Minasian weighs in on Trout, Rendon comments

February 21st, 2024

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Angels stars and both had plenty to say on Monday, as Trout offered his most revealing comments yet on his potential trade status, while Rendon discussed his passion for the game.

Trout, who has a full no-trade clause, said he’s currently not looking to get traded but that things could change in the future. And Rendon said baseball is “not a top priority,” as he puts his family and faith above his job.

General manager Perry Minasian was asked about both players at Tuesday’s annual Cactus League media day at the Glendale Civic Center and said he was fine with their comments. Trout remains under contract through 2030, making $37.1 million annually, while Rendon will make $38.5 million in 2024, ’25 and ‘26.

“I think with all players there is a desire to compete and win, and Mike is definitely one of those guys who is motivated to be back where he’s been from a playing standpoint and he wants to win,” Minasian said. “I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Trout, a three-time AL MVP and 11-time All-Star, also expressed his desire for the Angels to keep adding via free agency. Outfielder Cody Bellinger and starting pitchers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery are among the top free agents remaining on the market. But Minasian wouldn’t go into details on if the Angels are still in the mix to add a top-tier free agent.

“I'm not gonna get into it,” Minasian said. “We're still discussing ways to make the team better. We think that's something we'll always do. So we'll just have to wait and see what happens.”

Minasian also said he understood Rendon’s comments and said he still believes that Rendon has passion for the game. Rendon has been injured in recent years, playing in 58 games in 2021, 47 in '22 and 43 last year, but Minasian noted that Rendon still tries to be there for teammates and rehabbed with the team during his injuries.

“For me, it's actions, right?” Minasian said. “It's less about words and more about actions. Anthony is a good teammate. We've seen him play with some intensity and even when he's been on the IL, he's been there for his teammates. He knows the game. He enjoys playing the games. I believe he's in a really good place right now and [I’m] expecting a big year from him.”

Mederos to start Cactus League opener vs. Dodgers

Right-hander Victor Mederos will start the club’s first Spring Training game on Saturday against the Dodgers at 12:10 p.m. PT at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mederos, 22, posted a 5.67 ERA in 20 starts with Double-A Rocket City last year, striking out 99 and walking 42 in 92 innings. He also got his first taste of the Majors, allowing three runs in three innings out of the bullpen.

Angels manager Ron Washington said Mederos is getting the start because he’s ahead of the club’s other pitchers in his progression this spring. Mederos threw a live bullpen session on Saturday and threw another on Tuesday. He’s expected to open the year as a starter in the Minors, giving the Angels some depth and a potential relief option later in the season.

“He’s just closer [to being ready], that’s all,” Washington said. “We’ll start getting everybody ramped up but he’s just closer to pitching.”

Angels tidbits

• Former Angels left-hander Joe Saunders arrived at camp as a guest instructor on Tuesday. Saunders, 42, pitched with the Angels from 2005-10 as part of a 10-year career that saw him win 89 games and post a 4.37 ERA in 1,387 1/3 innings. He was an All-Star with the Angels in 2008, when he went 17-7 with a 3.41 ERA in 198 innings.

• The Angels held their annual meeting with the MLBPA on Tuesday, allowing players to learn more about the union, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and ask any questions. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said the meeting went well and it was his first visit to Angels camp since 2020. The club has been using the Minor League clubhouse for Spring Training since 2021 but Clark said he hasn’t heard any complaints.

• Two projected members of the rotation faced hitters on Tuesday, as right-hander Griffin Canning and lefty Tyler Anderson threw live batting practice. Hard-throwing relief prospect Ben Joyce also faced hitters but remains a long shot to make the club after the Angels fortified their bullpen via free agency. Joyce, though, could be a big part of the bullpen if he continues to progress.