Mike Trout's $430M Deal Crushes Hope for Trout-Harper MLB Dream Team

Jacob Shafer@@jacobshaferFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2019

Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34) runs from the field past Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout (27) during the middle of the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 21, 2014, in Washington. The Angels won 4-2. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Batman and Robin. Tango and Cash. Mario and Luigi. 

Trout and Harper? Nope.

That dream was crushed Tuesday with the announcement that Mike Trout was preparing to sign a 10-year, $363.5 million extension with the Los Angeles Angels, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Add the two years and $66.5 million remaining on Trout's current deal with the Halos, and he'll be paid $430 million to stay in Anaheim through 2030, when he'll turn 40 years old.

Mike Trout is an Angel for life. 

That's excellent for Halos fans and for Angels general manager Billy Eppler, who just ensured the greatest player of his generation isn't going anywhere. 

When it comes to compelling storylines and glitzy superstar pairings, the news was decidedly less rosy.

Trout grew up in Millville, New Jersey, less than 50 miles outside of Philadelphia. He's a Philadelphia Eagles season ticket holder and a longtime Philly sports fan.

Once Bryce Harper inked a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies after a protracted offseason waiting game, he began to openly recruit Trout to join him in the City of Brotherly Love.

"If you don't think I'm gonna call Mike Trout to come to Philly in 2020, you're crazy," Harper said on March 5, per SportsRadio 94WIP.

Those comments sparked a tampering complaint by the Angels. And it might have given Eppler and Co. extra motivation to back up several Brink's trucks for their 27-year-old franchise player.

So here we are. Harper is in Philadelphia, Trout is in SoCal and it's almost surely going to stay that way for the next decade-plus. 

Maybe you cringe when great players join forces. Perhaps you hate the trend of guys colluding to form superteams, most notably in the NBA. But don't you also love to hate it?

Or, maybe, simply love it?

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

How fun would it have been to watch Harper and Trout patrol the same outfield? We're talking about two of the best all-around players we've seen in decades, each on the right side of 30.

Personality-wise, they would have been fascinating. Harper's cocky, bat-flipping antics contrasted against Trout's low-key, Boy Scout persona. Yin and yang. Salty and sweet.

It seemed like such a perfect, inevitable match.

"I played with him in the [Arizona] Fall League [in 2011], and we've kept in contact over the last seven years," Trout told reporters after he signed with the Phillies. "But just trying to get a hometown kid to tell me what he felt, how he felt about the organization and the area and things like that. He's a kid who grew up seeing the Phillies have success, so going through those times with the fans and things like that."

"I don't think I went a day this offseason without someone saying, 'When are you coming to Philly?'" Trout told reporters in February. "I can’t predict the future. I don't know."

Now we all know. And the answer is no. They won't occupy the same roster unless it's in the World Baseball Classic or some post-retirement old-timers game.

TEMPE, AZ - MARCH 02:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels is seen during the Los Angeles Angels Spring training on March 2, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Masterpress/Getty Images

This isn't about wanting the Phillies to be better or the Angels to be worse. Trout was more than entitled to take the money. In many ways, he'd have been silly not to. His loyalty to the only organization he's ever known is laudable in many respects. 

And again, it's fair to note that manufactured superstar alliances turn off some fans.

But we can pause and mourn what might have been: an epic twosome that could have provided a wealth of enticing narratives and timeless moments, with the added bonus of Trout plying his trade a few miles from his hometown next to his brash buddy. 

Peanut butter and jelly. Han Solo and Chewbacca. 

But no Trout and Harper.

Oh well.

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