Mike Trout is in the middle of a six-year, $144.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels, and today the team and the star player have agreed to tack on 10 more seasons to that deal, with an extra $360 million. This will bring the total of Trout’s remaining contract with the team to 12-years, $426.5 million, setting the new record that Bryce Harper just broke last month, as the biggest contract in North American pro sports history.
Mike Trout has long been viewed as the best player in baseball, evidenced by his two AL MVPs, seven All-Star Game appearances, six Silver Slugger awards and his Rookie of the Year that he won back in 2012, which is also the season that he started his streak of going to the All-Star Game every full season that he’s been in the major leagues.
All of those accolades speak for themselves and even more than that are his career numbers and how much he has meant to the Angels even though they have largely been mediocre.
After seven full seasons in the major leagues, Trout has hit 240 home runs, is batting .307/.416/.573. He has driven in 648 runs while stealing 189 bases and only being caught 34 times. Trout has lead the league in OPS three times and in OPS+ five times. Those are all just insane numbers that nobody in this generation of stars has even really been close to being able to match.
Trout spends the majority of his time playing centerfield, where he also plays a pretty strong centerfield. He does have yet to win a Gold Glove, but he has won a Wilson Overall Defensive Player of the Year. He has a +9 defensive runs saved for his career (+12 in centerfield), so while he is not the best defensive player in baseball, he more than holds his own on that end things.
Offensively though is where Trout is different. Already mentioned above are some of his career numbers in the main offensive statistics, but he also owns a 63.3 career offensive WAR, which is insane for the point of his career that he’s in, and on top of that he has added an estimated 31 runs above average for his career for the Angels with his baserunning, and an extra 410 runs with his bat.
Even in things that Trout has struggled at one point in his career he has improved. The biggest example is strikeouts. In 2014 he lead the American League, striking out 184 times and he followed that season up by striking out 158 times. While he still does strike out his fair share, he has been decreasing his strikeout rate over the past few years since leading the league.
The only real knock on Trout at this point in his career is that he’s only been to the playoffs once in his career and while they did lose, which isn’t something you can put all on Trout, he only went 1/12 in that series. So getting to the playoffs and having some big playoff moments could add to the legacy of his career even more, despite being the best position player of a generation.
For the Angels this move was huge. Trout is by far the face of the franchise and he was set to hit the open market in 2021 and now they won’t have to worry about that as they try and build around him and try and convince big-name free agents to come play alongside him. He will be there for the long haul.
And while yes they will be allocating a very good chunk of their payroll to him, the Angels do have pretty deep pockets and are usually towards the top of the league in payroll, so Trout’s big salary shouldn’t be too big of an issue.
Now the team can focus on trying to build a more competitive major league roster and boosting their minor league system to be more of a contender while they have the best player of this generation in his prime.
For baseball, an argument could be made that this isn’t good. Yes, another star player gets a contract that none of us could ever fathom signing, so it’s good in the sense of a star getting huge amounts of money, but after the last two free agencies we’ve had, which have been really slow, a race to try and sign the best player in all of baseball could have generated a lot of interest in who was going to sign him, but alas, he will still be in Los Angeles, making millions and millions of dollars and he likely won’t be going anywhere without him approving of it, because his new deal, along with his old one, includes a no-trade clause.
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