For years now, “Trade Mike Trout” takes have been offered up on Twitter, national television, and by fans of any team outside of Anaheim.
However, prior to the offseason, reports broke that Mike Trout could be offered an extension by the LA Angels. Since then though, all has been quiet on that front, as Billy Eppler and the front office have focused on improving the team for 2019 with a bevy of signings.
Now, the Halos seem to be mostly done with free agents, unless Yasmani Grandal decides to accept a more short-term deal or the team is somehow in on Dallas Kuechel. Their main focus should now turn to Trout, where news has been minimal this offseason.
Some may be wondering why the Angels have yet to engage in negotiations with Mike Trout. Owner Arte Moreno addressed that earlier in the offseason, saying he felt it would be unprofessional to begin discussions with Trout before he had fully gone through the grieving process after losing his brother-in-law, Aaron Cox.
“We all communicate. He just had, personally, a real rough end of the year. We’re giving him a lot of space,” Moreno told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, “We just want him and his family to go through the grieving process, so we all try to support each other.”
In terms of when the Halos will begin offering Trout an extension, the above matter still applies. However, one can guarantee they will not start negotiations until Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are both signed. They are expected to set the new bar for top-tier players in free agency, so the Angels will assuredly want to top that for Trout to make him the highest paid player.
The question of what Eppler will offer the two-time MVP is more interesting. There have been reports of a potential lifetime contact, but the deal could realistically be anywhere from five years (like Trout’s last extension), ten years, or even the lifetime variety.
For the AAV, the Halos will give Trout more than anyone in history. Whether that’s $40 million or $50 million, Trout is more than worth it. Per FanGraphs, Trout has been worth at least $63 million each full year of his career, meaning the Angels, if giving him the most lucrative contract of all time, will still be getting a bargain.
Even before this offseason began, extending Mike Trout was the most important thing on the Angels’ checklist. They have done a phenomenal job of crossing everything else off the list, and are positioned well for a run at the playoffs in 2019. Now, they need to extend Mike Trout to make sure those playoff runs continue into 2020 and beyond.