June 21, 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian put to rest any speculation, however faint it might have been, of a potential offseason trade of superstar center fielder Mike Trout, saying Tuesday: “Mike Trout’s not getting traded.”

“100?” he was asked from his winter meetings suite at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

“100 percent,” Minasian responded.

A Trout trade was always considered exceedingly unlikely. He has a full no-trade clause, is owed nearly $250 million over the next seven years and, at 32, is coming off a litany of injuries. He doesn’t have anywhere near as much trade value as he previously did.

Trout has also never publicly expressed a desire to play for another team, even though the Angels have made the playoffs only once since he burst onto the scene in 2012. But his name has nonetheless been bandied about this offseason, partly a reaction to the relative lack of impact offensive talent available in free agency.

Trout got emotional during his end-of-season scrum with reporters in September talking about how injuries have limited him. He brought up sitting down with Angels owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino to get a handle on the direction of the team moving forward.

“I go through this every year,” Trout said then. “That’s private conversations I have with Arte and John, and I’m doing the same thing I did last, what, 13 years — just go into the offseason, clear my mind, get ready for spring and, you know, wearing an Angels uniform in spring.”

Trout was on a path to being one of the greatest players in baseball history, finishing within the top two in MVP voting after seven of his first eight full seasons. The past three years, though, have seen him play in only 237 of a possible 486 games while limited by a calf strain, back sprains and most recently a fractured hamate bone.

Trout’s unavailability — coupled with Anthony Rendon‘s injuries, misses on free agent signings and, until recently, an overall inability to generate homegrown talent — prevented the Angels from capitalizing on Shohei Ohtani‘s transformative two-way prowess over these past three years. The team is coming off its eighth straight year with a losing record.

“One thing about Mike — those of you that have been around him, day in and day out — there’s no better pro,” Minasian said of Trout during the general managers meetings in early November. “If you ask him, he’ll tell you he was very disappointed that he couldn’t play more. He knows how much we need him to play. He’s going to do everything he can this offseason to play. And he’s an Angel.”

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