Harper Talks Trout, As Trout Won’t Discuss Extension With Angels
What is every baseball fan's dream, particularly in South Jersey? Of course that would be to see Millville's Mike Trout in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform. While the Phillies landed another superstar in Bryce Harper, the Trout talk has really picked up. Much of it is because of Harper's words.
At Saturday's introductory press conference, streamed live on 97.3 ESPN, Harper alluded to a "certain" player who would be a free agent in two years:
"I’m making 26 a year, something like that. So I think that’s going to bring some other guys in as well to build up this organization to win. I know there’s another guy in about two years that comes off the books. We’ll see what happens with him.”
The average annual value of the deal, $25.4 million, will be the relevant amount for the luxury tax.
Harper speaks in more general terms here, but of course the name "Trout" does come out of his mouth. As we learned on Friday, we know that Harper and Trout talked throughout the free agent processfelt that it was "not crazy" to think it could happen
But for that to happen, Trout has to hit free agency. The Angels want to sign him to an extension. In the wake of the Harper comments, Trout made some of his own. Over the weekend, Trout made a rather interesting revelation: he will not discuss a contract extension right now. Not in Spring Training. Also not during the 2019 season.
That means, even if the Angels offered Trout a bunch of money right now, he is not prepared to talk business. But that did not stop the Angels in response from leaking information to the media.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic indicated that the Angels have had internal talks about offering Trout a big deal:
In recent weeks, the Los Angeles Angels at least considered offering Mike Trout a 10-year, $350 million extension, though it is unclear whether they followed through with an actual proposal, according to sources with knowledge of the club’s thinking.
Why would this information come out now?
It's very possible the Angels wanted to throw this out there in the wake of Trout's comments that he will not negotiation right now. It's a way of letting the player know through the back channels that they are serious. However, many including Rosenthal indicated that that contract amount might be low for the best player in the game.
It also could be a way of letting Angels fans know that they are serious about retaining their star player. But if one were to think that number is low, despite being the largest contract number ever awarded to a player (Harper's $330 million is the new record), they might not be impressed. The Angels can always deny that they ever thought this, since there is no public statement on record.
The Mike Trout situation certainly bears watching in the future. The next offseason will be a critical one for the Angels and Trout. If they do not feel that they can extend him, they might be forced to do something which is not pleasant but the rational move: trade him. The Angels are up against the luxury tax threshold and are in need of prospects in the system.