Mike Trout signed a huge contract with the Los Angeles Angels just before the season started worth $144.5 million and both sides are satisfied with the deal.
The center fielder is just 22 years old and has set himself up for life financially. The Angels are happy with the deal because he is locked up for six more years at most likely below market value.
Trout was unanimously voted Rookie of The Year in 2012 hitting.326 with 30 home runs and 83 RBI’s. He lead the American League in runs scored with 129 and stolen bases with 49. He won a Silver Slugger award and finished second in voting for the AL MVP award behind Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.
In 2013 he won another Silver Slugger Award hitting.323 with 27 home runs and 97 RBI’s leading the league with 109 runs scored and walks with 110. He again finished second in the MVP voting to Cabrera.
Trout is widely considered to be the best all-around player in baseball even at such a tender age. That is why he has received some criticism for leaving money on the table.
The LosAngeles Times quoted Trout’s agent Scott Landis “We’re not like the other people. We feel Mike is going to do well. We feel that is a nice length. We like the length of the deal. We feel that this keeps our options open down the road, and it gives Mike what we think for him is still lifetime security.”
Trout made $510,000 last year and will make $1 million this year. The new deal will pay him $33.25 million in each of the last three years of the contract, ending in 2020.
Angels owner Artie Moreno said “Let’s put it this way: We definitely didn’t want to go shorter, and we would have liked to have gone longer, so we sort of compromised here.”
“When the owner comes out and puts up these big numbers, like $33 million, it’s hard to turn down,” Trout said. “For security as well, obviously, you never know what could happen. You could get hurt during the season. You never know.”
The Angels have already invested $254 million in First Baseman Albert Pujols and $125 million in outfielder Josh Hamilton.
The average player’s salary is now $3.39 million according to ESPN, up 5.4% from last year. The last time the average salary actually decreased was 2004.
Tigers first baseman Cabrera recently signed a 10-year extension worth $292 million.
Trout will be 29 at the end of his contract and in the prime of his career and could demand much more. With MLB economics as they are, his current deal may be considered a bargain.