Phillies

Mike Trout reportedly nearing $430 million deal to stay with Angels

Mike Trout reportedly nearing $430 million deal to stay with Angels

We'll always remember those three whole weeks Bryce Harper had the biggest contract in baseball history.

Mike Trout and the Angels are finalizing a 12-year contract worth over $430 million, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. That's nearly $10 million more per year than Harper received from the Phils. It rightfully shows just how much higher Trout is valued than his superstar peers, and it was always going to take a totally ludicrous number from the Angels to get Trout to forgo his eventual free agency.

Trout's deal, like Harper's, will not include any opt-outs, according to the Los Angeles Times. This extension adds 10 years and $363.5 to Trout's current deal, which was set to pay him $66.5 million over the next two seasons.

Harper made it abundantly clear upon signing in Philadelphia that he planned to recruit Trout if/when Trout became a free agent after the 2020 season. The Angels weren't thrilled with it and for good reason. If the same comments were made in another city about a current Philly athlete ... just imagine how this fanbase would have reacted.

This sets Trout up to play his entire career for the Angels, who have not won much of anything with him because they haven't found the right supporting cast. The Albert Pujols contract is a disaster. The Josh Hamilton contract was even worse. They haven't been able to keep any of their starting pitchers healthy, whether it's Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker. 

The Angels have made the playoffs once in Trout's career and were swept by the Royals in the first round. They have averaged a 83-79 record in Trout's seven full seasons. But it's $430 million. Who says no to that? Does even the world's most competitive person say nah, I'll take my chances with free agency? 

Maybe Trout could have approached $500 million on the open market, but when you're talking about this much money, is there even a tangible difference between $430M and $500M? This deal protects Trout against the possibility of injury these next two seasons and makes generations upon generations of his family wealthy. 

Trout's deal runs through his age-40 season. Harper's contract takes him to age 39.

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Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

In another sign that he's likely to return to managing in the majors in 2020, Joe Girardi stepped down as the manager of USA Baseball, the organization announced Wednesday.

Girardi, who is believed to have met with Phillies officials Monday, is a strong candidate for multiple open manager jobs. The Phillies are interested, and the Cubs and Mets appear to be hot after him as well.

Girardi is the overwhelming fan choice to manage the Phillies. It's hard not to see the appeal of his combination of experience, blend of new school and old school and track record of winning. Phillies fans seem to prefer Girardi to Buck Showalter, whose teams haven't advanced as far in the postseason.

Girardi has played things differently this year than last. He had two interviews for the Reds job last fall but pulled himself out of the process, saying it wasn't the right time.

Now, he wants to manage. And the openings this time around are more appealing — three major market clubs in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. The Mets do not spend to their market size but the Phillies and Cubs have done so in win-now periods.

It is much more likely that the Phillies would be forced into a bidding war for Girardi than for Showalter because of the number of interested teams.



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Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

The first of the eight manager jobs open across Major League Baseball to begin this offseason has been filled.

The Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday announced the hiring of Joe Maddon. Maddon's contract is reportedly for three years. A native of West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Maddon has a long history in the Angels organization. Between 1975 and 2006, Maddon played and managed in the team's minor-league system, served as a coach with the Major League club and assumed the role of interim manager.

Maddon has a 1,251-1,068 record as a manager in the major leagues. He led the Tampa Bay Rays to an American League pennant in 2008 and skippered the Chicago Cubs to a World Series in 2016, their first championship since 1908. Maddon will take over an Angels team that finished 72-90 in 2019, led by two-time MVP Mike Trout.

Though Maddon might have appeared to be an attractive name for the Phillies job, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker are the only candidates known for the position at the moment, according to Jim Salisbury. Baker is meeting with Phillies officials Wednesday, and a hire could come quickly, per Salisbury (see story).

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports Showalter was the runner-up for the Angles job.



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