For Mike Trout, he has seen his team surround him with solid players on one-year deals. However, there is still a plethora of stars still on the market despite Spring Training starting soon, and a strike between the players and owners seems likely.
And with rumors of the Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA) going on strike following the 2021 season, Mike Trout might be the last hope for the player’s. As this offseason has gone on, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, remain unsigned. Two players who are in their primes, and without them receiving offers worth their signature, it has held the rest of free agency up as everyone waits on their moves.
The stall in free agency, the manipulation of service time by teams, and an overall decreased market has some people believing a strike following the 2021 season is inevitable at this point. However, there could be one player who can either prevent a strike, or make one even more of a possibility.
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Mike Trout is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2020 season, one year before a potential strike would occur. While Angels’ fans hope this situation never arises, no one can disagree that seeing how much Mike Trout is worth on the current free agent market would be incredibly fascinating. There is no argument that he would be the best free agent of all time, age and skill considered, and he would undoubtedly deserve the highest deal of all-time.
The question of whether or not he will get that deal is more interesting. If he doesn’t, and gets the same treatment as Harper and Machado, with limited teams interested and offers too low to even take seriously, a strike would begin one year later. However, if Trout can go into free agency, earn the richest and longest deal in the history of baseball, could faith be restored between the players and owners without a strike?
Even if the latter situation happens, it may be too little too late. With a large number of players and their families not knowing where they’ll be living and playing next season with less than two weeks until Spring Training, feelings are going to begin to boil over. Can one player rekindle the relationship between two sides? Probably not.
However, if Mike Trout can earn the most lucrative contract (or extension) of all-time, and that can be followed up by an offseason after the 2020 season where clubs are willing to spend, it might be enough to prevent a stoppage of play to negotiate a new (and improved) Collective Bargaining Agreement.