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As Max Scherzer approaches free agency, Mike Trout has jumped in to recruit him to the Angels.
Mike Trout will miss most of this season with a calf injury (36 games played), but the failure of the Los Angeles Angels’ front office to surround him with talent continues. Entering next season, the three-time AL MVP will have appeared in just three career postseason games.
To be fair, the Angels have tried to surround Trout with marquee talent. But contracts given to Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, C.J. Wilson, etc. were ill-conceived and did not work out. The start of third baseman Anthony Rendon’s contract is not off to a great start either. Shohei Ohtani is a star, and some others (Jo Adell, Jared Walsh, Brandon Marsh) look like they’ll stick, but the biggest failure has been navigating the slippery slope of finding suitable starting pitching.
As this season went downhill for the Washington Nationals, Max Scherzer’s name hit the trade rumor mill. His preference to go to the West Coast was revealed, with a no-trade clause giving him power to approve his destination. He will be a free agent this winter.
Scherzer was ultimately traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Safe to say that move was worked out, as the three-time Cy Young winner has posted a 1.40 ERA over 10 starts as a Dodger.
Mike Trout getting a head start on recruiting Max Scherzer
During an appearance on Buster Olney’s Baseball Tonight podcast, Angels’ play-by-play man (and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play man) Matt Vasgersian said he’s hearing Trout has been “very invested” in an effort to “bring Max Scherzer to Anahem”.
As Vasgersian hinted at and as specified by NM Baseball on Twitter, the Angels have ties to Scherzer on their roster. Outfielder Justin Upton was a rookie with the Arizona Diamondbacks alongside Scherzer, and Rendon was a teamate of Scherzer’s in Washington for multiple seasons.
According to Spotrac, the Angels already have a top-10 payroll in baseball for 2022 (approximately $111.2 million) with only five players’ salaries locked in. But with a $180.3 million payroll this year, they might be in position to spend on a big free agent or two after arbitration salaries, etc., are precisely on the books. Scherzer is probably high on their list of targets, and Trout’s recruitment can only help the cause.