After the Phillies signed Bryce Harper, momentum is already building for the team to sign Mike Trout when he hits free agency in two years.
It didn’t take long after the Phillies signed Bryce Harper for momentum to already start building for the next big free agent signing. Harper isn’t even officially a Phillie yet, but fans are already dreaming about pairing him with Mike Trout in two years.
Trout stoked the flames about his free agency, stating that he doesn’t want to think about it during the season. Basically, if Trout doesn’t sign an extension in the offseason between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, he is going to become a free agent.
Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated reported in his column about the Harper signing that the team wanted to keep money in reserve to sign Trout. Verducci noted that the club did indeed have enough money to sign Harper and Manny Machado this offseason, but instead opted to wait on Trout.
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Jim Bowden of the Athletic took things one step further, predicting that Harper and Trout will unite in Philadelphia in two years on MLB Network Radio. Bowden cited the relationship between the two, including Harper asking Trout about the city of Philadelphia.
Now before you go off and pencil Trout into Philadelphia’s 2021 lineup, note that is still not a guarantee he hits free agency. We saw that with Nolan Arenado, who signed an extension with the Rockies just days before Harper’s signing. It’s always a risky proposition to bet on the possibility of a player leaving a team in free agency to sign with you unless they are completely dead-set on leaving.
Even if Trout does reach free agency, you can bet every team that can physically afford him will try to sign him. It would be like the first time Lebron James left Cleveland, perhaps even bigger given that baseball does not have a salary cap. Unlike Harper and Machado, there will be significant competition for Trout’s services.
A Harper-Trout pairing is certainly something to dream about, but until the day Trout actually does hit free agency, just enjoy the contending team already here.