Mike Trout: Harper, Machado's Free Agency Was 'Red Flag,' Led to New Contract

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels  of Anaheim leans on the cage during batting practice before the spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on March 24, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

One reason the Los Angeles Angels were able to lock up Mike Trout for essentially the rest of his career stems from the long offseason for a number of top free agents this winter.

Speaking to reporters, Trout specifically cited Manny Machado and Bryce Harper as reasons he chose to re-sign with the Angels despite having two years remaining on his previous contract:

"If we hadn't gotten a deal done it would have been tough for me. I obviously wanted to be here. I said I want to deal with it now. If not I'm going to explore free agency. I didn't want to go through the next few seasons thinking 'Am I going to get a deal or not?'

"I kind of saw what Bryce and Manny went through and it drew a red flag for me. I talked to Manny and Bryce. It was a tough couple months in the offseason. They put it perspective in my mind. I obviously want to be an Angel for life. That was a big key.

"I think if I waited two years, it wouldn't have felt right moving to another team, going straight to a winning team. Teams go through ups and down. I want to be a part of everything. Obviously I want to win."

The Angels officially announced Trout's 12-year, $426.5 million contract extension Sunday after the two sides finalized terms last week.

The long wait for Machado and Harper to sign became an ongoing topic throughout Major League Baseball during the offseason.

Both players eventually secured massive long-term contracts from the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively. Harper briefly held the MLB record with a $330 million commitment over 13 years from the Phillies, per Spotrac.

Trout's deal surpassed Harper's to become not only the richest contract in MLB history but also the most lucrative in all of professional sports.

Even with Trout cashing in on a deal that will take care of his family for generations to come, it's not a great look for MLB to have its best player publicly talk about being concerned what free agency might have been like for him after 2020.

The Angels will certainly be happy to have Trout around for the next 12 years. He's already established himself as one of the greatest players in MLB history at 27 years old with two American League MVP awards and seven All-Star appearances in each of his seven full seasons.

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