The Los Angeles Angels have reached the point in the season where the future is the primary concern for them, rather than the present. This is a team that could see a shakeup in the front office and on the field, depending on whether or not ownership wants to really overhaul a team that has disappointed in back-to-back seasons.
The Angels had an opportunity to determine what they wanted to pay coming into the season, and elected to keep his salary in the six figure range, despite coming off of a season in which he finished second in the American League MVP voting and took home the AL Rookie of the Year award.
They’ll have the same opportunity again this winter, as Trout will not become arbitration eligible until 2015. With so much high priced talent currently locked into their roster, they’ll likely want to keep that low, which runs the risk of irritating their star outfielder before he even reaches arbitration.
And once he reaches arbitration, you’re going to be looking at one of the largest awards in the history of the game.
In the short term, the Trout contract questions have the potential to get ugly for the Halos. This is one of the best players in the game, but with so many awful contracts on their current roster, signing him to a long-term contract to buy out those arbitration years is easier said than done.
The biggest question is whether or not they could even afford to sign him long term with their club in the current financial state that it is. This will be a situation to keep an eye on as the winter nears. Locking him up through his arbitration years would be the right move, but whether or not the Angels are going to want to do that, or try and keep his salary down for another year, remains to be seen.