There was a potentially big story in baseball over the weekend, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim renewed the contract of Mike Trout. Last year’s American League Rookie of the Year, and the player deserving of AL MVP, will take home just over $500k with his new deal.
Some took that as a slap in the face to Trout, after what he did for the Halos last year. There was also a potential firestorm brewing, as the agent pointed out that the amount was well below what was considered to be respectable, in addition to the fact that Trout was already irked by his move to left field.
Mike Trout had one of the greatest rookie seasons in the history of professional sports in 2013. He finished with a slash line of .326/.399/.564/.963, 30 home runs, and 49 stolen bases in just 139 games. Simply absurd numbers.
Don’t numbers like that indicate that a guy is worth a little more than $510,000? Absolutely. In fact, it would show that he’s actually worth a lot more than that. But the Angels aren’t obligated to pay him too much above the league minimum as a guy with one year of service time. And Trout knows that. Even if his agent doesn’t.
After the comments from his agent, Trout was pretty quick to diffuse the situation. He explained that he was happy just to be in the lineup. That doesn’t mean that he thinks he’s worth that little amount of money or that he agrees with the transition to left field. He probably disagrees with both.
But Trout was smart to put this behind him quickly. He’ll be back in center field at some point in the future. For right now, his spot is in left so the Angels can get the glove of Peter Bourjos in center. And this may be the last time we’ll see his salary this low. Trout is going to make a pretty penny over the course of his career.
This is a story that had the potential to blow up, and blow back negatively on Trout. Good on him for defusing the situation quickly, and with class.