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Trout takes high road on salary

Mon., March 4, 2013, midnight

Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout figures if he keeps producing like he did during his historic rookie season, he’ll be in line for a handsome raise soon enough.

The Angels renewed the contract of the A.L. Rookie of the Year for $510,000 on Saturday, just $20,000 above the major league minimum, prompting an angry response from Trout’s agent.

While Craig Landis said the renewal “falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract,” Trout took the high road before a morning workout at the Angels’ spring training complex on Sunday, repeatedly insisting that “I’m just happy to be in the lineup.”

“I mean, my time will come,” Trout said before a team meeting. “I just have to keep putting out numbers and concentrating on one thing, and that’s getting to the postseason.”

Trout had a base salary of $482,500 last year, when he hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals. Trout was the runaway choice as the A.L.’s top rookie, earning a $10,000 bonus, and finished second to Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in MVP voting.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, the reigning N.L. Rookie of the Year, will make $750,000 this season under terms of the five-year deal he signed through 2015.

Trout will also make the move to left field this season to allow speedy Peter Bourjos to become the Angels’ primary center fielder.

“I’m a center fielder, obviously,” Trout said. “But you know, when you’re an outfielder, you should be able to play all three. I think it’s going to help me get reads off the bat. It’s going to be a fun adjustment for me.”

Union head says increasing penalties are 2014 issue

Baseball players’ union head Michael Weiner says toughening penalties for drug violations will have to wait until the 2014 season.

The current sanctions have been in place since the 2006 season: 50 games for a first offense, 100 for a second and a lifetime ban for a third. Commissioner Bud Selig held a news conference Saturday and said he wanted increased penalties as soon as possible.

“That dialogue is continuing. We had some dialogue even with the commissioner’s office in the offseason that didn’t lead to any changes, and I suspect that we’ll have those discussions over the course of the year,” Weiner said. “But it’s going to be a 2014 issue. We’re not going to change the rules of the game in the middle of the season. In a sense, the drug-testing season started with spring training.”

On the field

Matt Wieters homered and drove in five runs, Conor Jackson connected twice and the Baltimore Orioles beat a Philadelphia Phillies split squad 12-3 in Sarasota, Fla. … Jake Peavy gave up an RBI double to Chase Headley and three runs overall in his first start of spring training, and the Chicago White Sox lost to the San Diego Padres 4-0 in Peoria, Ariz. Cameron Maybin and Nick Hundley each had RBI doubles off the former Padres star. … Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Brett Cecil that cleared the back fence and went out of Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., helping a Philadelphia Phillies split squad beat the Toronto Blue Jays 13-5. Howard is hitting .417 (10 for 24) with three homers, three doubles and 10 RBIs in nine exhibition games.

Clearing the bases

The Detroit Tigers say reliever Brayan Villarreal is not expected to leave spring training after his family escaped unharmed from a kidnapping attempt in Venezuela on Friday night. Villarreal has remained with the team. Manager Jim Leyland did not want to comment further about the matter, saying, “The less said, the better.” … Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is fine and has no soreness one day after being involved in a traffic accident. Suzuki had a green light when he was hit by another vehicle in an intersection while on the way home from a spring training game against Detroit in Tampa, Fla. The driver of the second vehicle was cited by police. … St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has a ruptured disk in his back. Matheny is scheduled to have an epidural injection today to reduce inflammation and get a particle off a nerve. … Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal, trying to come back from a torn ligament in his right elbow, had hoped to make his spring training debut Sunday. Instead, the 35-year-old was told to stop baseball activities and undergo additional medical tests. … Cubs starter Matt Garza will start the season on the disabled list because of an injured muscle in his side that is preventing the right-hander from throwing, and Jeff Samardzija will be the opening-day starter for the Chicago Cubs.

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