Why Mike Trout Will Not Get a $300 Million Dollar Contract
Mike Trout is an amazing player that has put up crazy numbers in his first two full seasons. In 2 years he tallied 238 runs, 372 hits, 66 doubles, 17 triples, 57 homers, 180 RBIs, 82 stolen bases, and hit over .320 with an on-base percentage over .400! Trout is a two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, former Rookie of the Year, and has been robbed of the MVP twice by Miguel Cabrera. Unlike Cabrera though, Trout plays excellent defense and steals bases.
Having said all that I believe he will NOT get a $300 million dollar contract because teams lock up their players early. If he stays healthy his total career earnings will be over 300 million but one single contract won’t surpass the 300 million mark. For example:
Evan Longoria signed a hometown discount 15yr/$144 million dollar contract in his 5th year
Buster Posey signed a 9yr/$164 million dollar contract after his 3rd year
Chris Sale signed a very team friendly 5yr/$32 million dollar contract after a little over two years of success
Trout has had two amazing years but isn’t eligible for free agency until 2018, so he is under the Angels control for four more seasons. However, he is arbitration eligible after the 2014 season so you figure this off season is the ideal time to lock him up long term, figuring in arbitration he would get a lot of money. To compare, Tim Lincecum had a couple Cy Young awards in his pocket we he signed $18 and $22 million dollar contracts so you would figure in 2015-2017 Trout would be targeting $22 million per season as he has been a top five hitter in the MLB. If the Angels are able to lock him up this off-season, I think a seven year/$126 million dollar contract would get the deal done.
But why only $18 million a year? Take into account that in 2014 Trout is only due a “measly” $600K so that would be a nice raise for the young player. Also, if Trout were to agree to a contract extension and if he were to hypothetically blow his knee out tomorrow, he would have guaranteed money that he would be able to collect. Also, if he is able to continue his amazing success seven years from now he will be 28 years-old, eligible for free agency and due for another big score. However teams HAVE to be getting wise to signing players past 35 years old. They just HAVE to realize that it’s a bad idea. Look at the Alex Rodriguez contract or the contract that Trout’s team just handed out to teammate Albert Pujols. Similarly the Josh Hamilton deal looks pretty ugly after the first season. Anaheim needs to finally give out a good long term contract to someone who still has productive years ahead of him, not behind him.
So my prediction is seven year/$126 million ($18 million a year) for 2014-20
Then 7/161 (23 million per) for 2021-27
That locks him up through the age of 35 when the Yankees can then sign him to a 5 year deal.