With Mike Trout's long-term extension with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim imminent, the parties agreed to a one-year contract Wednesday.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported the news:
Shaikin shared more details on the one-year deal:
Trout's $1 million salary is largest for a pre-arbitration player on one-year deal. Previous record: Ryan Howard, $900,000. #Angels— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 26, 2014
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto discussed the deal via Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com and Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register:
Dipoto on Trout: "It's a landmark, to do a $1M deal with a two-plus player. It's fitting. Mike's eanred that. We're glad to provide it."— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 26, 2014
Dipoto: "There are performances that force you to break a rule. What Mike did for two consecutive years forced us to break a rule." #Angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) February 26, 2014
In case you were wondering why Trout signed such a meager deal after a six-year, $150 million extension reportedly was being discussed (according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports), Gonzalez explains:
The Angels don't want the average annual value of Trout's potential new extension—still under negotiation—to affect their Collective Balance Tax (CBT) payroll until the 2015 season, which would keep the club from blowing past the $189 million luxury-tax threshold this year. But the Angels recently confirmed with Major League Baseball that they don't have to wait until after Opening Day to sign Trout for that to be the case.
As soon as Trout's compensation for 2014 is finalized, his average annual value on a long-term deal won't count against the CBT payroll until the following season.
In essence, the Angels signed Trout to this one-year deal for luxury-tax purposes. But you can be certain that an extension will soon follow.
In fact, something might already be done, as Matthew Pouliot of Rotoworld speculates:
That the Angels are giving Trout $1 mil, instead of their typical service time adjustment, could be a sign that something is already done.— Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot) February 26, 2014
Trout has absolutely taken MLB by storm in his first two-plus seasons. Just 22 years old, he's been the runner-up in the MVP race to Miguel Cabrera two years in a row and has led the American League in the WAR stat in both 2012 and 2013.
His numbers have been nothing short of amazing. He won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2012, hitting .326 with 30 home runs, 83 runs batted in, 129 runs and 49 stolen bases. For an encore, he hit .323 with 27 homers, 97 RBI, 109 runs and 33 stolen bases last year.
Of course, any possible deal isn't distracting Trout. On Monday, he didn't even allow a single question to be posed by the media before he said the following, via ESPN.com: "I know what you guys are going to ask. I'm here to get ready for the season. I don't want to comment on the contract negotiations and stuff. I'm here to just get ready to prepare myself for the upcoming season."
The possible six-year extension may actually work out well for both the Angels and Trout. While many believe they would want to lock him up for at least eight years, only signing him for six further seasons is insurance if he never reaches his projected legendary status.
On the other hand, the benefit for Trout is that if he continues to be arguably the game's best player, he'll be a free agent at the age of 28 and will likely earn the largest contract in MLB history.
For now, he has only inked a one-year deal. But that news will be followed by an extension for Trout shortly enough.