OF Mike Trout expresses loyalty to Angels

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 11:35 PM

Mike Trout says he has no desire right now to leave the Los Angeles Angels, calling a potential trade “the easy way out.”

The three-time MVP outfielder is heading into his 13th season with the team and has seven years and close to $250 million left on his contract.

But there have been trade rumblings regarding Trout, 32, since former teammate Shohei Ohtani signed with the crosstown Dodgers in December.

“The easy way out is just ask for a trade,” Trout, who has a full no-trade clause, told reporters on Monday at spring training in Tempe, Ariz.

“There might be a time. Maybe. I really haven’t thought about this. But when I signed that contract, I’m loyal. I want to win a championship here. The overall picture of winning a championship or getting to the playoffs here is bigger satisfaction (than) bailing out and just taking an easy way out. So I think that’s been my mindset. Maybe down the road if something’s changed, but that’s been my mindset ever since the trade speculations came up.”

The Angels have not been to the playoffs since Trout’s second season in 2014, when they were swept by the Kansas City Royals in the division series.

Los Angeles finished 73-89 in 2023 as Trout missed half the season with a broken hand.

Ramping up for 2024, Trout said he has encouraged Angels owner Arte Moreno to sign one of the high-profile free agents still on the market. He did not name names, but that pool includes outfielder Cody Bellinger, third baseman Matt Chapman and Cy Young winner Blake Snell.

“There’s a couple of guys out there still that can help this team (be) better,” Trout said. ” … I’m going to keep pushing as long as I can until the season starts or until them guys sign. It is just in my nature. I’m doing everything I can possible. It’s obviously Arte’s decision. I’m going to put my two cents in there.”

Trout batted .263 with 18 homers and 44 RBIs in 82 games last season as the Angels finished fourth in the AL West, a division that produced the last two World Series winners with the Texas Rangers (2023) and Houston Astros (2022).

“Am I worried about what happens or: Do I want to get traded, am I not gonna get traded? I’m not worried about any of that,” Trout said. “I’m going out there and play my game. I got to put a full season together and see what happens.

“The overall build of not getting to the playoffs and then finally when it happens — I think that’s bigger than if I just wanted to just get out of here.”

An 11-time All-Star, Trout is a career .301 hitter with 368 home runs and 940 RBIs in 1,489 games.

–Field Level Media