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By Matthew Higgins
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The dream is over for Philadelphia Phillies fans hoping to see Bryce Harper and Mike Trout wearing red pinstripes in the same outfield. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports Trout is finalizing a 12-year, $430 million extension with the Los Angeles Angels, which would be the largest contract in professional sports history. Trout was expected to hit free agency in 2020, but it’s not surprising that the perennial All-Star has inked such a deal.
Jerrold Colton, a sports agent and lawyer based in the Philadelphia area, told CBS Philly that it made sense for the Angels to sign Trout to a long-term deal earlier rather than waiting until he neared free agency.
“I’m not shocked,” Colton said of Trout’s reported extension. “Obviously, it happened really quickly after Bryce Harper’s signing and comments. The Angels had to make sure not to risk him going out on the market.”
Harper, after signing his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies, talked about the team pursuing Trout in 2020 during his introductory press conference and then later doubled-down during an interview with 94WIP.
“If you don’t think I’m gonna call Mike Trout to come to Philly in 2020, you’re crazy,” Harper said at the time.
“It’s hard to believe there’s not a correlation,” said Colton about the timing of Trout’s extension and Harper’s comments.
Matt Leon, sports anchor and reporter for KYW Newsradio, told CBS Philly he was also not surprised Trout didn’t make it to free agency.
“I think $430 million, no matter how it is packaged and distributed, is really hard to turn down,” said Leon.
While many fans might question what the Phillies will do with a Trout-less future, Colton doesn’t believe this will affect the Phillies long-term.
“I don’t know if it has a whole lot of impact. It’s disappointing for fans who envisioned Trout in a Phillies uniform,” said Colton, adding that the Phillies do have a core team that can compete now with Harper, Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura and Aaron Nola.
Leon added that the Phillies front office probably expected Trout to sign a deal prior to hitting free agency.
“I’m sure they had discussions about ‘what if,’ but I think it’s hard to anticipate a team allowing a talent like that to get away,” said Leon.
Trout, a two-time MVP and seven-time All-Star, was the Angels’ first-round pick in 2009.
During his eight-year career, Trout has batted .307, with 240 home runs and 648 RBI.