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Angels Make Trout the First $430 Million Major League Baseball Player

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Angels star outfielder Mike Trout. Photo: AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo

By Fred Cromartie, Ed.D. |

The sports world has by now heard that the Los Angeles Angels are going to contractually lock Mike Trout in to a 12-year agreement for $430 million. The contract will make him the highest paid and most expensive athlete in the history of professional sports.

As reported by ESPN, the Angels’ baseball club and star outfielder are finalizing a 12-year deal worth more than $430 million. The deal means that Trout will not be leaving the franchise that drafted him for greener pastures and a new city. The extension will probably keep him with the Angels through the 2030 season.  

Under the terms of the deal, 27-year-old Trout will receive an average salary of nearly $36 million a year and the total value of the deal is $100 million more than the $330 million, $35.8 million a year deal Bryce Harper inked with the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month. It also ends the pitch and appeal from Harper for Trout to come and join him in Philadelphia any sooner than the 2030 season. 

Trout was the 25th pick of the 2009 draft, so far in his baseball career Trout has performed extremely well with the following stats .307/.416/.573 with 240 home runs, 648 RBIs, 793 runs and 189 stolen bases in 1,065 games. Many say that he is the best well-rounded player in the game today. He has won two American League MVP awards and finished second four times. His one weakness being that he has only appeared in post season play once.

For those who might say that he is not worth the contract extension that he is about to sign need to know what the experts are saying with respect to “Wins Above Replacement” (WAR) concerning Trout. With respect to WAR Trout is the best player through age 26 in MLB history and future projections predict that he will stay a very good player for a long time to come.

PECOTA, the projection system at Baseball Prospectus – which uses a combination of the player’s past stats and the aging curves of his most comparable players – foresees an 8.4-WAR season this year and an 8.8-WAR season next year, the two years the Angels already had him under contract. Beyond that – and let’s allow that there is more uncertainty the farther out a system goes, but also that projection systems tend to worry about the worst-case scenarios, and therefore tend to be fairly conservative – he projects to decline only slowly and slightly through the rest of the next decade:

  • 2021: 8.9
  • 2022: 8.3
  • 2023: 7.5
  • 2024: 7.3
  • 2025: 6.9
  • 2026: 7.0
  • 2027: 7.0
  • 2028: 6.2

The following sources contributed to the writing of this article: http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/26307346/a-430m-bargain-why-mike-trout-worth-billion-dollars

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/26307393/five-reasons-430m-man-mike-trout-win-world-series-angels

Dr. Cromartie is the Director of Doctoral Studies at the United States Sports Academy.

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