By: Joe Zollo
First, it was Manny Machado with a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres. Next, it was Bryce Harper signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies that does not include an opt-out. Now, arguably the best player in baseball gets an insurmountable contract extension.
The Anaheim Angels have given Center Fielder Mike Trout a 12-year contract extension worth roughly $430 million. Yes. You read that correctly. If that $430 million is the correct number being reported by multiple sources, Mike Trout's Average Annual Value (AAV) will be roughly $35.83 million.
This contract makes Trout the highest paid player in baseball and the highest paid player in all of the American sports by a pretty big margin. Seeing a nine-digit contract starting with the number four has never been seen before and it could only ever happen in baseball. The players in this sport are very much taking advantage of their ability to rack up large contracts with teams not having to worry about a salary cap. Just three players so far this offseason have a combined contract value of $1.06 billion.
Trout signs this contract at 27 years old and this will almost secure his stay in Anaheim for the entirety of his career. It is surprising to see the Angels shell out this amount of money again as they did this with Albert Pujols back in 2012 with a 10-year, $240 million contract and he has not exactly lived up to the entirety of his contract. Trout, however, I feel is different. He and Mookie Betts constantly compete as the best players in the Major Leagues and his ability both at the plate and in the field are some that will go down in the conversation for the best ever once his career comes to an end.
Speaking of Mookie, many speculate his contract extension could be huge after the news of Trout's extension. Could we possibly see the first $500+ million deal in American sports history? Only time will tell but one thing is for sure; Mookie Betts will soon be the highest paid player in baseball.