Is Mike Trout Worth Nearly Half A Billion Dollars?
By all statistical measurements, Los Angeles Angels Centerfielder Mike Trout is arguably the best---or one fo the best baseball players to ever play the game.
And according to reports, the 27-year old is about to cement himself as the current "Highest Paid" player in the game as ESPN's Jeff Passan reports Trout is going to sign a 12-year, $430 million dollar contract extension which effectively will make him an Angel for life.
The deal would pay him almost $36 million a year over the 12-year period, higher than Zach Greinke's $34+ million a year deal with Arizona and is $100 million more than Philadelphia just paid Bryce Harper for 10-years. Yes, it's the largest contract in baseball history.
Which is great---good for him, milk it while you can.....
But is that amount of money really worth it?
Well, I guess it depends on who you ask. Trout, for all of his accolades: 2 American League MVP Awards, 7 Times an American League All Star and former AL Rookie of the year, he's still missing something all great players strive for.
The Angels have made the playoffs exactly one time in Trout's run with them. Yes, once. And that's your argument against without having to dredge up the team's penchant for bad long term deals.
Albert Pujols, 10-years, $240 million and little to no production. Josh Hamilton got 5-years and $125 million for essentially well, nothing.
Mind you, the point here is not to diminish Trout and his baseball skills. The guy is probably the best player most casual baseball fans on the East Coast have never heard of. He does everything well. Hits for average, hits home runs, steals bases and is pretty good in the field. He looks every bit the star athlete cut from central casting.
But he's never been able to carry a mediocre Angels franchise on his shoulders. Baseball is a game where its tough for one person to take an average team and make them great. Trout doesn't pitch. He can't play all 9 defensive positions. He only gets to hit 4 to 5 times a game.
That's my hangup with decade plus, gazillion dollar contracts for someone....anyone. I know the players have been complaining because so many teams are now analytics driven and hesitant to pay mondo dollars for someone on the downside of their careers. And yes, Trout's deal will take him through Age 39 where he likely will be a shadow of his current self.
But---by that time he stands a great chance of being statistically one of the, if not the all time greatest player to play the game.
The Angels were kind of forced to do something---so I do get why this happened. Trout's first "Real" contract was set to expire at the end of the 2020 season and Harper was already letting it be known he wanted his pal--who by the way is from New Jersey (very close to Philadelphia) on the same team.