Jeff Passan of ESPN has reported that the Los Angeles Angles are finalizing a contact extension with superstar outfielder Mike Trout. The reported 12-year, $430 million deal would be the largest contract in the history of professional sports.
Despite Trout remaining under contract until 2020, the Angels elected to be aggressive in their pursuit of the star centerfielder. The deal also shows that Trout is committed to playing the majority of his career with Los Angeles.
Trout would make an average annual salary of $36 million, breaking Zack Greinke’s record of $34.4 million. Passan also noted that “the $430 million-plus total is more than 30 percent larger than the $330 million deal Bryce Harper signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.” The 2019 MLB off season, which has seen Trout, Harper, and Manny Machado (who signed a 10-year, $300 million contact with the San Diego Padres) has been the most expensive in baseball history.
The record deal was fitting for a historically great player like Trout. Since his major league debut in 2011, Trout has established himself as the best baseball player in the world. He was named the 2012 Rookie of the year and is a seven time All-Star. Trout also holds two AL MVP awards (2014, 2016). His 64.3 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) have been the most ever through a players age 26 season.
In eight seasons as a pro, Trout has set Angels single season records for On-Base Percentage (.442), Slugging Percentage (.629), runs (129), and walks (116).
At just 27 years old, Trout has a chance to become the greatest player to ever play professional baseball. He is also a legitimate five-tool player with the ability to hit for a high average (he has a .307 BA), power (he’s averaged 37 home runs each seasons), and speed (he’s averaged 29 stolen bases).
Even considering the massive financial commitment, this contact has to be considered a win for the Los Angeles Angels.