Mike Trout is going to get expensive, and it’s going to happen very soon.
Very soon isn’t 2013, however, not while the super-sophomore is still in his pre-arbitration years. The Los Angeles Angels are taking full advantage of the opportunity, assigning the 21-year old a $20,000 raise from his MLB minimum from 2012 to a grand total of $510,000.
That’s $20,000 coming off of a historic 10.0 fWAR rookie season that, converted to a dollar scale, would have made Trout worth a wee bit more in free agency – oh, by about $45 million or so.
If you think that sounds a little off, you’re not the only one thinks so. According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Trout’s camp isn’t happy with their client’s salary for this coming season, with agent Craig Landis saying that the $510,000 “falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract” for the Angels outfielder, and that it was “not the result of a negotiated compromise.”
Of course, it’s not as though the team has to so any such thing. Gonzalez says that the team had a group of 22 other players who “agreed” to their assigned salaries, while Trout’s “renewed” status was a result of the team not wanting to make an exception for the second-year player.
If that means Mark Trumbo is going to make $30,000 more than Trout this season, they were going to stick to the plan…as least, for now. It’s important to point out that while the league’s best player in 2012 may be a bit of a special case when it comes to on-field achievements, the Angels are doing nothing out of the ordinary here.
Sure, Landis is going to try to get the most money and the best deal for his client; after all, that’s his job. On the same note, it’s Angels GM Jerry Dipoto‘s job to make sure that the team’s economics are in check, and that they don’t go nuts on Trout’s salary before they have to.
In the end, it’s a minor squabble. The arbitration years are coming after 2014, and if Trout can put up anything close to what he did in his rookie year, the pay day is going to come.
His agent might be upset by $510,000 now, but he’ll get over it when the extra zeroes get added to a contract offer down the line.