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Mike Trout makes curious decision to stay in Los Angeles

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The would-be Phillie apparently wasn’t all that eager to come home

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Remember all that talk about how it would be okay if the Phillies missed out on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado because they could potentially sign Mike Trout in a couple of years? Thankfully John Middleton and the rest of the Phillies’ front office didn’t share that belief, because Trout has apparently decided to spend the remainder of his playing days on the west coast. According to Jeff Passan, Trout is in the process of finalizing a 12 year/$430 million deal with the Angels, that will presumably keep him on their team forevermore.

Apparently, Bryce Harper isn’t especially good at tampering, and dreams of the two men teaming up in the Phillies’ outfield have been shattered. This surely comes as a shock to many Phillies fans who insisted that Trout was counting the seconds until he could come back home and don a red pinstriped uniform.

Eagles fandom aside, there were signs that Trout wasn’t as eager to play for the Phillies as some people believed. He already signed one extension with the Angels, which seems like an odd move for someone who couldn’t wait to join another team. As John Stolnis mentioned earlier this year, as bizarre at it sounds, Trout may already be the most popular baseball player in Philadelphia. Why put that at risk by actually playing for the Phillies?

While I can understand Trout not wanting to come to Philadelphia, it is worth wondering why he wanted to stay with the Angels. You don’t often associate playing in Los Angeles with a lack of exposure, but Trout has managed to stay relatively anonymous. The Angels are typically overshadowed by the Dodgers in LA, and despite employing the best player in baseball, the Angels have managed to avoid playoff contention for most of Trout’s career. It’s somewhat amazing that his brilliance has resulted in zero playoff wins for the franchise.

Will the future be any brighter in Anaheim? They’re coming off an 80-win season, and didn’t exactly set the world on fire this offseason. (In case you were wondering where Justin Bour and Luis Garcia ended up, they’re in Anaheim!) Their farm system is reportedly improving - although still far from elite. And they still have multiple years of Albert Pujols’ contract ahead of them.

As for the Phillies, now that they don’t have to keep a just-in-case $35 million spot open on their payroll for 2020, it will be interesting to see if they look to make other big free agent signings in the years to come. (Or maybe they should have just given $310 million to Manny Machado last month?) We’re still waiting to hear if they’ll be hosting another Millville Night at Citizens Bank Park when the Angels come to town again in a few years, but it seems unlikely at this point.