Sports Tonight: Trout eating his cake, and will have more later

Angels center fielder Mike Trout makes a diving catch earlier this month.

In hindsight, Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout might have shorted himself by signing a six-year contract worth $144.5 million in 2014.

Since Trout’s extension, he has won two American League Most Valuable Player awards and become one of the elite players in baseball. He could’ve been one of those players anticipated to break contract records in the free-agent class of 2018. Now, Trout won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season.

But did Trout, 26, really make a bad deal?

The Angels, who will play the Texas Rangers at 10 p.m. on ESPN, will pay Trout $99.75 million between 2018-2020.

Talk is that Washington Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper, who is on a two-year, $35.2 million, could sign a 10-year, $400 million deal after 2018.

Trout will have pocketed $78 million on his new deal before the end of 2018 and then make $66.5 million more before becoming a free agent at age 30. If Trout stays at his current level, the Phillies should offer him a $40 million-a-year free-agent deal on top of the $144.5 million he’ll already have in the bank.

Camera icon CHRIS SZAGOLA / AP
Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley controls the ball against the Union in March.

Toronto is best in MLS East

I guess it’s just a soccer thing.

Last week, the talk in England was that Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champion, was in dire straits because it lost the opener of a 38-match schedule. Then, the Blues won Saturday and everything was fine again, disregarding that title contender Manchester United won its second straight match by a score of 4-0.

The Major League Soccer standings show that Toronto FC, which will host the Union tonight at 8 on the Comcast Network, leads the Eastern Conference with 50 points. New York City FC is in second with 46 points, with nine matches and 27 points available in the regular season.

NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira, however, said the race is over.

“I believe Toronto’s already the champions,” he said. “I think all the other teams are going to fight for the second spot and Toronto will win the league. … I don’t think anybody will catch them.”

The Union can only hope Toronto actually feels that way and is complacent tonight against a team that is out of the playoffs and desperately needs as many points as it can gain.

What I’m reading

Staff writer Zach Berman talks to Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo about why cutting down on interceptions is the most important thing Carson Wentz needs to improve on.

Staff writer Paul Domowitch says the Eagles still have a bunch of decisions to make at cornerback just 2 1/2 weeks before the season opener.

With Penn State ranked in the preseason Top 10 and Temple firmly established as a legitimate program, the 2017 college football season will have a lot of local interest. Staff writer Ed Barkowitz gives 50 things to look for.

Staff writer Dick Jerardi writes about Villanova preseason all-America safety Rob Rolle, who says what he does off the field is as important as what he does on it.

NBC says the heck with brand recognition. Business writer Bob Fernandez writes that the television giant is eliminating the Comcast SportsNet name.

ESPN loses its mind and then blames us.  On Tuesday, the network announced it had moved broadcaster Robert Lee, who is Asian-American, from the Sept. 2 college football game between William & Mary at the University of Virginia because his name is the same as Confederate general Robert E. Lee. ESPN acknowledges that this is because people are upset over the tragic deaths in Charlottesville, Va. during a rally of white supremacists.

Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald says the Celtics got everything they wanted by acquiring All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers: a legitimate shot to win the NBA championship.

Chris Fedor at Cleveland.com says the Cavaliers got everything they wanted by trading All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics: quality for this season and protection for the future.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr sprained his ankle in a preseason game and now might be in jeopardy of missing the season opener against Dallas.

Camera icon
The Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) looks to drive against the Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas on Nov. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. 

The riff

The Sixers need their “baby crew” of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric to blend quickly and then make sure they can keep them together.

The Sixers’ goal to be in the next wave of teams that will challenge for the NBA title just got harder with the Boston Celtics’ acquiring All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. The Celts gave up a lot to Cleveland for Irving, including Isaiah Thomas and the coveted 2018 first-round pick of the Brooklyn Nets.

Boston has moved 11 players from its 2017 Eastern Conference Finals team, but added Irving, All-Star Gordon Hayward, and No. 3 overall pick Jason Tatum.

The C’s have raw talent in former lottery picks Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. They also might get a 2018 draft pick ranked 2 to 5 via the Sixers.

In the overall picture, Boston is better, younger and positioned to challenge for multiple titles beginning this season.

Bring on the rivalry because Sixers vs. Celtics will finally mean something again.

Tonight’s schedule

TV/Radio

Baseball
Marlins at Phillies, 7 p.m. (CSN; WIP-FM 94.1, WNPV-AM 1440)
Red Sox at Indians, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Rangers at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN)

Soccer
MLS: Union at Toronto FC, 8 p.m. (TCN)

Little League Baseball
World Series: Lufkin, Texas vs. Greenville, N.C., 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Golf
European PGA: Made In Denmark, 5:30 a.m. Thursday (Golf)

Local Events

Baseball
Phillies vs. Marlins, 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park

Minor League Baseball
Lehigh Valley IronPigs vs. Syracuse Chiefs, 7:05 p.m., Coca-Cola Park, Allentown