The Philadelphia Phillies have grand ambitions for the future of their outfield that stretch well beyond 2019.
In addition to being the reported current front-runner for free-agent slugger Bryce Harper, the Phillies entered this offseason with their eyes on seven-time All-Star, and noted Eagles fanatic, Mike Trout, whose contract expires after the 2020 campaign, a source told Tom Verducci of SI.com.
Trout, if an extension with the Los Angeles Angels is not reached, will hit free agency at 29 and is anticipated to command one of the most lucrative contracts in baseball history.
Since breaking into the league in 2011, Trout has established himself as the best player in the game. He's finished in the top two in American League MVP voting six times, winning twice, and has a career slash line of .307/.416/.573 with 240 home runs, 224 doubles, and 189 stolen bases in 1,065 games.
The Angels are expected to try to keep Trout around long term, but Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports suggests such an extension is unlikely at the moment. He's set to earn $33.25 million over each of the next two seasons, according to Cot's Contracts.
The Phillies have said they're willing to spend big this offseason, and have been tied to both Harper and Manny Machado, with the latter remaining a possibility. With Trout's free agency possibly looming, the Phillies would prefer to sign only one of this year's top options to leave room in the budget down the road, Verducci adds.
While Philadelphia has spent money this offseason, the team has focused on players a tier below the big-ticket items by locking up closer David Robertson and outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
McCutchen inked a three-year deal in December, which could line up an all-time great outfield of McCutchen-Trout-Harper in 2021 if speculation comes true.