Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout landed himself quite the bag today, becoming the highest paid professional athlete in sports. Trout worked with the Angels to essentially rip up the final two years of his current 6-year, $144.5 million deal, to sign a 12-year, $430 million contract extension.
This will make Mike Trout the highest paid athlete of all time, and you know what? He has earned every single god damned dollar. Trout has been in the MVP conversation every single season since being drafted 25th overall in 2009. Lets take a look at the accolades that he has accumulated:
His first year in the league was 2011, which was the only year that he missed being part of the MVP conversation. To be fair though, he played in only 40 games that season. Trout has been an All Star every single one of his years in the majors, and has lead the league in very productive and meaningful statistics overall, including runs, RBIs, stolen bases, OPS and OPS+. I mean, this guy hits roughly 34 home runs per year!
I saw this tweet earlier that breaks down the years, money, age and fWAR:
The contract extension has no opt-outs or player options, which means that it should keep Trout in L.A. for the entirety of his career. At $35 million per season, they’re shelling out a ton of money to keep Trout from leaving. And you can’t really blame them, given how poorly the Angels have been with handing out awful contracts in the past.
Remember the 10-year, $240 million deal for Albert Pujols? Or the 5-year, $125 million deal that they paid Josh Hamilton? Contracts are a really funny thing, if you think about it. Teams are paying a player for future productivity, based on past results. Seems kinda…backwards, doesn’t it?
To be fair, Josh Hamilton came off of an absolute monster of a season, and the Angels definitely understood the risk that they were taking, given his drug-infused lifestyle, but I highly doubt that they anticipated anything like this:
(Hamilton is laughing because there is never a time where it is acceptable to slide in to first base. It greatly increases a players risk of injury, and is actually slower than legging one out.)
This is a fantastic deal for Mike Trout and the Angels. The team knew that when Trout was a free agent in 2020, he would be the hottest name on the market. We’re talking bigger than Bryce Harper and Manny Machado combined.
The Angels had to pay their man. If any player deserves a whole heap of money, its Mike Trout. Now, the Angels take on the task of making pieces around him actually work, for once.