ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mike Trout gave a big wave when he bounded onto the stage at the Los Angeles Angels’ fan fiesta Saturday, a plaid dress shirt tucked underneath his red No. 27 jersey. The crowd responded with wild cheers and “M-V-P!” chants for the best young player in baseball.
Trout is beloved at the Big A, and now he can stay under that comfortable halo for at least another seven years.
The 22-year-old center fielder formalized his new six-year, $144.5 million deal shortly before the Angels’ final exhibition game, committing to the club through 2020.
Trout had no problem giving up a few years of free-agent freedom in exchange for lifelong financial security and a chance to keep playing in sunny Orange County for a wealthy franchise capable of winning World Series. He praised Angels owner Arte Moreno for giving the club every chance to succeed despite its current four-year absence from the postseason.
Trout gets $2 million of his $5 million signing bonus within 30 days of the contract’s approval, and the rest by Oct. 15. His salaries are $5.25 million in 2015, $15.25 million in 2016, $19.25 million in 2017 and $33.25 million in each of the final three seasons.
Trout is the first player with less than three years of service time to sign a deal worth more than $20 million annually, but nothing about Trout has much precedent.
The two-time AL All-Star finished second to Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in the MVP voting in each of the past two seasons while putting up astronomical offensive numbers and playing above-average defense. He is batting .314 with 62 homers and 196 RBIs in just 336 career games.
Blue Jays 2, Mets 0
MONTREAL — Melky Cabrera’s two-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Toronto Blue Jays a victory over the New York Mets and a sweep of their two-game exhibition series at an Olympic Stadium packed with former Montreal Expos fans.
Moises Sierra was on third with two outs when Cabrera connected off left-hander Adam Kolarek.
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow pitched six sharp innings, allowing two hits and striking out eight in the spring training finale for both teams.
Mets right-hander Daisuke Matsusaka also struck out eight and gave up five hits in five scoreless innings.
Toronto beat the Mets 5-4 before a crowd of 46,121 on Friday night. The games were organized in an effort to show that Montreal wants Major League Baseball back. A total of 96,350 fans attended the two games, mostly chanting “Let’s go Expos!” and “We want baseball!”
Pirates-Phillies game rained out
PHILADELPHIA — Six years removed from the second championship in franchise history, the Philadelphia Phillies enter 2014 maintaining high hopes in spite of an aging roster and sagging expectations.
A season after ending a 21-year playoff drought, the Pittsburgh Pirates also are looking forward to a bright season.
Philadelphia finalized its opening day roster Saturday with familiar names from that 2008 championship team in veterans Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz. Left-hander Cole Hamels, who was the World Series MVP that season, will begin the year on the disabled list.
But the Phillies also have unproven players in several roles and enter the season with questions about their offense, particularly after ending spring training with an NL-worst .222 batting average that included a combined six hits in their last three exhibition games — all shutout losses. Philadelphia’s final scheduled game of the spring against the Pirates on Saturday was canceled due to rain.