Angels’ Jerry Dipoto: ‘No interest’ in trading Mike Trout

Mike Trout says he has no idea if he should buy a house in Orange County, and the baseball world wonders: Would the Angels consider trading him this winter?

In a word: No.

“Mike is a terrific player and obviously we’re thrilled with his contributions both on the field and off,” Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto told The Times. “He has made a tremendous impact on this organization over the last two seasons and will continue to be a core member of our roster as we move forward.”

That could leave room for interpretation, so would Dipoto simply say the Angels are not interested in trading Trout?

“No problem,” Dipoto said. “We have no interest in trading Mike Trout.”

Trout alluded to the possibility in an interview with The Times, suggesting he would be open to playing for another team.


“It’s about time to start looking for a house,” Trout said. “I’m trying to see what direction my career takes me. Do I want to buy a house out here or some other place?

Trout’s agent, Craig Landis, told The Times that he and the Angels have had no discussions about a long-term contract.

Trout, 22, is not eligible for salary arbitration until 2015 and cannot file for free agency until after the 2017 season. There appears to be little incentive for either side to sign a long-term deal this winter -- the Angels do not need to assume the risk of a significant injury, and Trout does not need to commit to the Angels until they demonstrate he can win in Anaheim.

Buster Posey signed a nine-year, $167-million contract with the San Francisco Giants last March, but he was 26 and, as a catcher, played a position with a major risk of injury. He would not have hit free agency until 29.

The asking price for Dodgers ace and presumptive National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw has gone up this season. Kershaw would be eligible for free agency after next season, when he will be 26.

Trout would hit free agency at 26.

If the Angels traded Trout -- widely considered the best player in baseball -- they could replenish their depleted pitching staff and minor league system. Generally, trading a player on the verge of free agency commands a far smaller return than trading that player with multiple seasons remaining before free agency.

In this case, however, the Angels are convinced that they could get a tremendous return even if they traded Trout during his walk year, because he would be just 25 and presumably would remain a game-changer at bat, on the bases and in the field.

And this point might be the primary one: The Angels really would like to sign him to a long-term extension, sometime in the next four years.


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