ANAHEIM, Calif. — Reigning American League MVP Mike Trout participated in the Angels’ first workout of summer camp but said before Friday’s practice that he hasn’t made a final decision on playing this year.
Trout and his wife, Jessica, are expecting their first child in August. The outfielder, 28, said his mindset is to play in the coronavirus-delayed season but a lot will hinge on how he feels in the next couple of weeks.
“Honestly, I still don’t feel that comfortable,” he said. “This is a tough time, a tough situation everyone is in. Everybody has a responsibility in this clubhouse. Social distance, stay inside, wear a mask and be safe.
“If I test positive, I talked to doctors and they said I couldn’t see the baby for 14 days or Jess can’t see the baby for 14 days if she’s positive, we’re going to be upset. I think the biggest issue is keeping Jess safe, the baby safe, obviously me. Coming to the field every day getting tested is huge. I have to be really cautious.”
The three-time AL MVP continues to have discussions with general manager Billy Eppler and manager Joe Maddon. Trout wore an N95 mask, on that protects the wearer from breathing in pathogens such as the coronavirus, throughout the two-hour workout at Angel Stadium. Trout rarely took off his mask and maintained social distancing throughout the workout.
Trout said he talks to his wife every night as they continue to figure out what is best. All options remain on the table, including not playing until the baby arrives.
For now, the main thing that Trout and Maddon are stressing is that everyone has to be accountable for their actions.
“Right now we’re all being asked to be the best version of ourselves, the best teammate you’ve ever been in your life,” Maddon said. “Everyone is talking about the high-risk individuals opting out. To me the person who should opt out is the person who does not want to follow the protocols.”
Maddon, in his first season with the Angels after four years with the Cubs, said he had a good conversation with Trout on Thursday night and that he empathizes with everything Trout is facing.
“Everybody’s truth matters right now. That’s the one thing I have appealed to our guys,” Maddon said. “There’s so much buried information, I’ve encouraged everyone to think for themselves. I’m appealing to our guys to be as informed as they can and then arrive at their own truth. Tell me what they feel.”
Maddon said “nine or 10” players were missing from workouts in Anaheim and Long Beach, Calif., but could not give a reason. Major League Baseball has said that a team will not specifically announce a coronavirus injured list placement for a player who is removed from the club after testing positive.
While Trout is pleased about the protocols in place, he was not happy that negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players association about resuming the season spilled out into the public domain.
Trout is scheduled to earn roughly $13.3 million of his $36 million salary if he plays this year.
“We signed a contract to get paid each game. Obviously you heard the comments from (commissioner Rob) Manfred the other day that their whole intentions was to play 60 games,” Trout said. “It just got way messier than what it should have been. It should have just been closed doors, going back and forth, getting it done and coming out with a deal.”
By JOE REEDY
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