Sports

Could Mike Trout Ever Demand A Trade?

Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels in action against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on April 30, 2021 in Seattle, Washington.
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

 

For years, Mike Trout has been the face of the Los Angeles Angels: the homegrown prospect turned into a star in his first full season in the bigs, in 2012, and remains one of the best players in baseball ten years later.

Trout also signed, in 2019, the largest contract in baseball history: 12 years and $426.5 million.

In other words, he is tied to the Angels until the 2030 season.

At the time, the Angels had to pay him because a previous six-year, $144 million pact signed before the 2014 campaign was about to expire.

And they had to pay him handsomely, so they did.

As high as the contract seems, Trout is worth every penny.

He remains a top contributor for the Angels, even if he has lost half a step on defense and baserunning.

For example, he won his third MVP award in that 2019 season, slashing .291/.438/.645 with 45 home runs, and was equally good in 2020.

The 2021 season, unfortunately, was filled with injuries.

But at 30, he should have many additional productive seasons in his future.

Will the Angels live up to their part of the deal?

 

The Angels Are Starting To Improve

And no, Los Angeles doesn’t just have to pay him: they need to make sure they put a competitive team out there to maximize their chances of winning with, and for, Trout.

For many years, they failed to do that.

The Angels’ roster was perennially short on quality pitching during Trout’s tenure, and as a result, MLB’s premier player in the 2010s just played a handful of postseason games in 2014.

That’s the only year the Angels have made it into October with him, and we all know it’s not his fault.

So, could Trout ever demand a trade?

Of course he could, but it’s not likely for a variety of reasons.

First, he is the face of the franchise, and a fan favorite in Los Angeles: players have demanded trades in similar positions, but it’s an unlikely scenario.

Second, he plays for a big-market team and earns good money.

Third, a trade would be extremely complicated to put together given the size of his contract and the difficulties to assess his future value given his age and past performance.

And fourth, the Angels appear to be finally moving in the right direction.

They have not only recognized that pitching is an organizational need at all levels, but have started to act according to that fact.

 

Committed To Improving The Pitching

Last season, they spent all of their 20 draft picks on pitchers.

This offseason, they brought in pitcher Noah Syndergaard, a potential ace, swingman Michael Lorenzen, and top setup man Aaron Loup.

They also asked the Cincinnati Reds about ace Luis Castillo’s availability, and have been connected to free agent southpaw Carlos Rodon.

They have made it clear that they want to surround Trout with enough talent to make a deep postseason run.

They have the offense: Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Anthony Rendon, Jared Walsh, Justin Upton, David Fletcher, and Max Stassi form a very good group.

Pitching? With Ohtani, Syndergaard, Patrick Sandoval, Lorenzen, Reid Detmers, and Jose Suarez, the rotation should be competitive.

In other words, Trout is not going anywhere, at least not for a couple of years.

The team is all-in on him, and he surely is committed to delivering a championship to Los Angeles.



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