There never was any doubt in Mike Trout’s mind that he wanted to remain in Los Angeles for the rest of his Major League Baseball career.

That now is a reality for the Angels star, who agreed to a monster extension worth $430 million that all but keeps him a member of the Halo’s until he’s ready to call it quits. But for Trout, he wanted to make sure every t was crossed and every i was dotted before the regular season began.

The 27-year-old told The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya that he told the Angels he was going to “explore free agency” if something wasn’t worked out before Opening Day.

“If we hadn’t gotten a deal done it would have been tough for me. I obviously wanted to be here. I said I want to deal with it now,” he told Ardaya. “If not I’m gong to explore free agency. I didn’t want to go through the next few seasons thinking ‘Am I going to get a deal or not?’”

Trout added he noticed red flags when Bryce Harper and Manny Machado were on the free-agent market, and that was something he didn’t want to put himself through.

“I kind of saw what Bryce and Manny went through and it drew a red flag for me,” Trout said. “I talked to Manny and Bryce. It was a tough couple months in the offseason. They put it into perspective in my mind. I obviously want to be an Angel for life. That was a big key.

“I think if I waited two years, it wouldn’t have felt right moving to another team, going straight to a winning team,” he added. “Teams go through ups and down. I want to be a part of everything. Obviously I want to win.”

With a 12-year extension, it’s probably safe to say Trout indeed will be part of all the ups and downs, winning and losing, good seasons and bad seasons the Angels will have.

Thumbnail photo via Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports Images