Mike Trout took the bait.The Angels and Trout made waves Tuesday morning, when ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported both parties were close to finalizing a 12-year, $430 million contract extension, keeping the Angel in the outfield for, presumably, the rest of his career. Since Trout’s debut, however, playoff blessings haven’t exactly fallen upon the heads of LA Red. In fact, it can all be summed up in one tweet from a handsome, intelligent, witty sportswriter:MORE: Mike Trout and the biggest sports contracts in historyThe Angels better do everything in their power to win a World Series. Everything.— Joe (@JoeRiveraSN) March 19, 2019The legend of Mike Trout grows by the season. Two-time MVP (should have won more). Finished No. 1 or 2 in MVP voting in six of his seven full seasons in the majors. He’s worth 64.3 bWAR so far over the course of his career, which is already more than numerous Hall of Famers, including Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Piazza, Harmon Killebrew and Yogi Berra. He’s the greatest player in Angels history. He’s the bee’s knees. The cat’s pajamas. The whole shebang.Paying Mike Trout was the easy part. What comes next is hard.Let’s take a look at the Angels’ records since Trout’s Rookie of the Year campaign:2012: 89-73, missed the playoffs.2013: 78-84, missed the playoffs.2014: 94-78, swept in LDS vs. Kansas City.2015: 85-77, missed the playoffs.2016: 74-88, missed the playoffs.2017: 80-82, missed the playoffs.2018: 80-82, missed the playoffs.So, all things considered, to this point, the Angels have absolutely wasted Trout’s career. To take it a step further, the Angels haven’t done much to surround Trout with the talent he deserves.The work is just beginning for the Angels, and if they want to make the most of Trout’s prime — let alone his career — then they’re going to have to do and be better, all around. Let’s start with the good news: Through the years, the Angels have never been afraid to take out the checkbook to pay guys. Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Justin Upton to name a few. While those three deals have had varying degrees of success, it’s apparent Arte Moreno and the Angels’ front office isn’t afraid to spend money. But the one thing you’ll notice about those three guys is that none of them pitch.SN’s FANTASY BASEBALL HQ2019 cheat sheet | Top 300 | All-Breakout teamIn fact, the biggest free-agent pitching signing the Angels have made in the last nine years is C.J. Wilson; he signed a five-year, $77.5 million deal prior to the 2012 season. Wilson finished his career with the Angels, amounting to 5.5 bWAR in that span before retiring due to injuries. And no disrespect to C.J. Wilson, but I’m not sure anyone confused him for an ace in his career.And that’s where the Angels’ issues have been in a nutshell. The Angels have had one Cy Young winner in franchise history (the immortal Bartolo Colon, 2005). Jered Weaver, for however good he was over a stretch of time with LA, was both exiting his prime and dealt with injuries while Trout was coming to his own. And as of this posting, the Angels have have only one top pitching prospect on MLB Pipeline’s top 100 players: Griffin Canning.Yes, the Angels have faced devastating injuries throughout the years to their pitching staff. Garrett Richards, former first-round pick, dealt with injuries to his arm and everything else in his career and never quite panned out. Weaver amounted to 36.7 bWAR in his career — still less than Nolan Ryan’s 40.5 bWAR, and Ryan pitched eight seasons to Weaver’s 11.MORE: The worst free-agent deals for all 30 MLB teamsThis isn’t to say that ace pitchers grow on trees, because they don’t. It takes franchises eons to find quality pitching help, whether it’s through development or free agency. That said, when your biggest free-agent pitching signing of the 2018 offseason was *checks notes* Matt Harvey, then you have work to do, especially considering some of the names on the market this past offseason. After all, Dallas Keuchel is still on the market and has experience in the AL West. Gio Gonzalez signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees, who would have been a welcome addition to an otherwise mediocre Angels rotation.More good news: Los Angeles is on the right track, and they’ll have a long time to get things right around Trout. GM Billy Eppler has done a decent job or replenishing the farm system and bringing in quality position players. The Angels farm system was dead last in MLB some years ago to a top-third prior to this season, anchored by outfielders Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, who both make MLB Pipeline’s top 100 list. Shohei Ohtani electrified crowds in 2018 before succumbing to his UCL injury, but fans should see him back on the field in 2019.But through it all, the Angels are providing something of a cautionary tale: The best player in baseball will only take you so far. Getting to that next level is the hard part.