Trout doesn't want to be traded now, 'can't predict the future'

February 19th, 2024

TEMPE, Ariz. -- In his most revealing comments since trade rumors started swirling around his name in recent years, said on Monday he has no intention of asking for a trade right now, but he couldn’t rule out that possibility in the future.

Speaking on the first day of full-squad workouts for the Angels, Trout said he’s spoke with owner Arte Moreno and the front office about his status and is currently content with his situation. Trout, who has a full no-trade clause, remains under contract through 2030 after signing a 12-year deal worth $426.5 million before the 2019 season.

The three-time AL MVP and 11-time All-Star has only been to the postseason once with the Angels since making his debut in 2011 -- getting swept by the Royals in the 2014 ALDS -- and it’s only been natural to wonder if he’d want out. But Trout, 32, believes winning with the Angels would be more satisfying than jumping ship and finding success elsewhere. He’s long embraced the idea of playing his entire career with one team just like his idol, Derek Jeter.

“I think the biggest thing right now is the easy way out would be asking for a trade,” Trout said. “There might be a time, maybe. I haven’t really thought about this. When I signed that contract, I’m loyal and want to win a championship here. I think the overall picture of winning a championship or getting to the playoffs here is a bigger satisfaction than bailing and taking the easy way out.”

Trout acknowledged that his injuries haven’t helped the club in recent years, as he was limited to 36 games in 2021, 119 in '22 and 82 last year. He said his goal this year is to play a full healthy season under his belt and go from there. He believes he got enough assurances from the front office that the goal is still to win, as he liked what they did in overhauling their bullpen after losing Shohei Ohtani via free agency to the Dodgers.

“Maybe down the road if something changes [I’d ask out], but that’s been my mind-set ever since the trade speculations,” Trout said. “I can’t predict the future. But I think the overall build of not getting to the playoffs and then when it happens, it’s bigger than if I just wanted to get out of here. The overall relationships with everybody in this clubhouse, everybody in this organization has been great. If things change, obviously, and people feel different way, we'll go from there.”

Trout also followed Ohtani’s free agency saga this offseason and wasn’t surprised when he chose the Dodgers, who were considered the favorites all along. He said he mostly left Ohtani alone, but congratulated him through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara after he signed his deal.

“I kind of had a pretty good idea, my gut feeling was going to be Dodgers,” Trout said. “I'm just happy for him. Everybody reads everything and everybody said Dodgers, so that’s what I was going with.”

Trout said he’s hoping the Angels will continue to add before the start of the start of the season, as there are still several quality free agents out there such as outfielder Cody Bellinger and starting pitchers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. Trout said he’s been trying to recruit free agents and also trying to pitch Moreno on adding more big names.

“There's still some guys out there that can make this team a lot better,” Trout said. “I'm going to keep pushing as long as I can until the season starts or those guys sign. It's just in my nature. I'm doing everything I can possible. It’s Arte’s decision, but I’m going to put my two cents in there.”

Trout is encouraged by the club’s young core that includes catcher , shortstop and first baseman , but it’s clear he believes the Angels could still use some more help. He’s also happy the club hired Ron Washington as manager and has confidence in the new coaching staff.

So for now, Trout is staying positive and simply focusing on having a healthy season. And he said he plans to open about his thoughts on the organization going forward.

“If something comes up, you’ll hear about it,” Trout said. “But right now, I’m focused on the season and I’m looking forward to it.”