With the news that the Angels have signed Mike Trout to a long-term contract extension has immediately increased expectations for the 2019 season.
One thing locking up Mike Trout for the long-term does is it gives the Angels some direction for the future. It also eliminates what was becoming a big distraction for the team, manager Brad Ausmus, and Mike Trout himself. It would have only have gotten worse, especially if the Angels get off to a poor start this season the clamoring to trade Trout before it was too late would have reached a deafening level by mid-season.
All of that is a moot point now that Trout has signed for the next 12 years. There will be some added pressure for sure, but Trout doesn’t seem to mind that throughout his career.
So what will the Angels 2019 season look like? That is the million dollar question, or maybe the 426.5 million dollar question.
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The Angels made some upgrades in the off-season signing two quality starting pitchers in Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill. They also signed a quality closer in Cody Allen and got a veteran catcher to anchor this staff in Jonathan Lucroy.
However is this enough to get the Angels to the playoffs? That remains to be seen. If the Angels can stay healthy especially on the pitching side I think the sky is the limit. They also need increased production from Justin Upton, Kole Calhoun, and Zack Cozart in order to help out Trout and Andrelton Simmons who have been standouts the past couple of seasons.
Shohei Ohtani will be the X-Factor when he returns from the injured list in early May. Justin Bour could also provide some much needed pop from the left side and give the Angels a better alternative at first if Albert Pujols struggles again or gets hurt.
All in all I think this team can compete for not only a playoff spot, but an AL West title is not out of the realm of possibility. Houston is not as strong as they have been the previous two seasons and I think that if they stumble at all, the Angels could be right there to take advantage and steal the AL West crown from the Astros.
My Prediction is 90 wins and the first wild-card spot. This may be a best case scenario, but I think this is the year the Angels will finally put it altogether. Let’s Get It On!!!