On Tuesday, Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a 12-year, $430M extension. Will Trout ever lead the Angels to a World Series.
Mike Trout‘s reported extension with the Los Angeles Angels is the most Mike Trout thing ever. Stuffed away in Los Angeles’ 2nd best team, baseball’s best player will be able to remain relatively anonymous among the game’s biggest stars for the foreseeable future.
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By the same token, in a fair world, Trout got exactly what he deserved in that $430M. He gets the recognition, at least monetarily, that he is the best player in baseball… by a mile.
In fact, the second largest contract in baseball history, Bryce Harper‘s 13-year, $330M deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, is $100M less than what Trout got. Why? Well because Trout is at the very least $100M better than Harper is statistically.
If we compare both players since 2012, Harper’s first MLB season, Trout demolishes Harper in every statistical measure, traditional and advanced. Don’t believe me? Here’s a snapshot:
- Trout: .310 AVG | .420 OBP | .579 SLG | .420 wOBA | 174 wRC+ | 64.2 fWAR
- Harper: .279 AVG | .388 OBP | .512 SLG | .382 wOBA | 140 wRC+ | 30.5 fWAR
At the same time, however, Bryce Harper is baseball’s most recognizable figure. So much so that in ESPN’s “World Fame 100,” a list of the top 100 athletes based on google searches, Harper is the only MLB player that appears on the list. He was ranked 98th.
The worst thing about this deal for Trout is that his chances of obtaining a World title just got harder. For the next three seasons, Trout and Albert Pujols are guaranteed close to $65M in salary from the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols, who’s suffering one of the worst declines in recent memory, probably won’t contribute to a title in the next three seasons. Then, after he’s gone, Trout will probably be at the end of his prime, providing the Angels with a short window to try to get the best player in baseball his ring.
At the end of the day, however, this is a business and Mike Trout is its prime commodity. The Angels had to do right by Trout.
On the other hand, Trout didn’t have to return the favor. This is the classic case of “one step forward, three steps back.”