Mama, let your boys grow up to be baseball players. Mike Trout on Friday signed a contract that will pay him more than the career earnings of LeBron James. It is half the length and nearly 50 percent higher than Sidney Crosby’s contract.
Mike Trout just walked away from, roughly, $100 million. By signing a contract that buys up his first three years of free agency, he might have left $100 million on the table.
And yet he signed one of the 20 or so biggest contracts in baseball history. A guy with 336 career games played. He’s probably going to be okay.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) March 29, 2014
Trout deal for $144.5M. Average annual value is nearly $24.1M. Makes Trout third #Angels player with AAV of at least $24M (Pujols, Trout).
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) March 29, 2014
Alden Gonzalez offers these crucial contract details at MLB.com:
The deal, which buys out Trout’s three arbitration years and his first three years of free agency, includes a full no-trade clause and no additional option years. Within the deal, Trout is guaranteed to be the highest-paid player with his service time every year.
Much like the deal the Tigers inked with Miguel Cabrera on Thursday, this was not “necessary” nor was it the best use of leverage. Waiting to earn even more in free agency was an option. So is being struck by a meteor.
Maybe it’s a matter of comfort or familiarity but Mike Trout and his family are more than happy to let their son become one of the richest athletes in America without worrying about how much more he could earn in a few more years.
Even with this deal, Trout will earn orders of magnitude more in six years. After his “Baby’s First Megadeal” contract expires, he gets to become a free agent at the ripe old age of 29. What kind of leverage will he have then?