News surfaced last week that the Los Angeles Angels were interested in coming to an agreement on a contract extension with the game’s best player and their center-fielder, Mike Trout.
Today, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported that the Angels are working on a massive contract extension with Trout, said to be around six- years and $150 million.
The 22-year-old has expressed a desire to lock up a long-term deal this spring after failing to get more than a mere raise last spring after a historic rookie year that etched his name among the best to play the game.
In his short major league career- only two seasons- Trout has finished as American League MVP runner-up twice, possibly deserving the award both years due to his all-around attributes which has catapulted him to the game’s best all-around player status.
After a rookie season in which he finished the season with a .326 batting average, .399 OBP, 30 home runs, 49 stolen bases and 83 RBIs in 2012, Trout had an even better season in 2013. Many people wondered if Trout would fall victim to the usual sophomore slump that affects most players who get off to a hot start in their careers.
There was no going down for Trout as he became even more selective at the plate and finished the season with a .323 batting average, .432 OBP, 27 home runs, 33 stolen bases, 97 RBIs. and an AL-leading 110 walks.
Trout is the youngest member of the 30/30 club after accomplishing that feat in his rookie season at 20 years old, he missed another 30/30 season in his second year by 3 home runs. He became the first player to manage at least a .300 batting average, 50 home runs and 50 stolen bases before his 21st birthday. His 20.8 career Wins Above Replacement is the most of any player in history through his age-21 season.
His projections for the future are sky high and it begs the question, how much is Trout worth? In 2001, the Texas Rangers broke the bank and the record books by signing a 25-year-old Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $250 million contract. Trout is already ahead of the projections Rodriguez was and is three years younger than Rodriguez was hen he signed his contract.
If you add up 16 years of inflation, Trout’s contract has the makings of becoming the first to ever hit $300 million. Earlier this offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw become the first player to ever average $30 million a year when he signed a seven-year, $215 million contract.
That’s $30 million for a pitcher that can only see the field every five days, albeit it is the best pitcher in baseball. Trout, who will see the field 150-plus games, is worth more than any pitcher. If Kershaw gets $30 million per year, then Trout should eclipse that number.
Considering the staggering contracts some player have signed after the age of 30, when their numbers are set to decline, like Albert Pujols, Robinson Cano and Rodriguez for a second time, Trout is at the start and has not even hit his peak years and is already the best player in the game.
The Angels need to strike while the iron is hot and give this man a contract of his worth and that is more than the proposed six-year, $150 million, Trout has the abilities on the field to become the game’s first $300 million man, some even say $400 million.
With T.V. deals and revenue increasing each year, the money trend in baseball is going up, at a time where a so-so young pitcher can get a $105 million contract as Homer Bailey did for the Reds, the best player in the game deserves 10 times that.
A 12-year, $400 million contract that will keep Trout signed through his age 34 season will mean only one thing for the Angels, they will get all of Trout’s peak years and production before it starts declining as they have seen first hand with Pujols.