The Mike Trout rumors are picking up where the Bryce Harper rumors left off, with early reports about the massive contract offer expected for the All-Star outfielder from the Los Angeles Angels.
Harper set the market for Hall of Fame bound outfielders last week when he finalized a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. The signing came after several weeks of waiting and speculation that more than half a dozen teams were, at some point, in the running for Harper.
As Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported, the market for Trout could be down to just the Angels. As he winds down his initial contract with the team, Trout is reportedly in line for an extension that would eclipse the contracts singed both by Harper and Manny Machado, who got his own $300 million deal before Harper. Rosenthal reported that the Angels are preparing to make a contract extension offer to lock down Trout through 2030 and pay him an MLB record $350 million.
The extension would not only give Trout the biggest single contract of all time, it would also set the record for average annual value at $35 million, eclipsing the $34.4 million per year for Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke.
As MLB Trade Rumors reported, the huge contract would still be a great investment for the Angels.
“Since he first graced the majors in 2011, Trout has produced nearly $500M in on-field value, according to FanGraphs,” the report noted. “Trout has a case to aim for that figure (or $400M-plus at minimum) on his next contract, but it doesn’t seem he’s in any rush to determine his long-term future just yet, having already achieved financial security when he landed a $144.5M extension back in March 2014.”
There could still be some stiff competition for Trout. As Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated noted after the signing of Harper last week, a source in the Phillies organization said the team structured Harper’s deal over 13 seasons, so it would leave enough room to make an offer to a player like Trout. The Phillies had pursued both Harper and Machado in free agency this year, and had left enough money that both could have been signed.
The rumors surrounding Trout could soon go dormant, however. The start of the MLB season is just a few weeks away, and reporter Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic tweeted that Trout does not want to have any contract extension talks this year.