Mike Trout is under contract with the Angels until 2030, and it’s hard to imagine him going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be disgruntled with the team.
The Angels have just one playoff appearance since Trout’s rookie year in 2012, an ALDS sweep at the hands of the Royals. they haven’t made the playoffs at all since signing Shohei Ohtani and seemed poised to lose the superstar after this season. And an ambitious trade deadline in which the Angels unloaded the farm ended with Arte Moreno and Perry Minasian conceding defeat by placing deadline acquisitions Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez on waivers alongside Hunter Renfroe, Matt Moore, and Dominic Leone.
In other words, even with three-time MVP and 11-time All-Star Trout on the roster, there doesn’t seem to be much of a future in the O.C. right now. Something Trout seemed to be acutely aware of after a loss to the Athletics Saturday.
“When it’s brought up in the offseason, you’ve obviously got to talk about it, and think about it,” Trout, who has played in just one game since July 3, said following a 2-1 loss to the Athletics Saturday, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. “I haven’t thought about it yet. There are going to be some conversations in the winter, for sure. Just to see the direction of everything and what the plan is.”
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The plan, assuming Ohtani walks in free agency, is likely to be a total teardown. The Angels traded away four top 30 prospects — including two top five prospects — for four rentals at the deadline. With two of those rentals now elsewhere, it’s abundantly clear the Angels know what must be done next, but that doesn’t make reality any easier to swallow for the players who may have to be part of an arduous rebuild.
“I was surprised (by the waives) as much as everybody was,” Trout said. “I didn’t see what was coming.”
After Saturday, the Angels were 64-72 — 13.5 games back of the Mariners in the AL West and 11.5 back of the Rangers for the final wild card spot. With Ohtani’s arm injury casting his ability to pitch next season into question, the ambitious use of the waiver wire took the baseball world by surprise, even if it was a largely practical move.
Trout is in year five of a 12-year, $426.5 million deal. With his recent injury history, despite his Hall of Fame resume, that likely renders him untradeable. The winter conversations will undoubtedly be difficult. But the Angels can take some solace in that Trout doesn’t seem interested in playing elsewhere. When asked if he would request a trade, Trout was flat: “I’m not even going to comment on that.”