Any wild fantasies of the Philadelphia Phillies outfield containing Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in 2021 are about to be cut surprisingly short.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday morning that Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are finalizing a massive 12-year, $430 million contract that will secure the 27-year-old megastar for what likely will be the remainder of his career. It will be the largest contract ever awarded in Major League Baseball history along with the largest annual average salary at $36 million per season.
Trout’s prospective payday is also 30-percent more than what Harper just received with his 10-year, $330 million contract he signed with the Phillies last month.
Among his first days as a Phillie, Harper made it known that he was going to everything possible to try and get Trout — a Millville, NJ native and Philadelphia sports fan — to join him at Citizen’s Bank Park.
“If you don’t think I’m gonna call Mike Trout to come to Philly in 2020, you’re crazy,” he told 94.1 WIP Radio in Philadelphia.
Trout was set to hit unrestricted free agency following the 2020 season which would have made him the most coveted free agent in the game’s history.
That’s right, much more than either Harper or Manny Machado — whose drawn-out saga in free agency this winter was as unpredictable and frustrating as some of the things that came out of their agent, Scott Boras’ mouth.
The proactive Angels though are not letting such a tremendous talent get even close to the open market with this behemoth of a deal, which is worthy of a player of Trout’s caliber.
Over his first eight MLB seasons, Trout has earned seven All-Star selections, six Silver Sluggers, and two American League MVP titles. He’s slashing .307/.416/.573 with 240 career home runs and 1,187 hits in 1,065 games.
Those are legendary numbers to start a career as he’s on pace with some of the game’s greatest record holders. Over his first 1,000 games, he had just 105 fewer hits than Pete Rose, 121 total bases fewer than Hank Aaron, 41 fewer runs than Rickey Henderson. He also had 52 more home runs, 35 more walks, and a WAR 11.7 points higher (66.7) than Barry Bonds.
Growing up just 45 miles from Philadelphia while being a regular at Eagles games, Trout’s link to the city hinted that the Phillies had a fighter’s chance at pulling off a blockbuster for him. Harper was reportedly in constant contact with Trout throughout free agency in order to get an idea of what to expect from the Philadelphia fan base. Though there were many who believed that the two might have been talking about possibly teaming up in Philadelphia.
With zero chance of that happening now, the Phillies will have to be content with just Harper, a 26-year-old former NL MVP, patrolling left field for the next decade.