Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo Day

A common practice for assistant general managers this time of year is to get players with under three years of service time to sign their contracts for the upcoming season. These players have little to no negotiating rights, so normally, it’s just a formality when the player and agent are told the salary, unless your name happens to be Mike Trout, or so you would think.

The Angels renewed the contract of the American League MVP runner up, and 2012 Rookie of the Year, to a one year deal worth $510,000. That number happens to be just $20,000 over the league minimum, which didn’t sit good with agent Craig Landis:

“During the process, on behalf of Mike, I asked only that the Angels compensate Mike fairly for his historic 2012 season, given his service time. “In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract, and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process.”

Not good when you consider the fact that Trout and his representatives will, in the very near future, be negotiating a deal that, in the minds of many, should make Trout an “Angel for life”.

Just to compare, the LA Times looked at two other examples of what other star players received after winning Rookie of the Year honors. The Yankees gave Derek Jeter a $550,000 salary in 1996, his second season, after making $130,000 in 1995, while the Cardinals rewarded Albert Pujols a salary of $600,000 in 2002, up from $200,000 in 2001.

Trout posted a .326/.399/.564 line with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases in 139 games for the Angels in 2012. For the time being, he will have to live with this contract.

Comments (19)

  1. The entitlement is just staggering.

  2. I wonder if Landis asked to renegotiate the contracts of Ryan Dempster after his 2011 season; Jon Garland after 2007; Aaron Rowand after 2007…

  3. He deserves to be renewed at $25million

  4. I can’t blame the Angels. It’s far more likely that Trout had an outlier season that he’ll never again match than it is that he’ll keep it up or improve upon it steadily.

    • Trout probably won’t recreate 2012 again, but he’d probably get $20 million on a one-year contract if he was a free agent right now. $530 000 is what you play benchwarmers, not MVP candidates.

      The Angels weren’t obligated to pay Trout any more than they did, but it seems damn stupid to insult your best and youngest player. Bumping his pay up to $2 million would have increased their payroll by a mere 1%, and it would have shown Trout they appreciate and respect him. The Angels apparently have no problem opening their wallet to attract over-the-hill free agents, but they won’t spend an extra dime to keep homegrown talent happy.

      • Yeah, you’re probably right. Why slap the guy in the face?

        Or maybe they subscribe to the philosophy that players who still need to prove themselves for that big contract will produce and not get all comfy by being smothered in cash. Not that 800 thou to 1 mil is a ton for ball player.

        Or maybe they think they know something about Trout the rest of us don’t.

        In any case, no good reason to throw a pile of cash at a young player when you don’t have to.

  5. The Angels were never going to pay Trout what a free agent with his numbers would make (because they don’t have to), but I would have thought they’d renew him at, oh, a million or so at least. An extra $480,000 is a rounding error in Angelsland, and worth spending if it keeps Trout and his agent relatively happy.


  6. Landis sounds like a complete jerk. Nobody gets paid much of anything during the first three years of service unless they sign a long term deal to buy out arbitration or FA years (see Moore, Matt and longoria, Evan).

    Is it really worth poisoning trout’s relationship with management over a few 100k? He’s going to be earning far more than that in a few years time. if he wants more than the minimum in 2013, he needs to sign a multi year deal.

    Landis should stop his whining immediately. It makes trout sound like a giant crybaby.

    • Except the article provides two examples, Jeter and Pujols.

      On a open market his value would be staggering, but I doubt that’s what Trout at al were looking for. $800k to $1m would have engendered goodwill and increased the chances he sticks around after 2017.

      • why go public with this? All I see is a big burst of negative publicity and noise. Landis could quietly have communicated this to the angels rather than publicly whining about it. On twitter.

  7. Would a small increase now exponentially increase his potential arbitration numbers a few years down the road?

  8. the biggest issue in baseball right now is the players dont make enough.

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