There might come a point in all our lives where Mike Trout Fatigue is a real thing. A world wherein there is no room for another Mike Trout blog post, extolling his virtues and vainly trying to place his 2012 season in a historical context.
We are not quite at that point yet. And I, for one, am quite alright with it. There isn’t enough Mike Trout detritus on this green rock to sate my thirst for Trout Knowledge.
You are well aware of Mike Trout’s exploits by now. The crazy raw numbers (20 homers, 36 steals in just over 400 plate appearances) and the crazy advanced numbers (7 Wins Above Replacement, give or take). Jonah Keri has a great rundown of the totality of Trout’s dominance, most of which occurring before his 21st birthday (which was yesterday.)
Meanwhile, Kevin Goldstein asks the million dollar question: how much is Mike Trout worth? Goldstein asks this incredibly complex question of numerous executives and GMs around the league, trying to gauge how the Angels might approach the subject of locking up Trout’s services long term.
With less than one year of service time, Mike Trout is still an Angel for some time to come. But Goldstein wonders what approach the Angels might take: lock him up forever with a NHL-style contract for ever and ever and ever, ensuring Trout plays for the Angels well into the next decade? Might they wait and see, allowing the lucrative arbitration rewards to roll in but getting some of the best years of Trout’s career at a relative discount?
The possibilities are endless. While both Goldstein and Keri argue this version of Mike Trout might not be the same Mike Trout we see for the next decade, the abundance and overwhelming nature of his physical tools don’t scream “pumpkin” to the untrained eye. Mike Trout’s swing is so short, quick, and clean that one wonders if he will ever slump.
But he will. He will go chasing for a while and run into trouble just like every other hitter in the history of the game. Slumps or otherwise, if the Angels don’t lock Trout up, he hits free agency as a five-tool outfielder at the ripe old age of 26. What would you pay to have Mike Trout on your team if you’re an owner at that point?
If you’re the Angels, can you let a kid who could develop into the best player in franchise history just walk at that point? You have to get something done at to keep him in red for longer than six years, don’t you? Count me of the same mind as an unnamed executive quoted in Goldstein’s great piece: what would I give Mike Trout? “Whatever he wants.” If I’m his agent, I settle for nothing less.