The best player in baseball is about to become the highest paid player in baseball, as Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are finalizing a new 12-year contract worth more than $340 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. This would be the largest contract in the history of professional sports.
If the details are indeed accurate, this contract will net Trout approximately $35.8 million per season over the next 12 years.
The two-time American League MVP, now entering his age 27 season with Los Angeles, has consistently been a five-tool phenom since his big league debut in 2011.
Since the start of his first full season in 2012, Trout leads all of baseball in fWAR (64.2) by a wide margin. He’s also finished top three in AL MVP voting in six of the last seven seasons, with the one exception coming in 2017 when he missed a significant amount of time due to a left thumb injury.
This past season, Trout slashed .312/.460/.628 with 39 home runs, 79 RBI, and 24 stolen bases over 140 games.
There was some speculation fueled by the Bryce Harper signing that the Philadelphia Phillies were going to be in on Trout when he was supposed to hit free agency following the 2020 season. But, the New Jersey native ultimately decided to remain with the organization he has seemingly grown up with, at least for the forseeable future anyway.
Now that names such as Trout, Harper, Nolan Arenado, and Manny Machado have all gotten their record paydays, all eyes turn to the Red Sox’ own Mookie Betts, who like Trout before Tuesday, is set to hit free agency in 2020.
The 2018 AL MVP has gone on record this spring indicating that he’s in no rush to sign an extension before hitting the open market.
“Contracts and those type of things are kind of tough to do, especially with the market and how those things kind of roll,” Betts said back in February. “But I will say I love my teammates and my coaches and everybody who’s around and have a great deal of respect for the front office. We’ll just leave it at that.”
With Trout now set to earn more than $35 million per season when his new contract begins, one would have to guess that Betts probably will be seeking a deal with an AAV in that range as well.
Higher-ups in the Red Sox organization like John Henry, Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy, and Dave Dombrowski have made it clear that they would like Betts to remain with the club past 2020, but that all depends on the player’s willingness to sign an extension.
If you were Mookie Betts, would you rather take the money and security now on a lucrative long-term deal, or wait until you reach free agency and test the waters then?
Betts, exactly 10 months younger than Trout, slashed .346/.438/.640 with 32 home runs, 80 runs driven in, and 30 stolen bases in 136 games played this past season on his way to his first MVP award.
In January, the two sides, that being Betts and the Red Sox, reached an agreement on a record-setting one-year, $20 million deal for the Tennessee native’s second year of arbitration eligibility.