Feb 26, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
While reports swirl about their long-term contract talks the Angels have given Mike Trout a $1 million salary for 2014, which is almost double what they were required to pay him based on his service time.
That makes sense, from a performance standpoint and from a keeping Trout happy standpoint, and it also hints at an extension being close to finished because by finalizing his 2014 salary the Angels clear the way for the average annual value of any long-term deal to begin counting in 2015 for luxury tax purposes.
Or, put another way: By signing him for $1 million this season and then announcing a long-term extension after that the Angels can avoid pushing their current payroll into luxury tax territory.
UPDATE: $1 million is the highest salary ever for a pre-arbitration player on a contract renewal, topping $900,000 for Ryan Howard a while back.
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