Mike Trout’s $144.5 Million Extension a Relative Bargain
The Angels and their young superstar Mike Trout reached agreement on a six year extension for a total of $144.5 million. Compared to the extension the Tigers gave Miguel Cabrera yesterday, Trout’s deal is a bargain for the Angels.
Trout’s extension kicks in starting with the 2015 season. It pays him a $5 million signing bonus, a total of $39.75 for his three arbitration years and then a total of $99.75 million for what would have been his first three free agent seasons.
Trout likely would have received far more through the arbitration process for his arbitration years going year by year, and while he gets a market rate ($33.25 million per) for the last three years of the deal, he defers free agency for three of what should be the most productive years of his career. If Trout stays healthy, this contract should be a terrific deal for the Angels, making up somewhat for the ill-considered long-term deals recently handed out to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.
Trout’s and his agents’ thinking in accepting the deal seems fairly obvious. It guarantees him an enormous sum of money very early in his major league career, and he’ll still become a free agent after his age 28 season, when he’ll still be young enough to get another huge contract if he develops as everyone hopes he will. The deal essentially eliminates the possibility of him becoming the next Grady Sizemore if he suffers major injuries (despite a brilliant start to his career, injuries starting in 2009 have limited Sizemore’s career earnings to date at a little under $30 million).
I definitely think there is a real possibility that Trout will begin to have injury problems in the next few seasons simply because he’s so big (6’2″ and 230 lbs already at age 22). Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see if that’s the case.