Seven years into his career, Mike Trout is still getting better. He just put together his best season so far, and was robbed of being an MVP finalist for the second straight year.
And now, all that matters in Anaheim, is a contract for Mike Trout. Sure, he isn’t a free agent until two years from now. However, with the state of the Angels, they need to lock up Mike Trout for the long-haul, or nothing else they do this offseason will matter.
We’ve already began to hear them. The voices on the radio and the tweets on our timelines.
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That is the year Mike Trout would be able to choose where he plays baseball for the first time in his life. Angels fans, front office members, and players know it, and dread it. If Trout is not resigned this offseason, he may just end up on another team.
In a recent article for the LA Times, Angels owner Arte Moreno said that a Trout extension is their top priority this winter, as it should be. However, Moreno also stated that, given the death of Aaron Cox, Trout’s brother-in-law, they have not approached the two-time MVP on the topic of an extension yet. They want to give the family time to grieve properly, which is the right thing to do from a professional and personal perspective.
However, when the Angels and Mike Trout do finally meet, Billy Eppler needs to walk out of that room with Mike Trout extended for the rest of his MLB career. This probably happens after Bryce Harper and Manny Machado get deals, so that they can make Trout the highest paid player in MLB history, and deservedly so.
Now, sure the Angels do not have a great run of lengthy contracts (paging Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton), but Mike Trout is a generational player and is still in the prime of his career. Even if he does not play at a MVP-caliber level throughout his 30’s like they would likely sign him for, the money would still be fair given he still *likely* has ten more years of MVP-level playing.
The Angels could sign Patrick Corbin, trade for Corey Kluber, and bring in Swiss Army Knife Marwin Gonzalez, but this offseason will not be a success unless they can lock up the best player of all-time in Mike Trout for the rest of his career.