After weeks of speculation that Bryce Harper, who signed a $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, would recruit Mike Trout to join him in Philadelphia, Trout is staying put in California — reportedly, for $100 million more than what Harper received.
According to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, sources claim that Trout has agreed to an extension with the Los Angeles Angels for 12 years and $430 million. The deal is the largest in the history of professional sports, breaking the record set last month by Harper’s Phillies deal. Trout also signed for one fewer year than Harper did.
The contract for Trout, who is 27-years-old, breaks baseball contract records for both overall money and for average annual value, of $36 million. The deal essentially supersedes the final two years of Trout’s current deal, which was for six years and $144.5 million. Trout, who has won two American League MVP awards, has played for the Angels for his entire career.
The deal will keep Trout out of free agency, as he would have been eligible to sign with the team of his choice following the 2020 season. Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies had been dreaming of a Trout move to Philly for several years since the player is a native of southern New Jersey, grew up rooting for the Phillies, and is a regular presence at Philadelphia Eagles home games.
The idea of the Phillies trading for Trout prior to 2020 had become a popular Philadelphia sports radio topic in recent weeks, but there was never any indication that he was unhappy in California or had ever been eying a trade away from the Angels. And even if the Angels decided to trade Trout, it would likely have set off a bidding war among multiple teams.
Following Harper’s signing with the Phillies on February 28, he made several public comments about wanting to recruit Trout to the Phillies, at one point even mentioning Trout by name. This led to Major League Baseball contacting the Phillies about the comments, per NBC Sports, although there’s been no word about Harper being fined for violations of the league’s tampering rules.
Harper had even involved the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the recruitment effort, with a day-long Twitter exchange, per The Inquisitr, meant to recall that show’s 2009 plotline about the character Mac’s letter to Chase Utley. Rob McElhenney, the show co-creator who plays Mac, tweeted at Trout to ask if he “wants in on this.”