The Phillies want Mike Trout, and I think they’re going to get him.
Most baseball fans know the sport’s best player is from Millville, New Jersey, about a 45-minute drive to Philadelphia. For years, there’s been speculation that Trout would one day “return home” and sign with the Phillies.
On Sundays during football season, Trout always tweets “#FlyEaglesFly”, and he’s become one of the Eagles’ most well-known fans. As a season-ticket holder (with some awesome field-level seats), Trout is typically in attendance at Lincoln Financial Field as long as he doesn’t have something else going on—he’s usually pretty busy during September, and hopefully he’ll be just as busy in October moving forward.
Because the dots are too easy to connect, many dismiss the possibility of Trout coming to Philadelphia as a ridiculous pipe dream apparently thought up by the simple-minded. In my opinion, it’s totally ridiculous to not believe there’s a strong chance Trout joins the Phillies one day. (And what happened to having a little hope?)
To some extent, I agree some things don’t have much bearing on Trout’s potential 2020/2021 free-agent decision, and he obviously has reasons to stay with the Angels.
For example, being friends with some Eagles players like Carson Wentz probably doesn’t mean that much when it comes to where Trout decides he’s going to continue his career.
Also, Trout can spend about half the year at home in South Jersey already, and being home all year during baseball season—which could lead to daily requests from a bunch of people (though Trout is the type of person that would likely handle that well considering he loves his hometown)—might just be a bit much.
And Trout remembers the Angels were the team that drafted him with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft when a couple dozen teams passed on him. He’s a loyal guy, and he simply might just want to play his entire career for the franchise that took a chance on the kid from a small Northeast town. I really cannot see Trout ever leaving for a team like the Yankees—but the Phillies might be an exception.
They might not have selected him anyway, but Philadelphia did not have a chance to draft Trout in 2009. That probably factors in to some extent.
And—aside from the fact that he’s arguably the best baseball player of all-time—the bottom line is Trout appears to be just a normal guy from South Jersey. I’m from South Jersey, too, and Trout reminds me of me and my buddies, like he’s one of us. He’s a diehard Philadelphia sports fan, and he loves the snow and weather.
I know, it might sound crazy to draw conclusions based on that, but his roots are what make me feel so good about the potential of him signing with the Phillies if and when he hits free agency.
I can’t read Trout’s mind or come close to knowing his mindset, relationships, etc. with people in both Los Angeles and South Jersey. But I do have some level of expertise on being a loyal person from South Jersey that also loves Philly sports and the snow. I wouldn’t want to play for more than one franchise… unless it was to play in Philadelphia.
It’s not far-fetched to believe Trout might feel the same way. It’s as simple as that.
Some people argue Trout being a Philadelphia sports fan doesn’t mean anything. I believe it does. He can join the Phillies and help build Philadelphia into one of the best sports cities—one that could potentially rival Boston as the top current city of champions if things go right, and one that has more passionate fans than the front-running LA crowd.
Trout is a living legend that has countless Angels fans wearing No. 27 shirts and jerseys every day in California—it might be tough to leave them. He’s such a good guy that he might not want to feel like he’s letting all those people down by signing with another team. However, Trout has done more than enough for the franchise, and he’ll get his number retired and potentially a statue after a decade-plus with the organization no matter what happens moving forward.
True Angels fans and Trout fans would hold no animosity toward their classy superstar if he leaves for a unique situation, which just might happen in a couple years.
Maybe I’ll be wrong, and Trout will never leave Los Angeles.
But if he does leave, it’ll be for his hometown Phillies.