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Shohei Ohtani’s future with the Angels seems murky. Could Mike Trout’s now also be?
Baseball isn’t like football or basketball, where having multiple superstars on the roster is imperative to sustained winning. But that doesn’t mean that the star-studded Los Angeles Angels duo of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani should be doing no winning, either.
And if the Angels don’t start changing their trajectory soon, the latter has hinted at the possibility of leaving Anaheim when he becomes eligible to do so.
“But more than that [money], I want to win. That’s the biggest thing for me. So, I’ll leave it at that.”
Shohei Ohtani’s lack of long-term commitment to Angels should make Mike Trout’s future uncertain
Ohtani has the luxury of being able to test free agency as soon as the end of the 2023 season, since he hasn’t locked into a long-term extension with Anaheim. And after preliminary talks stalled in spring training? The reality of Ohtani’s departure only looks more feasible.
As for Trout, he most certainly does not have the open market luxury waiting in the wings after signing a 12-year, $430 million mega-deal with the Angels back in 2019. But don’t feel sorry for him, because that’s a lot of money and a lifetime of loyalty to one organization, which is something you don’t see much of in pro sports anymore.
On the flip side, Trout probably wouldn’t have signed that deal if he knew the situation with his superstar teammate Ohtani would become so tenuous, or that the Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton contracts would stink, or that they still don’t really have enough pitching even after adding Noah Syndergaard, Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias.
Trout is undoubtedly one of the best players in the game, and any team would want to have him on their roster. But would any club step up and be willing to absorb a contract of that magnitude? And vice versa: With the Angels’ payroll so high and the team so ineffective, can they keep building a group that can win with Trout? They haven’t been able to since 2014.
The pressure is on the Angels to not only retain their superstars, but also to build a winner around them. They’ve managed to reign in one superstar — can they do the same with their other?
If not, maybe it’s time for Trout’s future in Anaheim to become murky, too.