Growing up in the Seattle area [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-ryan-rua-jersey]Ryan Rua Jersey[/url] , Adrian Sampson dreamed of pitching at Safeco Field.The Texas Rangers’ right-hander will finally get his much-delayed chance Saturday night against the Mariners.“I’m excited about it,” the 26-year-old Sampson told MLB.com. “When I get out there, I just need to put blinders on, but that’s how I have been pitching lately, with tunnel vision. It is my last start and this has been a good year. To culminate the whole year by pitching here is pretty special.”Article continues below ...Just how special?Sampson, who starred at Skyline High School in the Seattle suburb of Sammamish and at nearby Bellevue Community College, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth round in 2012. He was traded to the Mariners on July 31, 2015, for left-hander J.A. Happ.He was called up by Seattle the following June and made his major-league debut with a start at Boston’s Fenway Park.Five days later, he took the mound at Detroit’s Comerica Park. But while throwing his second-to-last warmup pitch before the first inning [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-drew-robinson-jersey]Drew Robinson Jersey[/url] , Sampson felt tingling in his right elbow.The diagnosis was a torn flexor tendon muscle.“I feel terrible for him,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said at the time. “I really do. He was really excited to get to the big leagues. He’s worked his tail off, and he was playing for the hometown team.”The Rangers claimed him off waivers after the 2016 season and Sampson missed most of 2017 following surgery. After going 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA at Triple-A Round Rock, Sampson received a September call-up.Sampson (0-2, 4.96 ERA) had made four appearances this month, including three starts.“I’d say I’m a little better at this point in all aspects,” Sampson told The Dallas Morning News on whether he’s back to his pre-injury level. “Not just physically but mentally, too. I feel like I’m back and ready to compete at the major-league level.”Sampson, who is still seeking his first major-league victory, will be opposed by Mariners ace James Paxton (11-6 [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-alex-claudio-jersey]http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-moore-jersey[/url] , 3.85). The left-hander is 2-4 with a 4.98 ERA in 12 career starts against Texas, and that includes an 0-0 record and 7.00 ERA in two starts against the Rangers this year.“I’m real happy getting another opportunity to pitch this year,” Paxton told MLB.com. “I’ll just continue to work and try to find that rhythm and sharpness that I want and feel good going into the offseason.”Paxton is one strikeout shy of becoming the sixth Mariners pitcher to reach 200 in a season. Randy Johnson accomplished the feat seven times, Felix Hernandez six, Mark Langston four and Floyd Bannister and Erik Hanson once each.And what will Sampson be looking for?“As long as I make it through warmups, I’m happy,” he told The Morning News. “In rehab I got to a point where I had to just get through that and not worry about it. I had to just think about getting to where every five days I could just go to work. I think mentally I’ve gotten through that.” Rob Carr/Getty ImagesWhile Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will be the biggest names on the free-agent market this offseason, it could be a player already under contract for the foreseeable future who could make the biggest splash.Mike Trout.According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, the Los Angeles Angels are expected to approach Trout with extension talks that could lead to his being an Angel for life.Trout still has two years and $66.5 million remaining on the six-year, $144.5 million extensionhe signed back in March 2014 [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-robinson-chirinos-jersey]http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-moore-jersey[/url] , perSpotrac.Even though he is under club control through the 2020 season, Los Angeles would be wise to lock him up long-term. At 27, he is already widely considered to be one of the greatest players in MLB history.Since debuting in 2011, Trout has hit .307/.416/.571 with 234 home runs, 221 doubles, 44 triples, 188 stolen bases and 637 RBI. He has made the American League All-Star team in each of his first seven full seasons. Not only that, but he has won the AL Rookie of the Year award, two AL MVPs (including three second-place and a fourth-place finish), two All-Star Game MVPs and five Silver Sluggers.Again [url=http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-curtis-granderson-jersey]Curtis Granderson Jersey[/url] , he turned 27 in August.The biggest factor that could keep Trout from agreeing to a lifetime contract with the Angels is that the club has made the postseason just once in his career despite his lofty numbers. Los Angeles was swept by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 American league Division Series.Trout will getpaidregardless of when he decides to ink his next deal, but as one agent told Heyman, the outfielder would be wise to wait until after Harper and Machado sign, allowing his fellow All-Stars to set the market. New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is the owner of the largest and longest contract in MLB history, a 13-year, $325 million deal he signed with the Miami Marlins in November 2014.
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