Major League Baseball’s offseason has been dominated by the seemingly never-ending free agency pursuit of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, neither of whom had signed as of Monday. There’s a good chance that the next big superstar free agent frenzy will come in two years, with Mike Trout.
Trout has played his entire career so far for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but his contract expires after the 2020 season.
The player addressed his pending free agency when he met reporters at spring training Monday.
According to a series of Twitter tweets by reporter Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic Los Angeles, Trout on Monday declined to comment on his contract status, except to say “he likes where he’s at, and said he wants to win. Said he feels they haven’t been far off.”
Ardaya added in another tweet that for Trout, “much of his offseason has been spent dealing with people asking his he’s going to the Phillies,” and that Trout believes that the current status of around 100 unsigned free agents is “obviously not good for baseball.”
Also in the media availability, Trout said, per a video posted to Twitter, that “I grew up in Philadelphia- around the area in Jersey obviously- and… I’m an Eagles fan, I know how we are. When they’re going good, they love ’em. But I think fans appreciate your hustle all the time, they like 100 percent effort, even if you’re struggling. I think if you go out there and show ’em that you’re giving 100 percent, I think they see it and they respect it.”
Despite saga with Bryce Harper, Phillies fans won't stop asking Mike Trout about coming home.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 18, 2019
Perhaps, that's because his answer keeps leaving the door open. ????
Here's what he said.https://t.co/AxyyAlZRDo
While Trout has always played for the Angels, Phillies fans have dreamed of bringing him to their team for much of his career. Trout is a native of Millville, New Jersey, grew up a die-hard fan of the Phillies, and spends a great deal of time in the Philadelphia area in the offseason, including a prominent seat at Philadelphia Eagles home games. So the questions about coming to the Phillies may have come during or before or after those games.
Some baseball analysts, including blogger Baseball Egg, have argued that Trout’s status as a New Jersey native makes him a natural fit for the Yankees, but Trout’s hometown of Millville is near the southern tip of New Jersey, 138 miles away from Yankee Stadium. This doesn’t mean that Trout wouldn’t sign with the Yankees, but a move to The Bronx would not go down as a homecoming for the star outfielder.