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OC Register: Angels players bask in the glow of Mike Trout’s new contract


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TEMPE, Ariz. — Kole Calhoun admitted that something had been hanging over the Angels.

“There was kind of this feeling like, two years from now, something was looming overhead,” Calhoun said, “and they’ve taken care of that.”

There are now clear skies above an organization and a fan base that had been living under a cloud of questions about what would happen when Mike Trout’s contract expired after the 2020 season.

Now that Trout and the Angels have agreed on a 12-year, $426.5-million deal that will keep Trout in an Angels uniform through the 2030 season, the questions about his future can stop.

“They’ve made Mike Trout a Halo for life,” Calhoun said. “That’s what he wanted, obviously. Great day for Angels fans, really.”

News of Trout’s deal circulated among Angels players as a series of excited texts popping back and forth in the early hours of Tuesday morning. A few players said they had quick congratulatory calls with Trout, who was excused from coming to the ballpark on Tuesday.

He is expected to play again on Wednesday, either in a minor league game during the day or the regular exhibition game on Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, Ariz.

With Trout absent on Tuesday, his teammates were left to describe the excitement of the day for the Angels.

“Good for him and his family,” Calhoun said. “He’s the best player I’ve ever seen. He’s done everything to really deserve this. It couldn’t happen to a better guy, really.”

Tyler Skaggs was drafted along with Trout in 2009 and they lived together after the draft and during their first minor league season in 2010.

“Mike Trout is the greatest player of all time,” Skaggs said with a smile, perhaps only slightly exaggerating. “He deserves everything. Five hundred. Six hundred. Eight hundred. I’m really happy for him.”

Albert Pujols, a first-ballot Hall of Famer who is playing out the end of his 10-year, $240-million deal, said he was “really pumped up” to get the news of Trout’s new deal.

“It’s just so well-deserved,” Pujols said. “I think the most important thing for me is that he is the best in the game. For me, to be able to guide him during my years here and just share some of my success, or any questions he asks or whatever. Because it’s a scary thing that he wants to get better. He’s 27, you know, and he wants to get better. I don’t know how much better he can get. But he’s just special.”

Pujols, Skaggs and Calhoun all go back at least seven years with Trout, having had front-row seats to his rise to elite status. Andrelton Simmons got to see what Trout was all about starting in the spring of 2016, after he was traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Angels.

“I heard he was really good,” Simmons said, “but I didn’t get to see him that much. I faced him maybe once or twice before that. My first day of spring training, I was feeling good. Came in my BP, hit my first round, and then I see him hitting and I was like ‘Alright, that’s a different animal right there.’

“But then you see him play every day, and the way he goes about his business, how hard he plays and how consistent he is, really. He is a different animal. A man amongst boys.”

Trout’s contract, which has a full no-trade clause and no opt-outs, will carry him through the next decade. It is doubtful that any of his current teammates – except perhaps 24-year-old Shohei Ohtani – will be around by the end of Trout’s deal.

Having Trout inked for so long, however, is certainly going to be an incentive for his teammates to stick around as long as they can.

Simmons, a 29-year-old who is signed through 2020, joked that he wants “the exact same amount as Trout.”

“I would love to be part of what they’re trying to do here,” Simmons said, “but I can’t control that right now.”

Skaggs, 27, has two years left on his deal. He also said “I personally want to be an Angel for life, too. We have the makings of a great core. I’m looking forward to it.”

Calhoun joked that this might not even be a lifetime deal for Trout, who will be 38 when this contract expires.

“Knowing him, they might have to sign him to an extension after this, too,” Calhoun said, “because he’ll still find a way to put up numbers.”

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1 hour ago, AngelsWin.com said:

"Knowing him, they might have to sign him to an extension after this, too,” Calhoun said, “because he’ll still find a way to put up numbers.”

5c7afba52600000304fde374.jpeg

"There's a guy that will be available in 12 years..."

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“I heard he was really good,” Simmons said, “but I didn’t get to see him that much. I faced him maybe once or twice before that. My first day of spring training, I was feeling good. Came in my BP, hit my first round, and then I see him hitting and I was like ‘Alright, that’s a different animal right there.’

“But then you see him play every day, and the way he goes about his business, how hard he plays and how consistent he is, really. He is a different animal. A man amongst boys.”

 

Click on the link, gentlemen. 

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