Tempe, Ariz. • Mike Trout has his first seven-figure contract. Up ahead is what figures to be a nine-figure deal.
“It feels good,” Trout said Wednesday after agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
The salary is the highest for a one-year major league contract for a player not yet eligible for arbitration who wasn’t coming to the big leagues from Japan or Cuba or wasn’t required to have a larger amount because of the maximum cut rule. Ryan Howard earned $900,000 with Philadelphia in 2007 and Albert Pujols with St. Louis in 2003.
Trout will become eligible for arbitration after this season and could become a free agent after the 2017 World Series. The sides are thought to be discussing an agreement through 2020 in the $150 million range.
Trout wouldn’t talk about the possibility of a multiyear contract.
“I just go out there to play the game,” he said. “If the money is where it’s at, that’s where it’s going to be.”
By agreeing to a one-year contract now with the 22-year-old, the Angels avoid having a long-term deal count toward their 2014 luxury tax payroll.
“It’s a landmark to do a $1 million with a two-plus player,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “I think it’s fitting and Mike’s earned that and we’re glad to provide that for him.”
Also Wednesday, the Angels said outfielder Josh Hamilton will be sidelined for at least two weeks because of a strained calf muscle, and that pitcher C.J. Wilson does not appear to be seriously hurt after getting struck in the head by a line drive. Both were injured during a spring training workout Tuesday.
Pitcher Carl Pavano is retiring after 14 major league seasons.
The 38-year-old right-hander didn’t pitch after June 1 in 2012 because of a strained right shoulder. His spleen was removed in January 2013 after he was injured when he fell in the snow at his home in Vermont.
Pavano had been hoping to return to the major leagues this year.
“Despite my strong desire to compete and hard work in preparing for the upcoming season, I feel that the amount of time lost from my spleen injury, coupled with the recovery from my complications from that injury, preclude me from continuing to compete at my highest level, which is necessary to perform in the major leagues,” Pavano said in a statement released Wednesday by his agent, David Pepe.
“I have achieved many things as a major league pitcher of which I am very proud. However, I feel at this time, I am simply not able to continue to pitch at the major league level, and these last three months of rigorous training have failed to produce the results that I was looking for to allow me to continue my major league career.”
Pavano, an All-Star in 2004, was 108-107 with a 4.39 ERA for Montreal (1998-02), Florida 2002-04), the New York Yankees (2005, 2007-08), Cleveland (2009) and Minnesota (2009-12). He was an All-Star in 2004, going 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA and earning a $39.95 million, four-year contract with the Yankees.
Injuries limited Pavano to 26 starts, 145 2-3 innings and a 9-8 record during his Yankees’ contract. He rebounded after leaving New York and went 17-11 for the Twins in 2010, when he tied for the AL lead in complete games with seven.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to have been a major league baseball player, and the gratitude I have for being able to do that is profound and beyond any expression I can make in words,” he said.
No rush on Strasburg
The Washington Nationals aren’t going to rush Stephen Strasburg’s debut in spring training.
Strasburg isn’t scheduled to pitch in the Nationals’ first two exhibition games. The team hasn’t announced when Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez or Doug Fister will make their first appearances this spring.
Strasburg says he’s healthy and ready to go. He’s set for a bullpen session on Saturday.
Nationals manager Matt Williams says he’s talked about Strasburg’s spring training schedule with pitching coach Steve McCatty and this is simply how it stacks up.
The Nationals open exhibition play on Friday against the New York Mets and Taylor Jordan will start. Jordan Zimmermann is ready to start Saturday against Atlanta.