There is a proverbial monkey in the room for the Angels. No it is not the Rally Monkey. It is actually Mike Trout and his impending future.
Mike Trout has been the best things about the Angels since he burst on the scene in 2012. Trout has won two AL MVP awards and could have won even more if the teams he has been on were more successful. Only once in his seven seasons in Anaheim did the Angels make the playoffs and they were unceremoniously swept out in the first round by the Kansas City Royals.
Trout is now approaching the prime of his career and is two years away from becoming a free agent. The Angels are making an effort this Winter to re-sign Trout before he hits the open market after the 2020 season. This is a very prudent move especially if they can get him secured for multiple years to come without having to enter a bidding war with the likes of Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies to name a few.
The only team right now that can legally negotiate with Trout is the Angels, but after the 2020 season ends every team in baseball can make its pitch in hopes of landing the one of the biggest fish ever in Trout.
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The negotiations have possibly already begun between Trout and his agent with the Angels. The question becomes, what if they are not able to reach an agreement this off-season. Do you explore the option of trading Mike Trout over the next two seasons so that you do not wind up with nothing if he walks away as a free agent in 2020. When someone mentions trading Trout almost every Angel fan cringes, I know I do.
However, for those Angel fans old enough to remember the Angels had a Hall of Fame pitcher by the name of Nolan Ryan that they let walk away in free agency back in 1980 and they got nothing for their troubles except the heartache of watching Ryan flourish in Houston and later Texas.
Ryan could have been an Angel for life if then Angel owner Gene Autry had stepped in more quickly. The Angels will give it everything they have including an insane amount of money to keep Trout in the fold for years to come.
However, at what point do you go to plan B, which is trying to get as much as you can for Trout in a trade. If the Angels do nothing until after the 2019 season they lose a lot of their leverage as other teams know that they don’t want to walk away with nothing so the deals they will offer will not be as lucrative as they could be this year.
Hopefully we will have a magic Disney ending and Mike Trout will re-sign then the Angels will go out and win a World Series, or at the very least make the playoffs and win a series. If the Angels are able to produce a playoff team in 2019 will this help increase the odds that Trout will stay.
TO BE CONTINUED…