Eppler: Trout at 'home' with Angels

GM says signing star to long-term extension was No. 1 priority

March 21st, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The top priority for the Angels this spring was to sign to an extension, and general manager Billy Eppler got the job done when the club officially announced Wednesday night that Trout was signed to a record 12-year deal that runs through the 2030 season.

Trout, a seven-time All-Star and two-time AL MVP, will make $36 million in both 2019 and '20 and then $35.45 million over the next 10 years, bringing the total to $426.5 million over 12 years with a full no-trade clause and no opt-outs.

"It's nice to get the box checked with Mike to keep him here," Eppler said Thursday. "He's got two homes. He's got his upbringing home and his offseason home, but we're his baseball home. To be able to keep him here and keep him home, as far as his professional life is concerned, was important to us. I'm very glad we were able to get that done and very thankful to [owner] Arte [Moreno] for making it a focal point of our organization.”

Trout, 27, was under contract through the 2020 season, but Eppler explained that the club wanted to get an extension done now so that it wouldn't weigh on the organization and on Trout leading up to his potential free agency. Once it became clear this spring that Trout was open to an extension, the Angels worked behind the scenes with Trout’s agent, Craig Landis, to get the deal done.

"I think everybody that was involved with this knew what next offseason might look like from an attention standpoint,” Eppler said. “We preferred to operate in the dark as much as we could. We figured this offseason or springtime would provide us the best cover to do that without a lot of extra attention on it. There was already a good amount of attention that started this spring, but we just felt it was going to become more of a regular daily conversation. Sometimes that can just add some fog into your navigation. We wanted to have as little fog as possible."

Trout is waiting to talk to the media until Sunday, when the Angels host a press conference at 3 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium with fans encouraged to attend in front of the home plate gate. Eppler didn’t want to speak for Trout, but he said the fact that the deal doesn’t have any opt-outs shows how committed Trout is to being an Angel for life.

"It speaks to Mike's character," Eppler said. "To me on the outside looking at it, it speaks to me to loyalty and a belief in the direction that we are going."

Eppler also expressed that while Angels fans are obviously happy about Trout’s deal, it’s also good for baseball because there has long been a romantic notion about players who spend their entire careers with one franchise.

"I think it’s just great for the fans here, and personally I think it’s great for baseball fans in general," Eppler said. "I grew up in an era where there was a coolness to Cal Ripken staying an Oriole, and obviously working in New York [as an assistant general manager with the Yankees] and seeing Mariano [Rivera] and Derek [Jeter] and [Jorge] Posada play in one uniform. My childhood team that we were season-ticket holders to were the Padres, and seeing Tony Gwynn and Robin Yount and just that population of guys that play in one uniform.

"I believe that’s good, and I’m glad we can do that for the Angels fans, and just in general for the baseball community. I think it’s a good thing."