One of the big stories of spring training has been Mike Trout's long-term contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Angels. The 22-year-old agreed to a deal Wednesday, but it was not the multiyear deal many fans were hoping for.
Instead, Trout agreed to a $1 million salary for 2014. Under the collective bargaining agreement, that's roughly twice as much as the Angels are required to pay him, so it's certainly a fair deal given the circumstances, and shows some good faith on the part of the club, which was criticized last year for not giving Trout a big enough raise.
In fact, the $1 million is largest one-year salary given to a pre-arbitration player, and that sends a great message to Trout. Sources tell me that a long-term deal is still being discussed, and I think it will done by the end of April. Here is how I expect it to play out.
The Angels really want to stay under the luxury tax, so by setting Trout's 2014 salary now, his long-term deal won't count against the tax until 2015, which is big for them.