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”.
Angels “renew” contract of Mike Trout, an indication there is a clear difference between how much team and agent believe player should earn.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 2, 2013
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.