Luka ended the game with 47 points! Luka ended the game with 47 points!

This comes on the heels of Angels GM Perry Minasian saying his team will be aggressive in roster construction. 2024 would not be a rebuilding season.

Minasian said after hiring Ron Washington as manager, they heard from agents that their clients wanted to sign in Anaheim.

The season starts on Thursday. The most expensive free agent contract the Angels signed was middle reliever Robert Stephenson, who will earn $33 million over three years. They did not add major league free agents after Trout's public calls.

“From my perspective, I can tell the front office, I can tell Arte as much as I want,” Trout told The Athletic on Sunday. "Ultimately, it's his decision. I haven't spoken to him since to find out what the situation was. But I'm sure he had a reason for it and felt strongly about it."

Elsewhere, there were players Trout was following the sign that he could easily imagine joining him in Anaheim. For them to do so would be a statement of intent regarding the direction of the Angels. The fact that this does not happen can also be interpreted as an explanation.

“Obviously, I think there are a few guys you want on your team, not just the Angels, but just in general,” Trout said before switching gears. “But we're confident in the guys we have in this clubhouse.”

Trout suggested that they should only be thinking about the people in the room right now. They are developing their young core. And for himself, he's returning to produce the kind of season he once delivered with metronomic reliability after playing a combined 237 games over the last three seasons.

"I think a lot of people write me off. I just use it as motivation," Trout said.

But all of this begs the question of why the Angels didn't add Trout this summer. Why did they telegraph a plan to be competitive but ultimately lose more than $40 million in payroll, according to FanGraphs?

Minasian sat down with The Athletic to talk about the disappointing offseason and explain the organization's reasoning.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Trout wanted the team to aggressively pursue free agents. This did not happen. From where? How do you evaluate the half-time period?

I think I can say that the moves we make may not be the leading role in themselves. I think they're pretty excited about some of the moves we've made and the year some of the players have seen, or at least communicated. That's what I love about all our players and this group, it's a really competitive group. They want to be better.