Mike Trout’s response to potential Angels trade is refreshing for baseball fans

Mike Trout staying put is good for baseball.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout has no interest in requesting a trade. He's made that abundantly clear. When the Los Angeles Angels descended upon Tempe last week for full squad workouts, questions from the media centered around Trout's future with the Los Angeles Angels.

While Anthony Rendon's foolish comments about baseball not being a top priority dominated the air waves early last week, Trout's comments regarding a potential trade were also significant.

Trout maintained that he is content in Anaheim, and that requesting a trade would be taking the "easy way out". In a day where the sports landscape is dominated by player empowerment, free agents chasing big pay days, and college athletes changing schools as often as they change their bed sheets, it's refreshing to hear Trout remain committed to the only organization he's ever known.

Mike Trout’s response to potential LA Angels trade is refreshing for baseball fans

Trout has 11 All-Star appearances, nine Sliver Slugger Awards, three AL MVPs, and, for the better part of a decade, was recognized as the best player in baseball. Some analysts and fans, however, will chastise Trout for his loyalty, citing the fact that his résumé is still missing a World Series Championship. But baseball is seen through a different lens than other sports.

LeBron James felt as if he had to leave Cleveland in order to win at the highest level. Both Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Durant did the same thing. All three won championship rings with their new teams.

Corey Dillon forced his way out of Cincinnati after years of shortcomings with the Bengals, then won a championship with the New England Patriots. Marshall Faulk demanded a trade from the Indianapolis Colts, then procured a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams.

And while those players may have bolstered their Hall of Fame candidacy in their respective sports with a championship, baseball is littered with Hall of Famers who didn't win a World Series. Do fans think less of Ernie Banks, Tony Gwynn, or Ken Griffey Jr. because they they don't have a ring? Would any of their résumés be any more Hall of Fame worthy with a World Championship? Seeing as how they all were elected to Cooperstown on the first ballot, the answer is resounding no.

Mike Trout can win with the LA Angels

None of this is to suggest that Mike Trout should be content to post another losing season in Anaheim. The Los Angeles Angels, despite having two of the best players the game has ever seen, haven't had a winning season since 2015. They need to be better. And, in order to improve, Trout needs to stay healthy.

One of the biggest issues the past several seasons has been Trout's inability to stay on the field. Over the past three seasons, Trout has appeared in less than 50% of the Angels games. A torn calf muscle in 2021, a back disorder in 2022, and a hamate fracture in 2023 have all taken their toll on the 32-year-old over the past few seasons. A healthy Trout can be the difference between the Angels being in the playoff hunt, and on the outside looking in.

Angels fans had to be ecstatic to hear that Trout has no intention to ask for a trade. Trout spoke about winning a championship with the Angels, saying that doing so would bring more satisfaction than just asking for a trade and joining a contender. That speaks volumes to Trout's character and his loyalty to the franchise.

It would seem to be an uphill climb heading into 2024. The Los Angeles Angels allowed Shohei Ohtani to leave in free agency, and have done very little to improve the ball club this offseason. But new manager Ron Washington is looking to change the culture in the clubhouse. That, plus a healthy Mike Trout, could help lead to some unexpected success during the upcoming season.