By: KYLE BENNETT
At age 22, would you ever think you would be a millionaire? Sure it’s possible, but someone in our own backyard just hit the baseball lottery. Vineland born, Millville raised, Angels Outfielder Mike Trout signed the largest pre-arbitration contract in Major League Baseball history when he put pen to paper on a $1 million dollar deal on February 26th.
Trout, a 2-time MLB MVP runner-up, has been making a case for himself as the best player in the league and on March 27th, the Angels paid him like it. The power-hitting Outfielder inked a 6yr/$144.5 million dollar contract extension.
Being one of the most highly regarded players in the league at such a young age puts a lot of expectations on his shoulders. But, he has lived up to the hype and posted monster numbers in his first 2 big league seasons.
The 6-year extension does not kick in until the 2015 season, where Trout is slated to make $5.25 million. In 2016, the money jumps up to $15.25 million, 2017 guarantees him $19.25 million and then the final 3 years take a big jump to $33.25 million.
Trout and the Angels agreed to the terms of the deal one day after Detroit Tigers slugger, 2-time AL MVP, Miguel Cabrera, signed an 8-year, $292 million dollar extension.
This contract will finish after his age 29 season, when he can become a free agent in the winter of 2020 and could possibly become the first $300 million baseball player.
This extension is the second-largest deal for any player with less than 3 years of MLB service time, but the $24.1 average annual value on the deal is the highest ever.
The deal also includes a $5 million signing bonus and he will receive a full no-trade clause. His extension will not count against the Angels luxury tax until 2015, which is a big deal considering that Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are making a ton of money this season and are a big portion of the payroll and luxury tax.
This contract allows the Angels to avoid all three years of arbitration with the young Outfielder, as well as his first three years of free agency.
ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian called Trout, “the second coming of Mickey Mantle”. You don’t have to even watch baseball, and you know Mickey Mantle’s name. Analysts and experts are already saying Trout is the best player in the game.
Trout has the opportunity to win the MVP this season at age 23 and become one of the youngest players to ever win the award. Many experts say he would have won each of the past two years were it not for Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown in 2012 and only improving on those numbers in 2013.
Trout is a hot commodity in Major League Baseball. He’s made a name for himself in just over two years of MLB experience. He started off year three with a moon shot of a homerun against the Seattle Mariners. Trout is part of the long-term plans of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This contract was proof of that and the scary part is, he’s just getting started.