If Mike Trout hadn’t signed his six-year, $144.5MM extension with the Angels in March 2014, the superstar outfielder would’ve been a free agent this offseason. As CBSSports.com’s Mike Axisa writes, this would have led to the single biggest contract in sports history, let alone baseball history. Trout just turned 26 last August, and thus a long-term deal would’ve easily topped Giancarlo Stanton’s record 13-year, $325MM record pact with the Marlins. Axisa figures a Trout free agent deal would’ve landed well north of $500MM, with even a potential of $600MM in total earnings (in the event of a 14-year deal with bonuses and a buyout of an option year) if Trout didn’t exercise any of what probably would’ve been multiple opt-out clauses. The scenario makes for a fun “what-if” read for baseball fans, and certainly a sigh of relief for Angels fans in particular.
Here’s more from around the AL West…
- The Angels “extensively examined” Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez this season, Pedro Moura of the L.A. Times writes, and Hernandez figures to be on the Halos’ target list as the club looks to fill its longstanding hole at second base this winter. The two teams also briefly discussed Hernandez last offseason but the Angels balked at Philadelphia’s high asking price. If anything, that price tag will be even higher now, as Hernandez is coming off another strong campaign — .294/.373/.421 with nine homers and 15 steals over 511 plate appearances. Hernandez is projected by MLBTR to earn $4.7MM in 2018, the second of four arbitration-eligible years as a Super Two player.
- Beaumont native Jay Bruce would like to sign with one of his home-state teams (the Astros or Rangers), NJ Advance Media’s Abbey Mastracco writes. A return to the Mets is also a possibility, though Bruce’s top priority is to play for a contender. Bruce isn’t a perfect fit on either the Houston or Texas rosters, though the Astros could use another left-handed bat and the DH spot is opening up with Carlos Beltran’s likely departure. The Rangers could also have DH or right field at-bats open depending on where Shin-Soo Choo plays, or if the team wants to give top prospect Willie Calhoun a look. What doesn’t seem likely, however, is that either Texas club signs Bruce at his initial five-year, $80-$90MM asking price.