Trout rides epic offseason into Angels camp

February 20th, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz. -- 's offseason included marrying his high school sweetheart, Jessica Cox, helping the Angels land Japanese two-way phenom and watching his beloved Eagles win the Super Bowl, but he didn't hesitate when asked to name the highlight of his winter.
"Obviously getting married," Trout said Monday before the Angels took the field for their first full-squad workout of the spring. "Can't trick me on that one."
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Still, the eve of his wedding proved to be memorable as well. Right before his rehearsal dinner on Dec. 8, Trout received a text from general manager Billy Eppler informing him that Ohtani had agreed to sign with the Angels. Earlier that week, Trout had assisted in the recruiting process by speaking with Ohtani via FaceTime. He had considered flying to Los Angeles to participate in the Angels' in-person pitch, but wedding obligations on the East Coast prevented him from doing so.
"It would have been bad if I'd been out there and missed the wedding," Trout said. "I just talked to him and told him how good the organization is and told him that we wanted him. You obviously want to make a good case to get him to come here. Obviously it worked."
The additions of Ohtani, and Zack Cozart, plus the retention of , have buoyed Trout's optimism that the Angels can contend and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
"People are going to think the expectations are higher, for sure," Trout said. "We're trying to get to the playoffs and make a push. We've got one goal in there, to win a championship. The last few years I've been here we've had some good teams. We're really excited to get this thing going."
Trout scouts Ohtani's BP session

Trout also acknowledged that the Angels' success will have an impact on his long-term desire to stay with the organization. The 26-year-old center fielder is signed through the 2020 season, but the club has yet to win a postseason game in his first six years in Anaheim. Last week, owner Arte Moreno said he is "always thinking" about another possible extension for the two-time American League MVP, but Trout said he isn't concerned about the status of his contract.
"I'm out here just to play baseball," Trout said. "Those other things will take care of themselves later."
Widely regarded as the best player in baseball, Trout is set to earn $34,083,000 in 2018, making him the top earner in the sport. But Trout said there are still areas of his game he'd like to improve, namely his defense.
"There are a lot of defensive metrics out there you want to get better on," said Trout, who had a -4.5 Ultimate Zone Rating and -6 Defensive Runs Saved last year, according to FanGraphs. "It pops up every once in a while. I'm trying to get better at everything."