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Inbox: Will Trout get extension from Angels?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado answers questions from fans
MLB.com @mi_guardado

Are the Angels likely to pursue Bryce Harper?
-- @Pjrojas1975

I wouldn't expect the Angels to make a serious run at Harper. I think if they are going to spend upwards of $300 million on an outfielder, it'll be on a contract extension for Mike Trout, who has been the consistently greater player over the past seven seasons. Plus, the club is already quite deep in outfield talent. Beyond Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun in the Majors, there are promising prospects such as Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh and Jordyn Adams lurking in the farm system. Harper will undoubtedly have a fair share of suitors, but I don't see the Angels being among them.

Are the Angels likely to pursue Bryce Harper?
-- @Pjrojas1975

I wouldn't expect the Angels to make a serious run at Harper. I think if they are going to spend upwards of $300 million on an outfielder, it'll be on a contract extension for Mike Trout, who has been the consistently greater player over the past seven seasons. Plus, the club is already quite deep in outfield talent. Beyond Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun in the Majors, there are promising prospects such as Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh and Jordyn Adams lurking in the farm system. Harper will undoubtedly have a fair share of suitors, but I don't see the Angels being among them.

When will extension talks start with Trout, or have they been ongoing?
-- @OsirisTorres

When Brad Ausmus was introduced as manager in November, Angels owner Arte Moreno said formal talks had not yet begun with Trout about a contract extension. I think Trout and his camp will likely wait for Harper and Manny Machado to sign and set a floor before beginning serious negotiations with the Angels. Many contract extensions are consummated during Spring Training, so don't be surprised if talks don't start to gain traction until February or March.

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With Cozart returning, do the Angels plan on playing him at 3rd or 2nd? And if it's at 3rd, who plays second? Fletcher?
-- @bryceosborne14

General manager Billy Eppler has said he's told Zack Cozart to be prepared to play either second or third base in 2019. Cozart's primary position will depend on which young player is able to win an infield job during Spring Training. David Fletcher will probably enter camp as the frontrunner, so if he sticks with the club, the Angels will likely play him at second and Cozart at third. Same goes with Luis Rengifo. If Taylor Ward snags the job, he'll start at third base and Cozart will play second. The Angels also now have Tommy La Stella, who can play second or third base, so that creates even more potential permutations.

Did shortening the right field wall help? How many HRs did the Angels hit vs. give up?
-- @Ten27oh2

The Angels lowered the height of the home run boundary on the right-field wall by 10 feet before the start of the season. As a result, there were approximately 19 home runs at Angel Stadium this year that would have likely been off the wall and in play in 2017, according to Statcast™. That number is an estimate for two reasons: First, it's possible Statcast™ did not track certain balls; and second, there were a couple of balls that hit off the top of the wall, so it's a little difficult to judge whether they would have counted as home runs in '17.

Of those 19 home runs, the Angels hit seven and allowed 12. Upton hit four, so he benefited the most from the change. It's worth noting the club's objective was simply to boost the total amount of homers in the ballpark, which it did. There were 21 more home runs at Angel Stadium in 2018 (223) than the previous year (202), tied with Rogers Centre for the third-largest ballpark increase after Fenway Park and Progressive Field.

What's your most memorable moment covering the Angels?
-- @mychingu

This is my last week on the beat, as I'll soon be moving back home to the Bay Area to cover the Giants, so it feels like an opportune time to answer this question. Broadly speaking, it's been a privilege to watch Trout play every day and see Andrelton Simmons regularly make outstanding plays at shortstop. But I don't think anything will quite compare to covering Shohei Ohtani's first season in the Majors. He's an incredible talent, and it was so cool to watch him succeed as a two-way player with the Angels, even if it was a little short-lived because of elbow trouble.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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