Photo by Nicholas Cothrel/ Vegas Sports Daily
Anaheim, CA- Earlier this week, Mike Trout signed an extension to remain with the Los Angeles Angels. Trout reached an agreement on a 12-year, $426.5 million contract (includes a full no trade clause and no opt-outs). Doing so, Trout’s contract is the largest in professional sports history.
Many speculated that Trout would listen to the idea of going to an east coast team. Being from Millville, New Jersey growing up, and still living there in the offseason created a narrative that Trout’s last day’s in an Angels uniform could come to an end shortly. Angels owner Arte Moreno and General Manager Billy Eppler, had other ideas, as they made it perfectly clear that making Trout an Angel for the rest of his career was at the forefront of their plans.
Trout took to the podium on Saturday to discuss his record-breaking deal along side, Owner Arte Moreno, GM Billy Eppler and manager Brad Ausmus. Also, every teammate and coaching staff grabbed a seat for their “face of the franchise” player. The respect by Trout’s teammates to be in attendance for his press conference shows the gratitude they have for one another.
Q: Can you take us through your thought process, when you thought this is a place you want to be long-term? Obviously you would have had other options, had you hit free agency.
Trout: “I think the last couple years, bringing in Eppler, the relationship I have with the front office. The things he does in the offseason, putting the pieces of the puzzle together to make a great team. Obviously a lot of talk about going back east to Philly, but I enjoy every minute of being here. This is my home, a lot of things go into it. The direction of the franchise was big for me. I think if it was going the other way, I would have had to consider going. It never crossed my mind I was going to be an Angel for life.”
Q: Question for Arte Moreno, can you break down what the true meaning of this is, what does this mean to you? Not only as the Angels owner but as a fan in general?
Moreno: “Is that for me…? You know, when I came in I wanted to make sure people could come to the ballpark with their family and have a good experience. I want to make sure everyone feels welcome here, as well as communicating with the fans and community in what we are doing. If you look at some of the players that have played here, and some of the players that are playing now, and the beauty of it. Watching how Mike is with his teammates and how he interacts with the fans. The little things are really important. Me and Mike have spent a lot of time talking. We need some jewelry, you know”
Q: Congrats to you and your family, the word “loyalty” is not used very often anymore in pro sports and I’m wondering how that comes into play for you, what the meaning of that is? And for you Brad, how does this make your life easier for the next, however amount of years?
Ausmus: “I’m looking forward to bossing around a man making $400 million bucks. No, who wouldn’t be excited having Mike Trout. Not only from the talent perspective, but the person perspective. He goes about his business the right way, sets a perfect example for the people around him. And he’s an MVP candidate, so writing his name in the lineup everyday is something I look forward to doing.”
Trout: “I think spending your whole career with one team is pretty cool. Talking to people, if I did leave in two years, looking back I would probably regret it a little bit. I love it here. I love coming to the ballpark, even ask my buddies. I’m almost the first one here everyday. I think being here 12 more years and my entire career means a lot to me”
Q: You see the body of work that Billy Eppler has put together, restoring the proper order to the farm system and adding key pieces like Ohtani and two new elements this year. Can you see this organization making the playoffs?
Trout: “That’s why I’m staying. In the offseason you obviously like to bring in new players. Billy and Arte have done a good job bringing in new players. The farm system, I think you guys know a couple of years ago it was pretty deflated. Billy and the scouts have done a great job bringing in new players, Adell, Marsh, Canning, some good young arms, the future is bright. When I was making this decision with my wife, I think it’s pretty clear this organization is heading towards the right direction, and Billy wants to win. He wants to be the best and I like that.”
(All question asked by media in attendance)
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