Last week, the Los Angeles Angels agreed to give Mike Trout a $1 million salary for 2014, a record amount for a player with absolutely no leverage. This agreement was quite likely part of ongoing negotiations for a long-term deal that will keep Trout in Anaheim beyond the final four years the Angels control his rights.
According to various reports, it is quite likely that Trout will sign a new contract within the next month that will not only guarantee him his arbitration salaries in advance, but will also keep him in Southern California for three or four years where he would have otherwise been eligible for free agency.
The rumored price tag to keep Trout in Anaheim has ranged between $140 million and $170 million, which is certainly a life-changing amount of money. That kind of contract not only ensures his own financial security, but likely the financial future of several generations of Trout's still to come. It's the kind of guaranteed money that seems nearly impossible to turn down, because after all, after the first $100 million, who's really counting anyway?
But Mike Trout has already proven he can do things that no other human being on the planet can do. For his next spectacular accomplishment, he should walk away from the $150 million or so that few of us can imagine turning down. Even with life-changing money on the table, Trout should tell the Angels that he'd rather go year to year instead.