Are the Phillies trying to create the league’s next super outfield with Bryce Harper, Mike Trout?
With a look further down the road, the team is reportedly considering creating an all-MVP outfield no sooner than 2021. Having already added Andrew McCutchen and with eyes on bringing in arguably this year’s biggest fish in the free agency pool Bryce Harper, the team is interested in completing their outfield by signing New Jersey native Mike Trout to man center field for years to come.
While this mindset can be looked at as one in which the Phillies staff is using The Show to predict future moves, it is not that far fetched, considering the current place Philadelphia is in and how they plan on moving on in the future.
Financially, the team could afford to bring both Harper and Manny Machado to the team if they so pleased this year, due to their low payroll, which currently sits a shape over $115 million. If the franchise were to bring Harper and Machado in, safely adding $60 million to that budget would still only put them at $175 million.
Trout would most certainly be searching out a deal that would surpass anything signed this offseason or any offseason leading up to his eventual departure, so he could be looking for a deal that starts at $40 million per season, a huge contract for any team to take on.
If Philly would sign Machado, Harper, and Trout, the team’s payroll would look something around $180 million, according to Spotrac projections for the team’s payroll in 2021.
That still gives the franchise at a minimum $45 million to sign others with, so the room is there. However, the more likely scenario would be to bring Harper in this offseason, or Machado, and then wait until 2021 and woo Trout to come to play 50 miles from his hometown of Millville, NJ.
Publicly, it is known that Trout is an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, seen multiple times at games and receiving game balls from players after scoring, so his fandom is no secret, another aspect that could play into his decision two years from now.
The reason that Trout’s departure is all but guaranteed is the public reports of him and the Angels having issues concerning a new deal. The likelihood of Trout remaining in Anaheim has been stated by many writers and insiders as unlikely to occur, making his departure to Philadelphia all that much more likely.
Looking at the 2019 offseason as one that was billed for excitement due to Harper and Machado, the lack of activity may make fans push their excitement off for two more years to see if Trout leaves the only team he has played for in his career.
When Trout hits the market, the Phillies figure to still be one of the better teams, which would actually give Trout a good chance to finally make the playoffs and make some noise that fans have wanted ever since joining the league. He would most certainly bring a new level of excitement to the National League, and it would be an attempt in leveling the playing landscape for superstars in both leagues, as the American League seems to have a higher amount of current superstars dominating the league.
If the Phillies can secure a guarantee with either Harper or Machado this offseason, that will only make the odds higher that Trout joins one or both of them in the city of brotherly love come 2021, greatly increasing the potential for a World Series championship to be brought to Philadelphia.