Los Angeles Angels: Support Mike Trout
The Angels still have Mike Trout signed through 2020, so there’s plenty of time for them to build a winner and get him back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Despite having the consensus best player in baseball for six full seasons, the Angels have been to the playoffs only once in Trout’s stellar career. This year’s run at a Wild Card came up short as Los Angeles slumped (Trout included) down the stretch to finish 80-82.
Trout’s supporting cast during his career with the Angels has left plenty to be desired. Massive contracts for Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson just did not work out as the Angels front office and owner would have hoped. The albatross contracts have made it impossible for the Angels to address the obvious weaknesses on their current roster.
Financial freedom is beginning to come for the Angels as the bad contracts begin to come off the books. At the same time, however, Trout’s annual salary is set to jump up to over $34 million for the final three years of his deal. The Angels will be paying over $61 million to Trout and Pujols next season.
The most obvious solution for the Angels is to try to convince Justin Upton not to opt out of his current contract. The left fielder is entering his age-30 season as the second-best power bat potentially on the market. He should be able to do better than the $88 million he is set to receive over the next four years. The Angels have to find a way to keep him in left field next to Trout.