The Los Angeles Angels are going to be a busy team this winter. They have a couple of pieces on their current roster that are considered rather large trade chips, including Howie Kendick and Mark Trumbo, in addition to the fact that they’re fighting to return to the playoffs after two extremely underwhelming seasons with a massive payroll.
Yet, regardless of what they do to the rest of their roster, the major focal point for them this winter, or at least from outsiders looking in on them this winter, is going to be the contract status of Mike Trout. The Halos chose to pay Trout barely above the league minimum, which is their right, last winter, but will that come back to bite them?
This winter, they’re going to have a similar option. He’s not arbitration eligible until 2015, so they’ll dictate his pay once again. Do they stick in the six figure range, and risk alienating their star player as he approaches those arbitration years, on his way to ultimately becoming a free agent in 2017?
Trout had another fine season in 2013, shaking off whatever whispers there were of a sophomore slump heading into the year. While there wasn’t the massive debate between Trout and Miguel Cabrera over who should take home the American League MVP award like there was last season, he still figures to get some first place votes in there.
The 2013 season featured some more absurd numbers, including a fantastic slash line of .323/.432/.557/.988, along with a league leading 109 runs and 110 walks. He popped 27 home runs, knocked in 97 (a new career high), and swiped 33 bases, while managing a slight dip in his strikeout numbers. He’s the best all around player in baseball, there’s no doubt about that.
The only question that remains in Anaheim is how the Angels plan to approach the best player in baseball this winter. Do they try and get him locked up on a long term contract? That’d be in their best interest, given the arbitration years coming up. Or do they go and low ball him again, potentially setting themselves up for disaster in the coming years? Stay tuned.