The Philadelphia Phillies won’t have an Opening Day outfield that features Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in 2021. Harper, who will be entering the third season of a 13-year/$330 million free-agent contract, will be in right field. But Trout, the seven-time All-Star, will be suiting up across the country.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Trout is nearing an an agreement on a 12-year/$430 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. That deal is a 10-year extension that adds onto the remaining two years of his current six-year/$144.5 million deal. The total deal is a year shorter than the one Harper signed to come to Philadelphia, but it will be starting in Trout’s age-29 season, while Harper’s deal begins in his age-26 season. In terms of annual money, Trout blew past what both Harper and Manny Machado got in their megadeals this offseason, as his new contract will pay him nearly $36 million as an average annual value.
Trout, 27, is a two-time American League MVP, who has finished runner-up in American League MVP voting four other times. The latest example of Trout finishing runner-up in MVP voting came in 2018, when despite missing 22 games, Trout slashed .312/.460/.628 with 39 home runs, 79 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and a 9.8 fWAR.
But despite production that is already on par with the average Hall of Fame center fielder, Trout has never won a playoff game. The only time that the Angels have reached the postseason in his career was in 2014, when they were swept in the ALDS by the Kansas City Royals. That led to speculation that Trout could leave the Angels after the 2020 season when his current contract expires. Given his local connections – he’s from Millville, New Jersey and is an Eagles season-ticket holder – some had begun to wonder whether he would sign with the Phillies after the 2020 season.
At his introductory press conference, Harper hinted at this possibility.
“I making 26 (million) a year,” Harper said. “That’s going to be able to bring some other guys in as well to build up this organization. There’s another guy in about two years that comes off the books. We’ll see what happens with that.”
“I didn’t go a day this winter without someone asking, ‘When you coming to Philly?’. I can’t predict the future,” Trout told USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale in mid-February.
Trout may now go a few days without someone asking whether he’s going to join the Phillies. Instead, he’ll become the face of a club that includes Manny Machado, Marcus Mariota and Andrew Wiggins as players connected to Philadelphia teams for years, only to never end up playing for a Philadelphia team.
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