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Angels renew Mike Trout for $510,000

Mar 2, 2013, 2:34 PM EDT

Mike Trout Getty Images

As a pre-arbitration player, 2012 AL MVP runner-up Mike Trout has no negotiating power with the Angels. So, instead of signing for a salary he didn’t like, he had his contract renewed by the team for $510,000 on Saturday.

That figure is just $20,000 above the major league minimum. It’s unclear whether the Angels initially offered him more. Teams will often make pre-arbitration-eligible players offers and then roll them back if they’re not accepted. The Angels other 21 pre-arby players all agreed to contract; Trout was the only one to have get renewed.

Most teams employ a strict scale for pre-arbitration players in which salary is almost entirely determined by service time, with performance figuring very little into it. That the Angels didn’t throw Trout a bone an kick in an extra $100,000-$200,000 likely has far less to do with them being cheap and more about not wanting to mess with their scale. They’ll certainly be willing to make it up to him later.

Trout, on the other hand, may have some hard feelings over the negotiations. Still, it’s strictly business as usual for major league teams. That pre-arbitration players are paid so little allows teams to fork over $15 million, $20 million or even $25 million per year to free agents. Trout will get his eventually; he’ll be eligible for arbitration for the first time after 2014 and he’ll be eligible for free agency following the 2017 season.

  1. Kevin S. - Mar 2, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Bumping him up now wouldn’t have likely generated any goodwill that could save them money later on down the line. How much of a discount did Ryan Howard give the Phillies when they renewed him for $900,000, well more than they had to?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      Trout also got a 1.215 million dollar signing bonus while Howard had made less than $600K up until the point where he signed for $900K after winning the MVP with 58 bombs and knocking in 149, while having a slash line of .313/.425/.659/1.084. Like the author says, Trout will get his money. This is why players get paid for past performance in baseball. For the people who whine that guys like Howard, A-Rod, Texiera, etc are overpaid, remember that when they were tearing it up their first 3 seasons, they were making less than a million a year. Those big contracts even things out.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        My only point was that Philly basically threw away a couple hundred thousand. Ryan Howard didn’t (and shouldn’t have) give them any discount during his arbitration or free agency contracts.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      Ryan Howard is still a Phillie, Unlike Trout who will be in Dodger blue and Yankee Pinestrips in 5 years.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM


      • mrfloydpink - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        Right, absolutely. Because the Angels surely don’t have any money to spend on players. They only get $200 million a year from their TV rights, which is why they NEVER give out big contracts to players like Albert Pujols or Josh Hamilton. And they CERTAINLY won’t be able to do so once Vernon Wells and his $30 million are off the books.

      • echech88 - Mar 3, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        LOL. You are exactly the type of mark his agent was trying to reach by releasing this statement.

        He will be extended years before the Angels have to and nobody will ever remember this.

        His agent is just pissy because it reflects poorly on him as a negotiator.

  2. soobster - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    This would be one of the only instances I would be okay with a player holdout.

  3. fearlessleader - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    So, Trout will make 1/49th as much as Josh Hamilton this year. That seems fair.

    • drewzducks - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      It gets worse… 1/58 th of ARod.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        I like the way fans compare Trout’s salary to what Alex is making now. How about comparing it to Alex’s first full season with Seattle 1996. He made $442,334
        BTW, here are his numbers in 1996: .358 BA / .414 OBP / .631 SLG% / 1.045 OPS with 36 HR’s and 124 RBI’s. Not bad for a 20 year old kid. I just think it’s nice to compare apples to apples so to speak.

      • drewzducks - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:15 AM

        How can it be apples to apples when you’re trying to compare 1996 dollars for 2012 dollars, unless you adjusted your numbers for inflation. A better comparison would be that in 1996 A Rod’s salary was 37.6% of the MLB average salary, whereas Trout’s 2013 salary is projected to be approximately 15% of the MLB average. As great as a year that A Rod had, it was clearly surpassed by Trout when one compares WAR, 10.7 to 9.2. Also of note is that Trout’s rookie year WAR of 10.7 surpassed any WAR that Rodriguez achieved during his *-riddled career.

      • mashoaf - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:00 AM

        Worse…. Bobby Bonilla still makes more money from the Mets this year than Trout does from the Angles…

      • uyf1950 - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        drewaducks, comparing salaries as you did originally of the 2 players one of them who started his career in the mid 1990’s and one from the early 2010’s is ridiculous. WAR is NOT the be all end all. I point out the Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera’s WAR 6.9. To compare someones salary who has been in the league 1 year to someone who has been in the league 16 years defies logic. As other posters have said Trout will get his assuming he continues to perform at a very high level, just not in the first few years of his MLB career. He will get his just as A-Rod, Cabrera, Cliff Lee, Greinke and a host of other established more experienced players with a much longer resume to hang their FA on hat got theirs.

    • mrfloydpink - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      It’s even worse if you think of it in terms of dollars per win, and you compare him to Vernon Wells. If Trout and Wells perform exactly as they did last year, then:

      Trout will be earning $47,763 per win above replacement (b-ref WAR)

      Wells will be earning $42,000,000 per win above replacement (also b-ref WAR)

      Thus, as a function of their actual value, Wells will be earning 879 times more per win produced than Trout.

      • wlschneider09 - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        FYI, WAR doesn’t actually translate to wins. It’s effectively a unitless number.

      • mrfloydpink - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        FYI, you’re wrong. But thanks for playing!

      • Kevin S. - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        I think wischneider09 meant that adding up a team’s WAR won’t tell you exactly how many wins better that team was than a replacement-level team in the way that WPA does say exactly how many games above or below .500 you were. That said, it generally does provide a fairly decent estimate.

      • wlschneider09 - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM

        Thank you Kevin, this is what I meant. And I’m not wrong.

  4. lapsncaps - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Talk about highway robbery! Biggest bargain of the century.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      Hey, now, the century’s still young yet.

  5. losanginsight - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Arte might have to offer part ownership of the team to Trout in 2017, if he keeps it up.

  6. brianbowman16 - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Oh boy, get ready for all the Trout-heads to come out of hibernation and start raising hell. Every single ‘superstar’ 2nd year player has dealt with pre-arbitration salaries. It helps MLB avoid situations that NFL teams used to have to deal with before the newest CBA saved them. I would rather have it this way than have a J’marcus Russell situation where a Dude is making $40,000,000 to do absolutely NOTHING. Mike Fishty-buns will certainly get paid the first year he’s eligible for arbitration, provided he doesn’t fluke it up for the next 2 years. Quit whining and go get paid, son!

    • jwbiii - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Did anybody say Trout was whining? Sounds like you are.

    • stercuilus65 - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      Yeah really Trout hasn’t said a word you d-bag.

  7. bluesnats - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    When he starts playing like Vernon Wells he’ll get Vernon Wells like money

  8. themuddychicken - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Who’s whining? We all know how this works.

    Anyway, if Trout-head is the term for a fan of Mike Trout, anyone who enjoys watching baseball should be a Trout-head. We’re everywhere!

  9. proudliberal85392 - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Talk about a steal.

  10. vallewho - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    It is what it is…but hard not to compare him to others, specially the guys on his own team. 5 more years of servitude.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      5 more years of servitude? Are you nuts. If he does the same thing he did last year, he will make $10 million in arbitration…just like Ryan Howard did. And if he does it again the following year, he will likely make around $55-60 million over the next 3 years if he chooses.

      • jwbiii - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        Arbitration isn’t servitude, but it’s still well under free market value. If Circle K offers me 50 cents more an hour, I can quit 7-11 tonight.

      • vanmorrissey - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        Not to mention Chris what he can likely make in endorsement deals. Just has to keep putting up numbers and he’ll rake it in especially when in LA, and when they finally get rid of Wells’ contract.

    • stercuilus65 - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      “Servitude” If what Trout is making and going to make is “servitude” well hell slap the chains on me!

  11. greg2geez - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Don’t feel too bad for Trout and his base salary. Commercial endorsement deals aren’t subject to MLB arbitration and will get him into any country club he wants!

  12. timpaz - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Smart move, you never know what can happen, I’m old enough to remember Tony Conigliaro.

  13. jiminthebay - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    back in my day (says with old man type) 1976 ,the major league minimum was $13,000 , which today may be a nickle over the national poverty line. rookies pulling down half a million in their first season dont bitch…or shouldnt …despite trout’s ungodly season i think even his agent understands modern baseball economics….yeah , its slavery.

    • kiwicricket - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      No. $13K in 1976 in today’s money is approx 55K per year. Not the coin ballplayers are making today, but hardly a nickle over the ‘poverty line’.
      I am guessing it was slightly cheaper to live in O.C in 76′ than it is now…so it’s all relative.

  14. atlrod - Mar 2, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Surely the front office is kicking around some attempt to pull a Longoria-type move with Trout. Will they wait until after this season? If Trout performs at the same level, they’ll lose negotiating power because the perception of the club’s risk will be diminished. I don’t see why they wouldn’t offer him a 7 year, $70million contract or whatever like the Rays did. Now’s the time to get value in a long-term Trout contract. But I guess they have a few years to play it out.

  15. jdillydawg - Mar 2, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    “That pre-arbitration players are paid so little…”

    That’s awesome.

    It’s hard for me to argue against PEDs when the minimum wage for these guys is 10 times the national average for the regular joe punching a clock. That kind of money has to put unreal pressure on these guys to perform. As a fan, I demand it. And I’m not the only one that demands greatness, all fans do.

  16. American of African Descent - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    For all of those who complain that there is no player loyalty in sports, this is one reason why. Trout’s got the right attitude — he says he’s going to keep busting his ass with an eye towards putting the Angels in the world series.

    But when free agency rolls around, the Angels have no moral high ground to ask for a home town discount.

  17. historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    I hate to be negative, Matthew, but “he had his contract renewed” sounds like he picked the price — and he did not. The Angels management set it. That’s some terrible grammar construction. The sentence makes no sense.

  18. jamesweltyms - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    A consensus building here ( is that Trout will sign with the Yankees for 10 years $230MM. The Angels will find a way to mess it up.

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