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Report: Angels to discuss contract extension with Mike Trout

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that, as a way to find out exactly where the organization stands with superstar outfielder Mike Trout, the Angels plan to discuss a contract extension. Rosenthal doesn’t specify, but extension talks will almost certainly take place during the offseason, not during the final three weeks of the regular season.

Trout, 27, is under contract for two more years at $33.25 million annually. Given the recent news about Shohei Ohtani‘s elbow and the age of some of the other players like Albert Pujols, the Angels are at a crossroads of sorts. If Trout doesn’t want to sign an extension, the club could still make a strong attempt to compete for the next two seasons and hope he changes his mind about staying in Anaheim. Or the Angels could trade Trout to replenish the minor league system.

Trout is in the midst of what is arguably the greatest offensive season of his career. Entering Sunday’s action, he’s batting .314/.465/.623 with 33 home runs, 68 RBI, 92 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. Trout has very clearly been the best player in baseball since he started playing regularly in 2012. It is quite rare that a team would broach the idea of trading the best player in the game, but the Angels could potentially experience a third consecutive sub-.500 season. If their outlook doesn’t improve significantly in a division that currently includes the defending World Series champion Astros, the upstart Athletics, and the talented Mariners, it may make sense for the Angels to look towards the future and explore trading Trout if he doesn’t want to sign an extension.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.