Thursday, February 28, 2013
Timing of Trout extension talk
By Jason A. Churchill
Mike Trout just completed a ridiculously good rookie season. He's entering year two and will be paid right around the league minimum. The Los Angeles Angels can broach the subject of an extension at any time, but for now they may have the biggest bargain in baseball history.
Jeff Fletcher wrote Wednesday night that the Angels are wrestling with Trout's year 2 salary, which they control. Trout has no leverage, and won't until after the 2014 season when he becomes arbitration eligible. The team and Trout's agent are talking, but as far as we know it's just about the 2013 salary.
Fletcher notes that Trouts teammate, Albert Pujols, may be his agent's best piece of evidence. Like Trout, Pujols, as a rookie, finished high in the MVP voting (4th) while earning top rookie honors and received twice the league minimum for year 2. If the Angels followed suit with Trout he'd earn just under $1 million. The club can simply renew his contract, however, for as little as $490,000.
A long-term deal does not appear to be in the cards just yet, as neither club nor player appears to feel the timing is right. The Angels may prefer to see Trout through at least one more season so they aren't paying long term for one tremendous year. Trout's side isn't going to sign just to sign, and adding another year or two of MVP-caliber play can only improve his leverage once arbitration arrives.