When you have the best player in baseball, maybe the best player in baseball history, and he’s on your team as a 27-year-old, you have to keep him. You just have to. You can’t be the GM that let Mike Trout walk out the door. And apparently, the Angels agreed. If you missed it this morning, here’s the bombshell:
BREAKING: Star center fielder Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are finalizing a record-breaking 12-year contract worth more than $430 million, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Details: https://t.co/bROnnC11Uh— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 19, 2019
Good morning! Trout now becomes the highest paid player in baseball history, as he should be, and the Angels lock up their franchise superstar for the rest of his career. This is a good day for baseball.
We talk about Trout so much that, it sometimes feels like too much. But then you look at exactly what he’s done, the numbers he’s put up, and realize, we don’t talk about him enough. This is Mike Trout vs the rest baseball since his first full season in 2012:
Look at this leaderboard. I tweeted this out earlier this morning, but the gap between Trout and number 2 is the same gap between number 2 and number 21. He hasn’t just been the best player in baseball, he’s been so far and away the best player in baseball that it borders on laughable. He’s a 27-year-old Hall of Famer.
And as crazy as it sounds given the prices we’re talking about, Mike Trout is still underpaid. He just signed a $430 million team-friendly deal. And if you don’t believe me, consider this:
Last 3 years
Mike Trout - 29.3 WAR
Harper and Machado combined - 26.3 WAR
Mike Trout has been better than Bryce Harper and Manny Machado combined the last 3 years and is projected to better than both going forward. Harper and Machado signed for an AAV (average annual value) of $55M. Trout’s AAV is around $36M. I know it’s counter intuitive to think this way when a guy signs for $430 million but the Angels got a STEAL. Imagine if a team had signed both Harper and Machado this winter and did so for only $36M AAV? Or for $430M total? They would’ve immediately handed that GM executive of the year.
But that’s what Mike Trout is. He’s Bryce Harper and Manny Machado combined. A little better actually. That extension announced today could’ve started with 5 instead of 4. It could’ve started with a 6 or a 7. Or higher. And he would have been worth it.
$430 million is life changing money given to the best player in baseball and I couldn’t be happier for him. He is our generation’s Michael Jordan and deserved get paid. But, because of how truly incredible he is at baseball, it’s also bargain.