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If the negotiations are a distraction to Trout, he certainly isn’t showing it while batting around .400 in spring training.

SMARTER ALBERT: Pujols turned 34 in January, and injuries limited him to 99 games last season. Scioscia thinks his star first baseman “looks rejuvenated” after a long offseason of rest and recovery.

With eight seasons left on his $240 million contract, Pujols is taking a long view.

“If I need a day off, I’ll take a day off,” Pujols said. “I wish I’d have done that more earlier in my career, because the last couple of years, I’m trying to be Superman and trying to play 162 games. It’s cost me the last couple of years.”

When he rests, don’t be surprised to see 41-year-old newcomer Raul Ibanez at first base on occasion.

DON’T WAIT: April might be the most important month of the Angels’ season.

They got off to miserable starts in each of the last two years, forcing them to play catch-up all summer long. Another slow start might be the end of Scioscia or Dipoto, and the Angels realize they can’t dawdle in their playoff chase.

“We’ve got to have better starts,” Trout said. “The last two years killed us. We’ve got to figure out a way to prepare ourselves to come out in a hot streak. I’ve always told myself and everybody that the first couple of weeks of the season can make or break your season.”