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Mike Trout and the Angels haven’t discussed a long term deal

Sep 25, 2013, 11:38 AM EDT

Mike Trout AP

From the L.A. Times, a story about the state of Mike Trout’s eventual crazy-riches. Current status: no discussions yet about any kind of long term deal for arguably the best player in baseball.

He’s making just north of the minimum now, as the Angels only have him a token bump from last year’s minimum salary. Which was their right, and it is their right to do so once again for 2014. It’s quite possible that the most overall production in baseball for 2012-2014 will be had by the Angels for less than the cost of Erik Bedard or someone like him. After that, though, it’s gonna be riches city for Trout, be it via arbitration, where he’ll likely make eight figures for all three years, or via a long term deal which buys out arbitration and some amount of his free agency.  

For now, though, Trout is playing it cool, talking up his love of Anaheim while signaling that the future is unclear and he would consider planting roots elsewhere if he had to some day.

If I’m the Angels I pay through the nose now, while you can lock up the productive years while letting someone else worry about his age-30+ years.  But then again, the Angels haven’t exactly been afraid of age-30+ years recently. For whatever that has been worth.

  1. bfunk1978 - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Of course not. They only make long-term commitments if you’re already 30+.

    • bfunk1978 - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      Which of course I think is your point.

    • chadjones27 - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      Good to know the Phillies aren’t the only ones

      • gloccamorra - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Check out the Blue Jays, and have you forgotten the Yankees? There are enough to form a singing group!

  2. echech88 - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I fully expect Arte Moreno to botch this somehow. The guy has the opposite of the Midas touch.

    • yahmule - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      And billboards are blocking my sun.

  3. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    He isn’t even arbitration eligible until 2015, and not eligible for Free Agency until 2018. I understand wanting to lock a young guy up, and certainly you can begin talks, but why pay when you don’t have to? Why rush into a long expensive contract? What if he blows out his knee and is never the same? Did we not learn that lesson from what almost happened to Manny Machado not two days ago?

    • cohnjusack - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      The other possibility is that your scenario doesn’t happen and he gets more expensive by the year. Two players who were extended very early on, Albert Pujols and Evan Longoria, ended up being fantastic deals for their team.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        I’m not saying wait until he hits the free agent market, I’m saying you don’t have to move on him RIGHT NOW as if there was a ticking time bomb entering into single digits. Relax. Enjoy having him. Start talks, and look at doing something next off season, or the one after that. He is going to get paid one way or another, but why give him 150 million guaranteed now, when you don’t have to? Seems like a gamble that may not quite be worth it.

      • apkyletexas - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        @scoutsayweitersisabust – “I’m saying you don’t have to move on him RIGHT NOW as if there was a ticking time bomb entering into single digits.”

        Oh – that time bomb is ticking all right. Make him play another year at a minimal salary, and they’ll be burning their bridges with him. They’d be insane not to lock him up in the offseason. You want a guy like that on your team for 15 years – not for 6 years and let him leave at the first chance at free agency. The amount of money the Angels can make by marketing him for an additional 9-10 years will be insane.

        As to your “what if he tears his knee” question? Mickey Mantle tore his knee up horribly in his rookie season. All he did was go to 20 all star games and win 7 World Series despite constant pain from a torn ACL that never recovered and followed him his entire career. And, knee surgeries are so much more effective now – I’m sure someone like Trout could return to form if that did happen to him. As Machado probably will.

    • jarathen - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      The Angels could have given him a bigger raise than the paltry sum they did this year, and if nothing else they need to bump him up good after another fantastic year.

      I would be willing to take the unknown for the next 15 years at AAV of $20 mill to see Trout in Angels red.

    • Kevin Gillman - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Because it would be cheaper now to sign him a big contract now as opposed to a few years later when he has bigger seasons?

  4. cohnjusack - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    In all fairness, the Angels don’t have the money to sign him to a long term deal AND sign Carlos Beltran to that 12 year $365 million deal this offseason.

  5. savior72 - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Would love to see him in a Cardinals uniform. A little Puljos payback. Not that we’re missing him anymore…

    • paperlions - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Instead of Pujols, the Cardinals were able to sign Craig, Wainwright, and Molina to extensions, to sign Beltran, and to draft Wacha (who they drafted with the pick from the Angels signing of Pujols), and s. The Cardinals require no payback, if anything, they should send Moreno a “Thank You” card with some flowers and a box of chocolates every year.

      • jarathen - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        I hope the Angels have a reminder that they could have had a good, young starter instead of an aging and wounded Pujols. Like, framed and mounted in every front office employee’s office.

  6. chiadam - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Savior72 – yeah, we can all totally see that you’ve moved on. Really.

    Anyway, one day (probably not soon) teams will learn that there is not a position player on the planet that you should sign for more than five years, and not a pitcher you should sign for more than three.

    • gloccamorra - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      So true, especially at today’s salaries. I was looking up salaries in the 1970s: the 1972 minimum was $15,000, and the average salary was just under $37,000. Inflation adjusted, that’s about $84k and $207k. Now I know why a 6 oz. beer is $12 (you didn’t think the owners were paying those salaries, did you?).

      • seitz26 - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Beer is that expensive because the people who set the prices know that enough fans will pay for beer at those prices such as to turn the maximum amount of profit (theoretically). The price of a beer at a baseball game has nothing to do with player salaries.

      • bigharold - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        “The price of a beer at a baseball game has nothing to do with player salaries.”

        Nonsense. Beer might well be an incredibly small part of it but it certainly has something to do with player salaries. Players salaries are the direct result of revenue streams. As many as possible and maximized as much as possible. Beer is just one of them.

        The biggest difference in player salaries today versus 40 – 50 years ago, when I stared attending games, is not so much concessions or ticket prices which are certainly the result of supply and demand but merchandising and, most of all, cable TV money.

        Owners have figured out many more ways to squeeze every last bit of revenue out of existing revenue streams as well as inventing a host of of others that didn’t even exist 40-50 years ago. And, every bit of it goes towards supporting the salary structure of MLB. Even beer prices.

      • jrbdmb - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        Cost of a draft beer at Yankee Stadium: $6.00
        Cost of a draft beer at Marlins Park: $8.00

        Tell me again how the price of beer is dictated by player salaries?

      • seitz26 - Sep 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        bigharold, you’ve got the causation reversed. The argument is that beer costs a lot because players are paid so much. That’s what gloccamorra was referring to when he said “now I know why beer costs so much”, emphasis on the “why”. If you want to argue that players are paid a lot because teams can make a ton of money from beer sales, then use that money on players, I won’t really argue with you (though it’s probably a sliver of overall revenue). But you aren’t paying $8 for a beer because your team just signed a shiny new free agent. You’re paying $8 for a beer because the team knows if they charge you $7, they’re foregoing an extra buck, and if they charge you $9, you probably won’t buy it.

  7. jm91rs - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    I remember his agent hinted that Trout felt pretty slighted at the very minimum salary bump after last year. It’s very much within the Angels rights to do that, but if I’m Trout I remember it and don’t give them any hometown discounts. If ever there was a player that should test free agency, it’s this once in a generation player.

    • stex52 - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Seems short-sighted to me. When he gets to free agency he may bolt no matter what you do. But if you can spend some dollars (well-earned by Trout) to buy at least a year or two of that free agency (not to mention the high cost of arbitration these days) why not do it?

      I would be trying the Longoria route at every opportunity with my young stars. You get a natural discount because they aren’t free to negotiate. And you get their healthiest years. The Cards and Pujols are another excellent example.

    • coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 25, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      He bolts to Sox or Yankees in 2018. As a 27 yr old with 2-3-4 MVP’s under his best, he will get 12-15 years at 30M/yr minimum. If Kershaw breaks $30 mil next year, Trout may even get $35 M/yr if he maintains this pace. The Yanks and Sox are already setting aside money to bid on him. He is the best I’ve seen since Mantle and Mays broke in, and will bring back 100% ROI for a big-market team, easily

    • jdillydawg - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:25 AM

      I think the key word here is “agent.” I don’t know, but if I’m 20 years old making $400k and only home for six months out of the year, I’m probably not going to get too bent out of shape.

      If I’m Scott Boras, I’m a little pissed…

  8. aceshigh11 - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    20 years, $600 million.

    • skids003 - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Right, and that goes till he’s 42?

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        I was kidding obviously, but it couldn’t turn much worse than the Pujols contract…at least the Angels get Trout for his prime years instead of paying him for past performance.

    • crackersnap - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:56 AM

      Well, realistically, you have to expect that he will be making $25 million per year or more for many years. At the end of his playing days, he will have made more in salary than some entire teams are worth today.

  9. losanginsight - Sep 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Mike is not going to sign with a small market team like Anaheim. Trout is a big time player and will be a big market. Are had his chance to at least give him a mil/yr but didn’t. Instead they signed an ex- crack head. Trout will be in NY, Philly or in Dodger Blue in 2018. Right now he’s a Big fish in a little pond where the water is evaporating.

    • jrbdmb - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      First time I heard that L.A. isn’t a big market. Who knew?

    • jdillydawg - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:27 AM

      The team doesn’t have to use the word Anaheim in their name after this season. I think you’ll see it as something broader. So Cal’s a pretty damn big market…

  10. jcmeyer10 - Sep 25, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    How have we not made fish and pond size jokes?

  11. greymares - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    If the kid has his way,he still is a Phillies fan.

  12. km9000 - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    The article mentioned Trout would be looking to buy a house if he got a long-term contract, so I think the best hope for Angels fans is for So Cal realtors to lobby Moreno.

  13. jrbdmb - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    It may already be too late – one more year at $600K or so and then Trout hits the jackpot. The Angels will have offer some insane money to buy out any free agent years at this point.

    They should have been smart and extended him last year instead of insulting him with a contract $20K over the major league minimum. Not saying he is leaving the Angels for sure, but it is hard to believe he will give then any home town discount at this point.

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