Angels fans are concerned that if the club’s front office doesn’t get serious and start taking care of Mike Trout, the young phenom may bolt when free agency arrives.
But the Angels may have already let this one get away.
Trout is already talking about looking elsewhere when free agency arrives, despite this season being just his second year in the big leagues and the fact that he’s under team control through 2017. But he’s not taking a hard-line stance or making threats so much — he’s just dropping some hints.
“It’s about time to start looking for a house,” Trout said when asked this week where he’ll live this offseason, after he spent his downtime last year at his parents’ house in New Jersey. “I’m trying to see what direction my career takes me. Do I want to buy a house out here or some other place?”
That has sparked some thinking that Trout may already be mulling his next career move, for when he becomes a free agent after the 2017 season. While Trout sounded committed to his current team, the fact that he’s already in the middle of some dollars-and-cents discussions in just his second year has raised some eyebrows.
“I love it here,” Trout said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I love the guys, my teammates, the coaches. It’s a great place to play.”
Fans are worried, though, that Trout may not think it’s quite so great a place to play if the Angels don’t start shelling out. Still on the bottom end of the major league pay scale, Trout is making just $510,000 this year. While that’s $20,000 above the minimum, some Angels fans were hoping management would spring for more to show Trout they are interested in him staying even before he becomes arbitration eligible in 2015.
Trout hasn’t voiced similar displeasure, though.
“It was one of those things where they own you, they can do whatever they want, and you have to accept it,” he said. “Everyone goes through it. I’m waiting patiently. My time will come.”
He wasn’t the only one preaching patience this week.
“I’ll answer one question on contract talks. There have been no discussions,” said Trout’s agent, Craig Landis. “Obviously, Mike’s future is extremely bright. We’ll be patient. Mike’s a young guy. However it goes, he’s going to make a lot of money and be a great player.”
With New Jersey on Trout’s mind, though, that “a lot of money” may push the Angels to get in gear a little sooner.