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Mike Trout talks Angels roster, says requesting trade would be "the easy way out"

Mike Trout's loyalty to the Los Angeles Angels franchise is undoubtable as the star player cleared the air of any trade speculation involving his name while speaking with reporters at Spring Training. 

"I think the biggest thing right now is the easy way out would be asking for a trade," Trout told reporters on Monday. "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."

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 24, 2023 in Anaheim, California. Michael Owens / Getty Images

Trout, now 32, was originally drafted by the Halos with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft and has been a member of the franchise since, cementing his legacy when he signed an astounding 12-year, $426 million deal in 2019, which was the richest in the history of North American sports at the time. 

Since then, he's successfully gathered nearly every possible accolade for a big leaguer, being named to 11 All-Star Games, earning 3 American League MVP Awards and 9 Silver Slugger Awards along the way to becoming one of the game's top players.

The one achievement that has avoided him thus far, is a World Series title. 

"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 said. 

Related: Angels infielder Anthony Rendon says baseball has "never been a top priority"

Trout's name often comes to mind when trade speculation involving the Angels makes news, with many feeling that his talent is being wasted with a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2014, which was his third year in the bigs. 

But those rumors gained a little more of a foundation at the deadline last season, with General Manager Perry Minasian having to address the speculation outright

In the time since, Trout says he never considered putting his name on the table, but if things change in the future it's something he'll contemplate, as his contract includes a full no-trade clause, meaning it would have to be his decision in the end.

"Maybe down the road if something changes, but that's been my mindset 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."

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Angels
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 2: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels homers during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 2, 2023 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2. Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

He's hopeful that the front office's moves are enough to make them contenders and overcome the loss of two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, who signed a mega deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2023 campaign.

They've backloaded the bullpen, signing left-handed pitchers Matt Moore and Adam Kolarek, along with righties in Robert Stephenson, José CisneroAdam Cimber and Luis García, and the daily lineup consists of a promising young core of players like Nolan Schanel, Logan O'Hoppe and Zach Neto.

The Angels also signed Ron Washington as their new head coach, after they parted ways with Phil Nevin in October. Washington's track record is full of success, most notably when he led the Texas Rangers to back-to-back World Series berths in 2010 and 2011, and his recent World Series title as a third base coach with the Atlanta Braves in 2021. 

But there's always room for improvement, and he's making his voice heard when it comes to putting together a better-rounded team, with noticeable holes in the starting rotation and lineup. 

"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."

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