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Trout extension 'always' on Angels owner's mind

Two-time AL MVP is under contract until after 2020 season
MLB.com @mi_guardado

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Trout is under contract for three more seasons, but the Angels already have started thinking about signing the 26-year-old superstar to another extension.

"Let's put it this way, it's always in our minds," Angels owner Arte Moreno said Thursday. "We're always thinking about it. It's not only him, because we have other players. But if you look at long-term plans, you're always trying to position yourself properly when it's time to do it."

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Trout is under contract for three more seasons, but the Angels already have started thinking about signing the 26-year-old superstar to another extension.

"Let's put it this way, it's always in our minds," Angels owner Arte Moreno said Thursday. "We're always thinking about it. It's not only him, because we have other players. But if you look at long-term plans, you're always trying to position yourself properly when it's time to do it."

Angels' Spring Training information

Moreno said there isn't much urgency to engage in any official discussion because the two-time American League MVP Award winner's contract doesn't expire until after the 2020 season.

"We try not to do anything in an urgent way," Moreno said. "I don't think that's a good way to do business."

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Still, the Angels recognize that their window to capitalize on Trout's prime is shrinking. The club has made the playoffs only once in Trout's six full seasons in Anaheim. That postseason trip ended in a sweep at the hands of the Royals in the 2014 AL Division Series.

A slew of injuries -- particularly to their starting rotation -- has played a significant role in derailing the Angels' postseason hopes for the past two years, leading the club to post back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in Mike Scioscia's tenure as manager.

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The Angels have been generating more buzz than usual this spring because of the arrival of Japanese two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, who has helped boost ticket sales and spur new partnerships with Japanese companies.

Ohtani was the most high-profile player acquired by the Angels this offseason, but they also made several other improvements to their roster by signing infielder Zack Cozart, trading for second baseman Ian Kinsler and retaining left fielder Justin Upton. Those four transactions totaled $177 million.

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As it stands, the Angels are projected to have an Opening Day payroll of approximately $187 million. Their luxury-tax payroll, which is calculated based on the average annual values of contracts, is about $175 million, safely below the $197 million threshold.

Moreno added that he is open to taking on more financial commitments during the season if the Angels are in a position to contend.

"I always try to leave some kind of room for that," Moreno said. "It just depends on who's there and where we are."

Though more teams have proceeded with full rebuilds following the success of the Cubs and the Astros, Moreno said he couldn't imagine slashing payroll to trigger a similar rebuilding process.

"Don't get me wrong, we don't want to lose a bunch of money," Moreno said. "But the reality is if I have to do that, I'd get out. I don't think it's fair for the fans."

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

Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout