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Mike Trout poses with the biggest hunk of beef you’ll see

Mike Trout steak meat

How does Mike Trout celebrate a new six-year, $144.5 million contract extension? By going out to a steak house and getting the biggest hunk of beef you’ll ever see.

Trouty was out to dinner with teammate Garrett Richards, and Richards’ girlfriend Alexis shared this photo of the two men holding those giant cuts of meat. According to Alexis, that’s 12 oz of bone, 10oz of fat and 36 ounces of meat. Wow.

Trouty can probably take it down with no problem.

Albert Pujols thinks he’s above Mike Trout comparisons

Albert-Pujols-Angels-slumpMike Trout has had better overall production than Albert Pujols with the Los Angeles Angels over the past two seasons, but Albert Pujols is still Albert Pujols. The 34-year-old slugger is one of the greatest hitters to ever play. He’s also the only player in MLB history to bat at least .300 with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI in his first 10 seasons.

Trout, who has been healthier than Pujols in recent years, has established himself as one of the best players in the game. That doesn’t mean he can be compared to Pujols just yet, and Albert was beyond offended when a reporter asked him earlier this offseason if he is motivated to put up the same numbers as Trout.

“Can you imagine someone saying that to me?” Pujols told USA Today Sports when recalling the question. “I felt like saying, ‘Come on, are you serious? Are you really asking me that? Check out my numbers. I know what Mike Trout has done in his first two years is pretty special, but will you look at my numbers. I’ve been doing this for almost 14 years.’

“The only guy in baseball who can match the numbers I’ve put up is Barry Bonds, and someone is actually asking if I can put up numbers like Mike Trout? Are you freaking kidding me?”

While Pujols certainly has a point, the fact that he and Trout share the same locker room makes his reaction a bit awkward. You can understand his not wanting to be compared to a 22-year-old kid, but that kid is his teammate. It’s not like Pujols was compared to some minor leaguer in the Miami Marlins’ system.

“He’s a great kid who always wants to learn and is so humble,” Pujols says. “But if it takes someone comparing me to Mike Trout to motivate me, it’s time for me to get out of the game.”

Relax, big fella. Pujols’ foot injury has scared Angels fans to the point where they are already starting to call his massive contract a mistake. If Trout is still Trout in 2014 and Pujols can get back to being Pujols, the Angels have a chance to make a run in the American League.

H/T Big League Stew

Mike Trout on record pay: It makes me feel good about Angels

Mike Trout Angels

This time last year Mike Trout and his agent were upset with the Los Angeles Angels for low-balling him on his team-designated salary for the season. A year later, the Angels have more than made up with Trout by giving him a record salary for a pre-arbitration player.

The Angels and Trout agreed Wednesday to a one-year, $1 million deal for 2014. The amount tops the $900,000 the Phillies paid Ryan Howard in 2007 and makes Trout the highest-paid pre-arb player in MLB history.

Teams control players for their first six years in the league and get to designate the player’s salary for the first three seasons, so long as the amount is at least the minimum. Players become arbitration-eligible for seasons 4-6, which allows them the chance to begin making more money. They can hit free agency after six years in the bigs. It’s expected that a player’s salary will rise each year they’re in the majors (as long as they’re producing), but a salary bump for Trout of nearly double his 2013 pay was not expected.

“For Arte (Moreno) and the Angels going out of their way … you know they could have easily paid me the league minimum — or whatever they wanted to do — but they stepped out and gave me a million, and I’m happy for it. It makes you feel good about the organization,” Trout said during a visit with ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” crew on Thursday.

“Yeah I’m happy where I’m at right now. Happy to be here and excited for the year,” Trout said.

This is a great sign for the Angels. Not only was Trout unhappy with the Angels last year for only paying him $20,000 above the league minimum last year, but he also made some indications that he might be willing to leave the team in free agency. He might still be interested in doing that, but at least the Angels are working hard to smooth things over with their franchise player.

There’s another good sign between Trout and the team. Trout said during the “Baseball Tonight” interview that he feels comfortable in center field and is happy to be starting the season there now that Peter Bourjos has been traded. Last year they moved him to left to start the season even though he was spectacular in center the year before. Trout did not play well defensively in left but he regained his MVP-type form after Bourjos got hurt, leading him to move back to his preferred position.

Angels’ contract for Mike Trout reportedly 7 years for $150 million, not 6 years

Mike Trout AngelsThe LA Angels were heavily criticized when news first emerged that they were discussing a contract extension with Mike Trout. Now it’s looking like that criticism might be misguided.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reported Sunday that the Angels and Trout were talking about a six-year, $150 million extension. That contract would cover this season — Trout’s third with the team and one where the Angels would still be able to name his pay; three arbitration years; and two free agency years. Players make increasingly more in each arbitration-eligible season, but they still earn less than they would in free agency.

Say the Angels paid Trout $1 million this season, they could probably pay him around $60 million over this three arbitration years and $70 million over his two free agency years. All those figures look generous now, and that still leaves an additional $20 million to hand out at some point. That’s why people thought the Angels were making a bad deal.

But here’s the thing: the $150 million might be over seven years and would cover three of Trout’s free agency seasons. That’s what FOX’s Ken Rosenthal says. He also provided this breakdown of what the Angels would like to have for Trout’s extension:

Now that makes a lot more sense. If the Angels are able to lock up three of Trout’s free agency years and spend $160 million to do it, that wouldn’t be a bad deal for them at all.

Based on how ticked off Trout’s camp seemed to be over the Angels low-balling him with his 2013 team-designated salary, not to mention some of Trout’s free agency comments, just getting him to sign an extension would seem like a victory.

Mike Trout can jump really really really high (Video)

Mike Trout jumpMike Trout is a supreme athlete. You already knew that. But it’s still pretty awesome to watch some of his athletic feats, such as him doing a ridiculous plyometric box jump during a recent workout.

Trouty posted the video to his Instagram page on Wednesday and added that there were only 42 days until spring training begins. Think he’s ready for another big season? I’d say so.

Trout is listed at 6-foot-1. The box looked like it came up to the middle of his pecs. Knocking about 18 inches off Trout’s 73 inches in height, and I’d peg that at somewhere between a 55-60″ clearance jump.

If you thought that was impressive — and it surely was — then you have to see this video of ex-Pro Bowl DB Adrian Wilson doing a 66-inch jump.

Yankees president Randy Levine apologizes to Angels for Mike Trout tampering comment

Mike TroutNew York Yankees president Randy Levine is already getting a head start on stealing the Los Angeles Angels’ best player, and he had to apologize for it.

At Friday’s press conference to introduce new Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury, Levine answered questions about the team losing Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners. Cano agreed to a 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle, which was much than the Yankees offered him.

Levine explained that the team has a policy against giving players over 30 10-year deals, and that’s when he mentioned Trout.

“If Mike Trout was here, I would recommend a 10-year contract. But for people over 30, I don’t believe it makes sense. I don’t think Hal thinks it makes sense. We were very clear about that.”

Though Levine might not have made a premeditated comment, his remark gets the thought out there that the Yankees are willing to open the vault for Trout when the time comes. Because of that, MLB was said to be investigating Levine for tampering. Levine already says he has called the Angels to apologize.

“When I was talking about Mike Trout, I was using it as an example of the type of player because of his age, we would consider giving a 10-year deal to. I realized it could be misconstrued, so I called John Carpino, the president of the Angels, and apologized to him for any inconvenience. I spoke to Major League Baseball and apologized to them and my understanding is the matter is over,” Levine said in a statement, via Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

Trout just completed his second full season and will be arbitration eligible for 2015-2017 before becoming a free agent for the 2018 season. The Angels control him until then, but there is a strong possibility they could lost him after that.

Trout and his agent were upset with the Angels for snubbing him on his team-controlled salary last season. The MVP candidate also has made it sound like he’s open to playing elsewhere when the time comes. We’re another four years away from seeing it happen, but it already seems like Trout going to the Yankees is a strong possibility.

And I don’t care what people think: this absolutely is tampering. You think I enjoy the richest team in baseball talking about giving a 10-year contract to my team’s best player? You don’t think the Angels are ticked about the Yankees screwing with their guy? Of course they are! Back off, Yankees.

Writer voted Mike Trout 7th in AL MVP voting

Mike Trout AngelsMike Trout finished second in AL MVP voting for the second consecutive year. That’s bad enough in itself. What’s much worse is that one voter actually placed him 7th.

Trout appeared on all 30 MVP ballots. He received 5 1st-place votes, 19 2nd, 3 third, and 1 fourth, fifth and seventh-place votes. Miguel Cabrera, who won the MVP for the second straight year, was first on 23 ballots and second on the other seven.

The person who didn’t think Trout was one of the top-6 most valuable players in the league last season was Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. He belongs to the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association.

Trout’s placement wasn’t Ballou’s only unusual ranking.

Ballou voted Chris Davis first, followed by Cabrera, Josh Donaldson, Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre, Dustin Pedroia and then Trout.

I really don’t understand how anyone could view Trout’s performance last season that lowly. Trout batted .323 with 27 home runs, 97 RBIs, 109 runs and 33 stolen bases. His batting average was third in the AL, his .432 on-base percentage was second, his .998 OPS was third, his 109 runs were first and his 33 stolen bases ranked him eighth. He also is a good defender in the outfield, plays a premium position, and is one of the best baserunners in the game. Trout’s offensive numbers are already close to Cabrera and Davis, and his defense and baserunning makes him a superior overall player. How could someone not see that and feel like Cano, Beltre or Pedroia were more valuable?

The only explanation for the 7th-place vote for Trout is that he played for a team that went 78-84. If that was Ballou or anyone else’s reason for dropping Trout in the voting, it’s a poor one. Why should Trout, who had the best season of any player in MLB last year, be penalized because Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton, and mostly everyone in the Angels’ bullpen severely underachieved? That doesn’t sound like very good logic. Without Trout, maybe the Angels are only a 65-win team. Doesn’t that make him an extremely valuable player?