Mike Trout has agreed to a disappointing one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Many conversations were being kicked around about a bank-shattering contract being given to Trout in the coming days, but the two sides ultimately settled on a deal for one year and $1 million. It is the largest pre-arbitration contract ever given to a player, according to ESPN.
Trout is coming off a second consecutive season in which he came in second place in MVP voting. Last year, he posted a .323 batting average with 27 home runs and 97 RBI to go along with his 39 steals and league-leading 110 walks and 109 runs scored.
Ted Berg of USA Today documented how interesting the contract negotiations with Mike Trout could eventually become. After all, the kid is still just 22 years old and already arguably the best player in the game. His first long-term deal, regardless of where it comes from could reach stratospheric levels. The largest MLB contract to date is the ten-year $275 million deal that Alex Rodriguez signed with the New York Yankees at age 32.
Berg also notes that Trout is under team control via arbitration through 2017. For now, the Angels have to be thinking long-term and locking up Trout at a young age. The possibility of him getting even better is hard to fathom, but very possible given his young age. An improved Trout hitting free agency at the age of 26 in 2017 could very well land him a $300 million, possibly even $400 million deal as has been rumored.
It his difficult to even reel in an accurate figure given that Trout has just two full years under his belt. Granted, they were two of the most unbelievable seasons in recent memory, but if Trout makes it to free agency in 2017 before getting wrapped up by the Angels, a legitimate frenzy would ensue across Major League Baseball. If the Angels are serious about keeping him, they may have to seriously explore extending him now before another team overpays for his services.
Phil Rogers of MLB.com detailed how Trout is set to become the face of baseball with the retirement of Derek Jeter after the 2014 season. “Like Jeter, there’s no self-promotion with Trout. He doesn’t have that gene. But he understands the responsibility that comes with having his ability, and he holds himself accountable,” said Rogers.
Like Jeter, Trout is very humble, and never has that been more apparent than by his recent contract signing. With Mike Trout signing a surprising one-year deal and not an expected six-year, possible $150 million deal that was being floated around, he showed that he is a team player more than willing to check his ego at the door for the betterment of the team. The Angels are already drowning under the contracts given to underperformers Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols, and the last thing the team needs is another mega-contract on the table right now. Trout even claimed that he does not feel comfortable conversing with the media about his contract discussions, as he is much too focused on the task at hand: winning baseball games.
By Justin Hussong