Philly fans are obsessed with Mike Trout, for good reason. He’ll go down as one of the best players ever. He was born in nearby Millville, New Jersey. Did you know that? It’s been pretty under-reported around these parts.
Until the day Trout retires, Phillies fans will hold out hope that someday, the Chosen One will join their favorite team.
The Angels could put a dent in those dreams this winter, though.
National baseball writer Jon Heyman wrote this week that the Angels could pursue a lifetime contract with Trout this offseason. Doesn’t mean they will or that he’ll sign it, but it does make sense with Trout’s current six-year contract expiring after 2020.
The Angels will want to know from Trout whether he’s interested in staying around long-term. If he’s not, it’s better for a team to know that before the player’s last season under contract, because more can be acquired in a trade when the player has 1½ seasons left than just a half-season.
Trout wants to win. The Angels haven’t been able to surround him with enough talent. The Albert Pujols contract worked out poorly. The Josh Hamilton contract turned out horribly. Shohei Ohtani needs elbow surgery, so for now, he’s just a DH. The Angels’ starting rotation has been ravaged by nonstop injuries. Trout is not winning a World Series in Anaheim. Feel free to send this paragraph to @FreezingColdTakes on Twitter.
The Phillies this offseason will pursue Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Some rival executives think the Phils possess the ability to land both superstars. If they strike out on one, or both, and if Trout chooses not to sign another long-term deal with the Halos, the trade talks will again amplify.
You have to keep in mind, though, that it will take an enormous trade package for the Angels to even consider moving Trout. A package that would take lots of major-league and minor-league talent away from an organization.
Between blogs and social media, I’ve seen some Trout-to-the-Braves fantasies. Bringing that up only because, in every instance, the writer has argued, “as long as it doesn’t cost Ronald Acuña Jr.”
Which is just hilarious, because you don’t acquire one of the top five players in baseball history in his prime without giving up a great player in return. It is laughable to think the Angels would be OK with a package of Sean Newcomb, Ozzie Albies, Ender Inciarte and a group of prospects.
Similarly, you’d think that if the Angels ever actually engage the Phillies in Trout trade talks, it could cost them Rhys Hoskins, Sixto Sanchez and two or three more players the Phils would feel extremely uncomfortable about trading.
Between the impending free agency of Harper and Machado and the possibility Trout makes a decision one way or the other regarding his long-term plans, we could know in three short months about the futures of baseball’s three most dangerous hitters.