Around the Nation (March 29): Indians ink catcher Yan Gomes for $23 million

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

BASEBALL

Angels sign Trout to $144.5 milion deal

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Trout says he had no problem giving up a few years of free-agent freedom in exchange for lifelong financial security and a chance to win championships with the Los Angeles Angels.

Owner Arte Moreno would have liked to lock up baseball's best young player for even longer. He says he met Trout in the middle on a record-setting contract that keeps the Angels' star center fielder under the halo for another six seasons.

Trout formalized his six-year, $144.5 million deal on Saturday, committing himself to the Angels through 2020.

The 22-year-old outfielder says it was "hard to turn down" the big numbers offered by the Angels. He became the first player with less than three years of service time to sign a deal worth more than $20 million annually.

Gomes gets $23M, six-year contract

CLEVELAND -- A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cleveland Indians and catcher Yan Gomes have agreed to terms on a multiyear contract.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because the deal is pending a physical and other details.

FOXSports.com first reported the agreement and said Gomes is getting a $23 million, six-year deal.

The 26-year-old Gomes had a breakout season in 2013, batting .294 with 11 homers and 38 RBI in 88 games. He also threw out 38 percent (18-of-47) of attempted base stealers. The Indians went 49-30 when he started.

Gomes' emergence prompted the Indians to move catcher Carlos Santana to third base this spring. The Indians acquired Gomes before last season in a trade with Toronto.

Plumbing problems plague Oakland A's

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Coaches from the Oakland Athletics were sent scrambling after toilets in the home clubhouse backed up and overflowed before Saturday's exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants.

It was the latest in a series of plumbing problems that have plagued the aging stadium, which was built in the late 1960s.

There were multiple problems last year alone.

In September, A's players reported foul smells from the bathroom end of their dugout. That came after a clogged pipe caused a sewage backup and flooding on the bottom floor of the ballpark in June, sending the Seattle Mariners and A's scrambling around in towels and heading for higher ground in the Oakland Raiders' locker room.

COLLEGE

Pros and cons of Big 10 for Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Other than it being the first practice in pads and the first open to the general public, Rutgers' spring workout Saturday had all the appearances of any other previously held at the birthplace of college football.

Athletic director Julie Hermann talked to a couple of big boosters near one end zone. About 30 recruits and their families watched from the sideline as coach Kyle Flood put the team through some drills and little live action. The roughly 300 fans cheered the big plays.

Nothing exciting, except the big picture.

In a little more than five months, Rutgers will join the Big Ten Conference. The team that couldn't win a title in either the Big East Conference or the American Athletic Conference in a transition year in 2013 now will be facing the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin on a weekly basis.

The benefit is the expected financial windfall of roughly of $15 million to $20,000 annually.

The negative is obvious. Many of the local pundits are predicting years of hard times as the new doormats of the Big Ten.

GOLF

Bowditch leads Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO -- Steven Bowditch opened a three-stroke lead Saturday in the Texas Open, while Phil Mickelson withdrew after 10 holes because of a pulled muscle in his right side.

Bowditch, the 30-year-old Australian seeking his first PGA Tour title, shot a 4-under 68 to reach 12-under at TPC San Antonio. Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe were tied for second. Kuchar shot 65, and Loupe had a 70.

Mickelson withdrew after pulling the muscle teeing off on No. 1 -- his 10th hole of the round. He hopes to play next week in the Houston Open, the last event before the Masters. Lefty was 1-over par in the round and 4-over overall when he pulled out.

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