with Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Clay Rapada and David Robertson. David Phelps can be both short and long relief for the team as well as start when needed. We just hope Mariano can be just Mariano. That's all that anyone can ask for.

I'll tell you what. Given the injuries that they Yankees are facing this season, if they make the playoffs, manager Joe Girardi needs to be given his due and be awarded the elusive American League Manager of the Year. But I am getting ahead of myself. Who knows what other player(s) will join the walking wounded of the New York Yankees by opening day.

Sisco Kid

- Click here to access the season statistics for the 2012 New York Yankees from Baseball

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Johan, Johan and the Mets (a-la Elton John)

The situation between the Mets and their former ace Johan Santana seems to be getting testier by the day. Santana was irked about the way that Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson described him as not being in "pitching shape". In response, Santana took to the mound to show that he could throw. Today it is being reported that Santana would probably not be ready for the season opener and that he will be starting the season on the disabled list. Somehow I get the impression that a few things will be said and/or done before things come to a head. If the relationship between Santana and upper management continues to deteriorate then there is only one suitable resolution: TRADING JOHAN SANTANA.

Full disclosure here folks. I started writing this blog post on the train last night while headed to work not fully realizing what the details of Johan Santana's 6-year $137.5 million dollar contract was. He technically isn't a free agent after this season. Contractually he will an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 season. There is a mutual option on his contract for the 2014 season. According to Spotrac here are the details of the option:

- The party holding the 2014 option must exercise it by Nov. 15, 2013
- If 2014 option is Santana's and he declines it, he receives no buyout.
- Full no-trade clause
- 2014 option includes a $5.5 million buyout
- 2014 club option becomes player option if Santana:
Wins Cy Young award from 2008-13 and finishes second or third in the Cy Young vote in one other season
Ranks second or third in Cy Young vote in any 3 seasons, 2008-13
Is on the active roster for the final 30 days of 2013 season, and:
Pitches 215 innings in 2013, or Pitches 420 innings in 2012-13, or Pitches 630 innings in 2011-13

So given these details and Santana's recent rash of injuries, it looks like the Mets will hold the option. In order to gain his option Santana would have to win the Cy Young this season and he already finished third in the voting during the 2008 season. In terms of his innings pitched threshold he is not coming close to making them. His best chance is to pitch 215 innings this season. He missed the 2011 season so the 630 innings pitched threshold is gone. Since Santana only pitched in 117 innings last season, there is no way he pitches 303 or more innings this season. So it would be safe to say that the Mets will indeed hold the option for Santana at the buyout rate of $5.5 million. Going back to my earlier point, if Johan is healthy and pitching well near the trade deadline, the Mets should just trade him.

I know, some of you out there are aghast that I would dare to say trade the only Met pitcher to throw a no hitter in franchise history.  These must be the same people who were adamant about not trading Jose Reyes in his contract year (what did that get you). As with Reyes, Santana is in his contract year and to be quite honest, a change of scenery might do him well. Also keep in mind that Hall of Famer Tom Seaver was traded by the Mets (and he was and so will say still is THE all-time franchise player) so anyone in this organization can be traded. Now trading Santana at this point of his career won't yield a bonanza of players and/or prospects (as the Mets may have gotten in a trade of Reyes) but why not take advantage of the chance that Johan is possibly healthy by the deadline and you can get something back in return. Doing so would also open up a spot for a young arm to get valuable experience pitching at the Major League level and free up salary money in the process.

My friend Sean B. believes that Santana is no better than a number three starter at this point in his career and on the Mets he would be a solid two. I can't say that I disagree with him.  Sean says that by season's end the Mets' starting five-man rotation made up of Dillon Gee,  Jon Niese, Mike Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jennry Mejia. If not Mejia then Jeurys Familia would be in the five hole. This is not even including Shawn Marcum into the mix. Obviously there are other questions involved with that proposed rotation. One is whether or not Mejia will be healthy to be part of the rotation. Another is whether or not Wheeler will make the roster during the season let along Spring Training.

Be that as it may, I believe the Mets would be better suited trading Santana to a team that might be in the thick of a pennant race such as Baltimore, Oakland, Los Angeles (either one), Detroit or even Pittsburgh. Santana has a full no-trade clause that he would have to waive. Let me put it this way, if you had the chance to be traded from a rebuilding franchise to play for a contender with a chance to show you can still pitch at a higher level during an option year, would you really give that up? In my opinion, if Santana was faced with that option he'd be a fool to let it pass by. The Mets' future doesn't include an almost 34 year old pitcher who can't seem to stay healthy.

So if you were Sandy Alderson with a healthy Johan Santana do you keep him and risk losing him to free agency? Or Do you trade him for something more than just a compensation pick? Let me know what you think.

Sisco Kid

- Click Here to Access Johan Santana's career statistics from Baseball
- Click Here to look at the details of Johan Santana's 6-year $137.5 million dollar contract with the Mets from

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Two Cents on Mike Trout's Raise

By now the internet is full of opinions from talking heads to bloggers about the raise that second year player and American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout received from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Apparently his agent was upset with the amount that Trout was given and believed that he should have gotten a higher raise. According to the Collective Barganing Agreement as posted by Alden Gonzalez in his article Dipoto Responds to Trout's Agent on Renewal from
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams are free to assign whatever salaries they want to players in their pre-arbitration seasons -- between zero and three years of service time -- provided that it's no less than the 2013 minimum of $490,000.
Based on that, According to Mike Trout’s agent angry after Angels renew superstar’s contract at $20K over league minimum by Mike Townsend of Big League Stew:
The number the Angels ultimately settled on was $510,000, which is just $20,000 over the league minimum, about $28,000 more than he earned in 2012 
I am in no way, shape or form doubting Mike Trout's abilities. But let's look at it this way. Trout is coming off his impressive rookie season where he not only won the AL Rookie of the Year but also came in second to Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera in the American League Most Valuable Player vote. Correct? Ok, but doesn't the team have the right to see what Trout does this year (and possibly the next) before opening the vault on him? Again, not that I am doubting Trout's abilities, but how many times has a rookie gone lights out in his first year only to slump badly in his second or even worse, flounder the remainder of his career. I believe (and this is my opinion) that the team has the right to feel that Trout show that his performance is the going to be the norm rather than a fluke. The Angels have a system in place on paying players within zero and three years of service and paying Trout what they did with the pay increase is within the rules they apply to all players. 

Now obviously, based on Trout's performance this past season he's just not "another rookie". Trout hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBI. In 559 at-bats, trout had 182 hits (27 2B/8 3B/30 HR) with 129 runs scored and 49 stolen bases. His OPS was .963 (.399 OBP/.564 SLG) in just over five months of action.

Whether or not this becomes a problem in the future causing Trout to seek his fortunes elsewhere remains to be seen. Only time will tell that story. To me, Trout just needs to go out there and show everyone that last season was the beginning of many more outstanding seasons rather than a fluke or aberration. If he does that, all the money will come on its own. Agree? Disagree?

Sisco Kid

For Further Reading:
- Click Here for Mike Trout's Career Statistics from Baseball