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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Source: Angels, Mike Trout talking monster extension

Supposedly the Angels are haggling for 6 years, low $140-million range, and Trout wants a little more.

If I were the Angels I would stop haggling immediately, agree to whatever Trout wants and throw in a new car, and then send the entire organization on a celebratory trip to Bermuda for a week.

it is likely to end up with an average annual value of around $25 million a year, which would smash records for a player with just two-plus years of service time.

Tuque Posted: February 23, 2014 at 04:25 PM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, contract extensions, contracts, mike trout

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   1. McCoy Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4661202)
Supposedly the Angels are haggling for 6 years, low $140-million range, and Trout wants a little more.

If I were the Angels I would stop haggling immediately, agree to whatever Trout wants and throw in a new car, and then send the entire organization on a celebratory trip to Bermuda for a week.


Why? 6 years is what, 2 FA years for him? Why tie up 140 million dollars on a guy over 2 FA years?
   2. base ball chick Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4661207)
yeah, pay him year by year, go to arb every year, let him walk because he's easily replaceable

makes sense
   3. bfan Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4661208)
so many teams and players guessing the market 6 years from now and cutting these longer deals are kind of making the market, 6 years from now.
   4. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4661210)
If I were Mike Trout it would take a lot more than 6/150 to sign me.
   5. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4661211)
If I were the Angels, I'd try to get another FA year (or two) out of this extension. Maybe 8 years/$190 million?

Regardless, locking up two FA years for Trout is huge, but 3 or 4 would be better. He's going to be a YOUNG Free Agent!
   6. McCoy Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:02 PM (#4661213)
You're locking up those 2 FA agents at the cost of 150 million dollars. What is he going to make over the next 4 years without a long term contract? 50 million? You're basically giving the guy 50 million dollars a year for his 2 FA years that are 5 years away. You might as well wait a year or two if you feel like doing that.
   7. GregD Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4661214)
What is a reasonable guess at his pre-FA years in arbitration?
   8. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4661221)
My first gut feeling was that Trout should play it out until free agency. However, if he can sign a deal like this and keep playing at an MVP-type level, then he would make $150M through the age of 27 and still be in line for an asinine free agent contract at the age of 28.
   9. Greg K Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4661222)
What is a reasonable guess at his pre-FA years in arbitration?

What's the record for highest arbitration awards at each step along the way? My guess is a bit more than that.
   10. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4661223)
What is a reasonable guess at his pre-FA years in arbitration?


I have no idea, but I would expect him to blow away the previous arb records.

EDIT: Coke to Greg K.
   11. JJ1986 Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4661225)
I'd guess Trout would get at least $80 million over the 4 arb years. And each of his FA years should be worth at least $30 million.

Checking the two players I know who were well paid, Ryan Howard got $64 million for his 4 years and Tim Lincecum got $63 million, although each signed contracts at some point that took them up to the point where they would gain free agency.
   12. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4661231)
if I were mike trout I would tell the angels that every day they delay in signing me to a contract beyond the dreams of avarice the price goes up and in the meantime I would play like mike trout

   13. Darren Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4661232)
The recent talk of Trout getting 9/$250M had me thinking that if I were the Angels, I'd want to make Trout try to say 'no' to $150m with FA years valued at $30M+ a year, more than any other player has made. Now, I thought that would mean something like $50-60M for the next 4 years and $90-100M for the 3 years after that. 6/$140m is not too far off of that but it looks like it values the FA years at close to $40M. Pretty high but a pretty short deal.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4661233)
Trout has only 3 arb years, not 4. His service time is 2.070, no way he'll make super 2. Howard and Lincecum were both super-2s.

Trout will get special treatment ... but even if his arb years are priced at 15/20/25 that still leaves 2/$80 for the 2 FA years. This is not a bargain for the Angels if these numbers are correct.

8/180 I could believe. Or 6/120 maybe.

Just cuz it's not a great deal doesn't necessarily mean you don't do it for baseball and fan popularity reasons.
   15. McCoy Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4661234)
According to the article the Angels would be giving him 77 million dollars for his pre-FA years. Personally I'd ask for at least another FA year on this deal or else be content with the 6 years of service and work on a 8 to 10 year contract during his years 4 through 6 seasons.

If you're willing to basically spend 45 million dollars a year for his two FA years why not wait two more seasons and buy out 2 more of his FA years for 50 odd million dollars?
   16. Sonic Youk Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4661238)
They can always rip up this contract and give him a truly huge deal 3 or 4 years from now. Moving his FA back any amount seems like the best idea at this point.
   17. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4661239)
11 years, $300 million. That'd be my opening offer. I'd move heaven and earth to keep that guy in an Angel uniform.
   18. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4661242)
Yeah, I don't see "monster" in the stated deal from TFE. Yous guys are talking closer to monster numbers. When I hear "monster" I think of the kind of deal that Soriano's was considered to be back when he signed with the Cubs: a lot for an eternity. Only in Trout's case you can rewind his age by about 10 years. Which is nice.
   19. billyshears Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4661252)
The human body is very breakable and that first $100 million matters a whole lot more than the next $200 million. For a player of Trout's age and service time, giving up two FA years is nothing. If this deal is on the table, Trout should jump on it. Honestly, the Angels should make this hurt a whole lot more. Trout hasn't made any real money yet - the Angels should put 10 years at $225 mil on the table and see if he has the stones to walk away from that.
   20. GregD Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4661253)
Or 12/276 and see if he turns away the biggest deal in baseball history.
   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4661269)
11 years, $300 million. That'd be my opening offer. I'd move heaven and earth to keep that guy in an Angel uniform.


The Angels don't really have a choice. If this guy is gone before his 28th birthday, the fans will riot. Of course the biggest issue is that you've just signed Pinson or Cedeno. Very good players with nice careers, but not on the Mays level of production you are hoping to get close to.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:00 AM (#4661279)
11 years, $300 million.

But if we're already at 6/$140, 11/$300 is an insult! :-)

Trout is obviously an outlier among outliers, we really haven't seen anything like this since AROD. So I'm loathe to speculate based on recent history but ...

FA year buyouts do tend to be "capped" at whatever the highest salary is at the moment, give or take. For example Votto's buyout has him earning 20-25 M over those years, basically what Fielder, AGon, Tex, etc. got. Braun's second extension averages $21. Kemp's was for $20. Of course Pujols and now Kershaw have set the mark at $30-33.

So it would be unusual for the Angels to buy out Trout's FA years at anything like $40 per, especially given they are taking the risk of injury. I can certainly see those years going at an average of $32 each, maybe even $35 each.

But he is a unique talent so I won't rule out $40. ARod's contract was a good 25-33% higher than anybody else's.
   23. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:01 AM (#4661280)
According to DiGiovanna, the Angels prefer that Trout sign an eight-year extension.
   24. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:10 AM (#4661284)
11 years, $300 million. That'd be my opening offer. I'd move heaven and earth to keep that guy in an Angel uniform.


That would be a really dumb contract for both parties. Angels deserve a substantial discount for injury/decline risk and Trout doesn't want to push his free agency to age 33 and miss his opportunity at biggest deal ever.

I think a reasonable deal is 6 years $120M, $20m a year for his arb years and $30m a year for 2 free agency years, spread over this year which otherwise is a minimum wage year. Gives Trout a huge amount of security against injury and other risks without killing Angels of he's knifed by a hooker. Also gives Trout opportunity to hit free agency in his prime, and Angels 6 years to find a way to lock him up long term.
   25. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4661285)
According to DiGiovanna, the Angels prefer that Trout sign an eight-year extension.


That may be the longest possible that works for Trout, he'd be a free agent before his age 30 season, IIRC.
   26. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:14 AM (#4661286)
I'd guess Trout would get at least $80 million over the 4 arb years. And each of his FA years should be worth at least $30 million.


Waaaaaaaay more than that. Trout's FA years are going to be worth at least $40 million each, probably $50 million-plus each. If he put up 9 WAR a year for the next four years and then went free agent at 26, he would be getting a contract to blow away all contracts, something like 15 years, $550 million. If Scott Boras got his hands on Trout he would ask for a $1 billion contract with a straight face.

If I were Trout's agent I would absolutely refuse to sign away a free agent year, period. If the Angels want to do a 4-year deal to give them cost certainty over the arb years, I'm all ears. Fifth year, no way in hell.
   27. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:22 AM (#4661291)
I don't see the use of an extension for the Angels if they're going to pay him market rates. Assuming the Angels think rates for the best player in the game in 2018 will be 35-40M, I'd offer 9/240: 15M 2014, 25M 2015-2017, 30M 2018-2022. And no player buyouts.

Guaranteed money. And 15M is a hell of a lot more than the 500K or so he's getting in 2014.
   28. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4661292)
Gives Trout a huge amount of security against injury and other risks without killing Angels of he's knifed by a hooker.

The kind of high-end hookers that a guy like Trout could afford aren't so stupid as to knife their rich clientele. It's bad for business.
   29. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4661294)
If I were Trout's agent I would absolutely refuse to sign away a free agent year, period.


If I were the Angels, I wouldn't consider an extension without FA years. Might as well just go year-by-year for the next four years and let Trout hope he doesn't blow out a knee.
   30. McCoy Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:29 AM (#4661295)
The Angels don't really have a choice. If this guy is gone before his 28th birthday, the fans will riot.

They'll get over it. The idea that ownership has to destroy their franchise for years to come or put themselves in a financial hole for years to come to appease the fickle fan base is nonsense.

The Seattle Mariners lost Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr, and Alex Rodriguez. There was no rioting there was no boycotting of the games. The fans didn't stay away in droves.

You give the fans a winning product and they'll come out regardless of who is wearing the laundry.
   31. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:31 AM (#4661297)
They'll get over it.


And they'll have the memory of the Albert Pujols contract fresh in their minds.
   32. McCoy Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:41 AM (#4661300)
Hell, they'll have his corpse still on the roster making 27 million a year. If the rumors about this contract are true and Trout signs it that means that in 2017 the Angels are going to be giving 88.4 million dollars to 3 players. 88.4! By comparison 2016 looks like a deal where they'll only be paying 7 players 135 million dollars.
   33. bobm Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:55 AM (#4661303)
What a difference a year makes ...

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/angels_renew_mike_trouts_contract_for_510000_agent_stunned#4379685

73. bobm Posted: March 03, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4379685) [...]

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Trout’s salary was based on an objective scale the club uses to pay players with less than three years of service time. That scale is weighted heavily on service time, rather than performance.

“Craig and Mike have a right to their opinion and we don’t begrudge them their feelings,” Dipoto said. “We love Mike. Mike’s a big part of what we’re doing here, obviously, now and hopefully for many years to come. But we’re operating within the parameters of the (Collective Bargaining Agreement) as it’s been set up. It’s a system that rewards service time in the 0 to 3 years class, and we’ve opted to operate within those parameters.”


   34. Walt Davis Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:52 AM (#4661316)
Ya gotta admit: HOOKER GUTS TROUT would be a great headline.

If he put up 9 WAR a year for the next 4 years

Then he will have set the all-time record for WAR ages 20-25. 10 more WAR than ARod, 5 more than Mantle and even if we're generous with the missed time, at least 5 more than Mays. Were I the Angels, I would not negotiate a contract under that assumption nor would I negotiate under the assumption that he will keep it up for 12-20 more years.

Yes, it's quite clear that, if Trout hits FA after 2017, his contract will be mind-boggling, barring financial stagnation in baseball or injury. The question is how much discount do the Angels get for guaranteeing all that money upfront. All I'm saying is that, historically, buyouts are not priced along the lines of "OMG, imagine how much he'll get if he becomes an FA" but rather "OK, we'll guarantee to pay you about as much as the top-paid players are getting right now."

And as luck would have it, the ARod contract was ill-timed. Manny, Sosa, Delgado, Giambi were signing big money contracts so the notion that $25 M for a top FA in 2005-6 would be standard was not unreasonable. Instead in the wake of 9/11 and other things, baseball revenues stagnated and you had Vlad, Delgado (with Fla) and Thome signing for substantially less than before. Remember the Rangers "had" to throw money into the ARod trade so the Yanks were only paying about $16 M per. Cot's still lists ARod's first contract as the 2nd most expensive in history (total $) and I think the only contracts that have topped it in AAV are ARod's 2nd contract, Kershaw and maybe some of those odd Clemens contracts.

Nobody is looking to bust the $40 M barrier. Nobody is looking to pay any player what they are worth in their prime -- Trout's seasons might be worth $60-70 throughout his prime but nobody's gonna pay him that in a season. They will pay him $30 M less than what he's worth in the short term and $30 M more than he's worth 15-20 years from now, if he becomes an FA.

(Note they list Pujols at 10/$240. I thought it had escalators to 10/$300 but looks like only to 10/$260 including the personal services contract.)

   35. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4661329)
Then he will have set the all-time record for WAR ages 20-25. 10 more WAR than ARod, 5 more than Mantle and even if we're generous with the missed time, at least 5 more than Mays.


He's already set the record for WAR ages 20-21. I don't think this is an outlandish assumption. Drop him to 8 WAR a year the next four; nothing in my last post will change. If he regresses to being merely an MVP candidate, rather than one of the greatest players in the history of the game, then he won't be getting a $500 million contract, on this we agree. But for Trout the potential reward if he DOES maintain his value is SO astronomical that it's worth swallowing a little risk (of career altering injury) for, as a position player.

I don't see the use of an extension for the Angels if they're going to pay him market rates.


I agree, but $35 million a year for Trout's age 27/28 seasons would be nowhere close to market rates. As Walt says, were he to hit the market at that age he'd get a contract averaging something like $30-35 million a year over 15 years (at least) to stretch out the financial hit, but the actual market value of Trout's age 27/28 seasons is likely to be more like $60 million each. It's well and good that the Angels would like his age 29 and 30 seasons too, but in the end if Trout's willing to give you those two years at $35 million per, you'd be crazy not to take them.
   36. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4661339)
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4661365)
He's already set the record for WAR ages 20-21. I don't think this is an outlandish assumption. Drop him to 8 WAR a year the next four; nothing in my last post will change.

It's really, really hard to post 8 WAR. The assumption should be against anyone doing it, year-in and year-out.
   38. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4661373)
Does anybody think - especially given the continued explosion upward of local TV deals - that Mike Trout is not going to earn (in 2014 dollars) north of $35 million a year as a free agent?

Pick anybody in history you want at ages 20 and 21, anybody. Consider the defense at a premium position. Consider the ridiculous stolen base numbers and rates (82 out of 94 in two years?). Consider the power. Consider that he goes from 67/139 BB/K ratio at age 20 to...110/136 the next year! Consider that you have received these two seasons, combined for under a million dollars. Then add the easy going manner, good looks, and catchy name...

Cesar Cedeno? He's better than Cedeno was at the same age. "But he might only be Vada Pinson, or Al Kaline, or Orlando Cepeda!" Well, two of those guys are Hall of Famers...and Trout has been better his last two years than any of those guys were over the same age. He's better than Griffey was at the same age, or Frank Robinson.

As far as I'm concerned, the Angels used the 25th pick of the 1st round of the 2009 draft to get Mickey Mantle. If you think you have Mickey Mantle, you do three things:

1) Make your entire marketing campaign around him;
2) Keep him away from outfield sprinkler heads and the wrong kind of people;
3) Pay him whatever it takes to buy out as many free agent years as possible.

I bet his agent would agree to an eight year deal. That's fine. Eight years, $180 million, see what happens. Then I would throw the carrot out to get two more years: 10 years, $250 million. See what they say.
   39. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4661419)
Then I would throw the carrot out to get two more years: 10 years, $250 million. See what they say.


I'm not sure they'd say anything intelligible amid the hysterical laughter.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4661478)
Can Trout buy insurance on himself?

If he can, his bet bet is probably to borrow money from his agent to buy a $30M policy to cover career ending/altering injury, and just go to arb.
   41. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4661515)
It's my understanding that insuring player contracts is much more expensive nowadays, enough insurance companies have been burned. Also, I think insurance would be more expensive purchased by Trout than the team, insurers are at the worst end of an informational asymmetry and know it. When the team wants insurance, the insurer has to worry the team knows something important about the players physical condition, mental condition, motivation and/or personal habits that they won't. So when the player is a serious risk the team will be happy to pay stiff premiums for insurance, but if he's clean they'll forgo, essentially self insuring. That kind of self selection works against using population studies because of the inherent bias. And when the player themselves want to pay for the insurance, the insurer should worry twice as much.

So I'm thinking insurance will veto costly except for insuring the last dollars, ie picking up some or all of Trouts paycheck after missing a full year and is still not being able, the kind of worst case scenarios.

And Trout needs to be careful who he buys insurance from. For a one time premium of $5M I will happily insure every year of his entire career at $30M per year, but good luck getting me to pay off if he needs it, that money will be gone within a few months unless I die of a cocaine overdose first. AAA quality insurers will charge highest prices, but he won't have to worry about their prostitute & drug habits.
   42. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4661518)
As far as I'm concerned, the Angels used the 25th pick of the 1st round of the 2009 draft to get Mickey Mantle. If you think you have Mickey Mantle, you do three things:

1) Make your entire marketing campaign around him;
2) Keep him away from outfield sprinkler heads and the wrong kind of people;
3) Pay him whatever it takes to buy out as many free agent years as possible.
Pretty much. That's why you've got to throw out the idea of any hometown discount. That Trout is wearing an Angel uniform is the only thing the Angels can partially control here, so they need to throw out all the cash they can print at the guy. He's worth it, it's as simple as that.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4661521)
Pretty much. That's why you've got to throw out the idea of any hometown discount. That Trout is wearing an Angel uniform is the only thing the Angels can partially control here, so they need to throw out all the cash they can print at the guy. He's worth it, it's as simple as that.

If there's no discount, then just wait until FA, and outbid everybody then. The Angels have to get some kind of discount for taking all that risk off Trout's hands.
   44. Squash Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4661529)
Eight years, $180 million, see what happens. Then I would throw the carrot out to get two more years: 10 years, $250 million. See what they say.

I bet they would pretty swiftly say no to both of those proposals. Trout isn't going to sell more than year or two of free agency unless he gets major money. The risk of major injury for a position player that prevents him from taking the field again just isn't that great. Trout is going to make a ton of money pretty much whatever happens. If he was a pitcher, different story.
   45. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4661537)
I bet his agent would agree to an eight year deal. That's fine. Eight years, $180 million, see what happens. Then I would throw the carrot out to get two more years: 10 years, $250 million. See what they say.


Trout has been worth close to $60M a year his first two years. Why would Trout and his agent want to lock up less than half of that rate so he can't enter free agency till his decline years?

Lets look at where is prime value lies (note I'll use present day value of WAR at roughly $5.5M each for simplicity, but it's expected to go up so the actual contract values would be proportionately higher). Let's assume Mike is worth $60M a year during his twenties and declines $6M a year in his 30s. That makes his 20s worth $600M, and his thirties $300M. If you sign him before his age 32 season he's got $196M in value left on an 8 year deal.

But if he signs a deal that ends just before his age 28 season, he has $384M in value over the next ten years and $420M over next 12 years.

Again this is present day WAR and a guess on his WAR, plunk in more accurate numbers and conclusions should be the same. To get the highest total contract value and highest AAV, he wants to go into free agency as soon as possible. He will likely get at least $60M in arbitration, he should be willing to trade some cheap years to secure his first $100M, but he shouldn't be willing to give up all of his prime years unless the Angels make a reasonable offer (10 years $300M minimum). Your 8 year deal has Trout selling 5 years worth at least $175M in free agency for $120M, but worse than him giving up $55M+ on the free agency years included in that deal, is it also means losing $100M+ on his next contract.

The Angels gave Pujols over $200M for his decline decade. The prime decade of a more valuable player should be worth nearly double that.
   46. DL from MN Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4661576)
I think 8 years would have to be at least $210M since 6 years was already floated at $140M.
   47. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4661600)
Based on the arguments made in the last four five comments, I am quickly realizing that a 10 yr/$250 million contract probably isn't getting it done, which leads to this question: Is any contract going to make sense for Trout to take? There are two factors you need to know in order to begin answering that question:

1) How risk-averse is Mike Trout, and/or the people around Mike Trout?
2) Regardless of the answer to Question #1...How much money does Mike Trout need to lock in over the next 10-15 years to feel like the marginal value of the next N million dollars is really low?

What probably frustrates most "normal" people watching athletes debate $50m vs $58m or whatever is that it would take numbers far lower than this to fundamentally change their own lives, and assure them, their loved ones, and their next several generations of loved ones a level of comfort and security that is - for most of us - at the top of our lifetime priority list.

If Mike Trout "holds out", and plays it year-to-year, maybe he gets $400m over the next 12 years, instead of $300m. Maybe. Or, maybe he gets hit in the face by a pitch next week. Or maybe he suffers a hip problem, like Bo Jackson, or macular degeneration, or whatever. If you knew you could lock in $200 million for your age 22-31 years, and then quite possibly have a chance to lock in another $200 million after that...what would you be waiting for? It's a world I (and most others) cannot imagine.
   48. The Good Face Posted: February 24, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4661613)
If Mike Trout "holds out", and plays it year-to-year, maybe he gets $400m over the next 12 years, instead of $300m. Maybe. Or, maybe he gets hit in the face by a pitch next week. Or maybe he suffers a hip problem, like Bo Jackson, or macular degeneration, or whatever. If you knew you could lock in $200 million for your age 22-31 years, and then quite possibly have a chance to lock in another $200 million after that...what would you be waiting for? It's a world I (and most others) cannot imagine.


I dunno, think of it as leaving $100M+ on the table in exchange for mitigating a very small risk (catastrophic injury). And considering how good Trout is, even a material diminution of his talent wouldn't kill his ability to get paid. A 6 WAR/season Trout is still going to get a vast pile of money. Also, regardless of the sums involved, hardly anyone likes to feel like the guy on the other side of the table is taking advantage of you/not giving you the respect you believe is due.
   49. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4661631)
Trout has been worth close to $60M a year his first two years.


There is no REAL economic world where Mike Trout is worth $60M. In the real economic world, the best pitcher in baseball just signed a contract worth approx $30M AAV. I love me some Mike Trout, but he's not worth double Clayton Kershaw.

Using WAR as a guide to figure financial worth falls short if it doesn't take the current economic structure into account. Baseball salaries aren't going to double in the next 10 years, I don't care how good the TV contracts are.
   50. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4661648)
If Mike Trout "holds out", and plays it year-to-year, maybe he gets $400m over the next 12 years, instead of $300m. Maybe. Or, maybe he gets hit in the face by a pitch next week.


Gotta admit it's more fun as a fan when players don't sign, though. Kind of like Billy Crystal's character in The Neverending Story, rooting for the knights to try to make it past the laser-eyed sphinx things with the huge breasts. You know they probably won't make it, but they might, and that's why it's interesting. Works the other way, too, for contracts like the Pujols FA deal, but it's less fun to ask yourself "will xyz get their money's worth".

Anyway, Moreno should give Trout a copy of The Black Swan, and then invite Juan Encarnacion to sit at the negotiating table and stare at him.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4661650)
That's not Billy Crystal!
   52. Walt Davis Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4661651)
Eight years, $180 million

This inadvertently makes my "point." (also made advertently in #49 and pointed out by #40)

They're already at 6/$140 and Trout's side wants more with the difference in "the low 8 figures." (I love that phrase.) They are already pricing his FA years at $30, maybe $35 M. So, yeah, 8 years costs at least $200, maybe $220.

Anyway, the AAV of his FA years will be higher than Kershaw, it's just a question of how much higher. Anyway, other teams are not going to be happy with the Angels at the end of this, even though they'd have done the same thing. We seem to be talking about 3 arb years that top out at $25 M at least, maybe more. That's paying a guy in 3rd year of arb as much as the highest-paid player in the game (except Kershaw) and, no matter how special he is, that's not a good precedent from the owners' perspective. Howard and Lincecum were bad enough.

And even after you've done that, you might be talking $40 M for his FA years, 25% more than Kershaw who is already about 25% higher than the next-highest (non-ARod) contracts.

Jury's still out on Trout's defense by the way. Rfield had him distinctly below average CF last year. The +21 the year before gets a lot from a few stolen HR which are likely just random events. Of course he makes up for it a few other ways. :-)
   53. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4661652)
There is no REAL economic world where Mike Trout is worth $60M. In the real economic world, the best pitcher in baseball just signed a contract worth approx $30M AAV. I love me some Mike Trout, but he's not worth double Clayton Kershaw.

Using WAR as a guide to figure financial worth falls short if it doesn't take the current economic structure into account. Baseball salaries aren't going to double in the next 10 years, I don't care how good the TV contracts are.


What you are failing to take into account is the difference between how valuable a season is in retrospect with how much someone should be paid going forward. If one could guarantee that Kershaw would perform exactly like he did in 2013 going forward, he would be making a hell of a lot more than $30 mil.

That's what he means when he says "so and so's value last year was $X. How much would pay Randy Johnson on a 4 year contract if you knew with absolute certainty you would be getting his 1999-2002 performance?
   54. PreservedFish Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4661654)
Trout has been worth close to $60M a year his first two years.

There is no REAL economic world where Mike Trout is worth $60M. In the real economic world, the best pitcher in baseball just signed a contract worth approx $30M AAV. I love me some Mike Trout, but he's not worth double Clayton Kershaw.


Let us also remember that the $6M per win figure is based only on the highly distorted free agent market. If all players were made free agents every offseason, a win would not cost $6M. Baseball players are not really "worth" 6M per win.
   55. GuyM Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4661656)
There is no REAL economic world where Mike Trout is worth $60M. In the real economic world, the best pitcher in baseball just signed a contract worth approx $30M AAV. I love me some Mike Trout, but he's not worth double Clayton Kershaw

The odds of Trout actually earning his salary are far higher than for any pitcher. Here are the hitters and pitchers since WWII who produced 15+ WAR in their first 3 seasons:

PITCHERS:
Player/WAR
Dwight Gooden 22
Tom Seaver 20
Teddy Higuera 19.1
Tim Lincecum 17.7
Dick Radatz 17.3
Andy Pettitte 16.9
Ned Garver 16
Barry Zito 15.1

HITTERS:
Mike Trout 20.8
Albert Pujols 20.7
Evan Longoria 20
Eddie Mathews 18.4
Jackie Robinson 18.1
Wade Boggs 18
Frank Robinson 17.7
Ralph Kiner 17.3
Ichiro Suzuki 16.8
Frank Thomas 16.2
Willie Mays 15.7
Austin Jackson 15.7
Barry Bonds 15.5
Ken Griffey 15.5
Dick Allen 15.2

Being a great hitter for 2-3 seasons is a very good indication you will be a great hitter for another ten; the same is not true for pitchers. (And of course, Trout produced almost all of his 20 WAR in just 2 seasons.)
   56. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4661657)
If all players were made free agents every offseason, a win would not cost $6M.


I like this hypothetical world! I wonder how it would work. How much would it cost to skim off the best players at every position?
   57. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4661663)
I tend to be risk adverse so I'm probably not a good comp for an MLB player but if I'm Trout I go for a 7 year deal. Put it between $150-175 and we can argue over the fine margins we're there. That does two things;

1. It's $150-175 million freaking dollars. That's #### you money. At the end of that I can do whatever the hell I want and unless I've been a complete moron my family and I are set for life and...

2. It makes me a free agent heading into my age 29 season. If I'm the superstar I expect to be I hit free agency still in my 20s (my agent will highlight that) which means I get one more gigantic, ridiculous, record setting contract. If something goes wrong, I bust, I get hurt, I'm busted for having more steroids in my system than A-Rod on his best day I still have huge amounts of money at my disposal.
   58. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4661670)
If all players were made free agents every offseason, a win would not cost $6M.

I like this hypothetical world! I wonder how it would work. How much would it cost to skim off the best players at every position?


As a a guess you'd likely start seeing a salary distribution in line with Rotisserie Auction Leagues.

The big winners would be young guys, guys not currently FA eligible, the big losers would be declining veterans.
   59. toratoratora Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4661682)

Mike Trout 20.8
Albert Pujols 20.7
Evan Longoria 20
Eddie Mathews 18.4
Jackie Robinson 18.1
Wade Boggs 18
Frank Robinson 17.7
Ralph Kiner 17.3
Ichiro Suzuki 16.8
Frank Thomas 16.2
Willie Mays 15.7
Austin Jackson 15.7
Barry Bonds 15.5
Ken Griffey 15.5
Dick Allen 15.2


Austin Jackson?
Color me shocked at his inclusion on a list that's essentially all HoF or on the way, character issues excepted. That's a surprising group of names to find him on.
(Apologies to Ray re thinking Ichiro's a sure shot HoF vote.Likely first ballot too IMHO)
   60. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4661686)
Is any contract going to make sense for Trout to take?


That's the crux of the problem. The set of contracts that make sense for Mike Trout might not intersect the set of contracts that make sense for the Angels.

For example, let's say the Angels and Mike agree he's likely to get $60m in arbitration, then a ten year deal at $40M a year. Mike says, hey I'm willing to take $50m for his arb years and $32M for 10 years right now to mitigate risk. That's a 13 years $370M commitment for the Angels though with a lot of long tail risk, maybe not from vengeful hookers, but maybe vengeful girlfriends who find out about the hookers, or vengeful boyfriends who find out about their girlfriends, etc.

A lot can go wrong in 13 years, especially when you are making by far the largest contract commitment in the history of the sport. Ideally the Angels need at least 60 WAR in those 13 years (ages 23-35) and that doesn't leave much margin for error. Esp. For a team that just had two big contracts go bad a
In the last two years.

That's why I think the respective needs narrow the mutually beneficial deals down to arb years plus a couple years, lots of risk averted for Mike, more years of Trout without too much risk for Angels.
   61. PreservedFish Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4661688)
I like this hypothetical world! I wonder how it would work. How much would it cost to skim off the best players at every position?


It would be fun. Just imagine the GM that decides to employ any unusual rotisserie strategy, like spending 95% of his payroll on hitters. The whole city would go nuts.
   62. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:36 PM (#4661692)
There is no REAL economic world where Mike Trout is worth $60M. In the real economic world, the best pitcher in baseball just signed a contract worth approx $30M AAV. I love me some Mike Trout, but he's not worth double Clayton Kershaw.


Well I did say "close to". Clearly in today's economics no team would pay Mike $60m a year, risks are too high that he's "only" a $45m a year player who just had his two career years back to back..

But he's definitely worth much more than Kershaw.
   63. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4661700)
If there's no discount, then just wait until FA, and outbid everybody then. The Angels have to get some kind of discount for taking all that risk off Trout's hands.
That's crazy. Allowing Trout to hit the FA market invites a million different things that could lead him out of Anaheim. The Angels are, as others have pointed out, paying a premium for the decline seasons of a couple of formerly great players. If there's one player they need to be paying market price for, it's Mike Trout.

Right now, the Angels have exclusive rights to him. If they fail to successfully negotiate a contract extension with him before he hits the market, what makes anyone think he'll turn around go back to Anaheim when every other big market team is going to be throwing at least as much money at him as the Angels? You think the Dodgers wouldn't sign him and jam it to their SoCal rivals, even with a surplus of outfielders? His hometown Yankees? The Sawks? Not getting an extension done before he hits the market would be a clear sign to everyone that Mike Trout is looking to leave town.
   64. Cris E Posted: February 24, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4661725)
#60 is spot on: Even if they come together and agree on everything, there's still an obscene amount of risk in signing a guy for too many years. If he's that good then you can just pay him and get value, but if he gets hurt or fat or hit by Skylab you can't have that much money going down a drain.
   65. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4661751)
Mike Trout 20.8
Albert Pujols 20.7
Evan Longoria 20
Eddie Mathews 18.4
Jackie Robinson 18.1
Wade Boggs 18
Frank Robinson 17.7
Ralph Kiner 17.3
Ichiro Suzuki 16.8
Frank Thomas 16.2
Willie Mays 15.7
Austin Jackson 15.7
Barry Bonds 15.5
Ken Griffey 15.5
Dick Allen 15.2



Austin Jackson?
Color me shocked at his inclusion on a list that's essentially all HoF or on the way, character issues excepted. That's a surprising group of names to find him on.


Well, the problem with a list like this is if a guy has a cup of coffee his first year, he likely does not make the list (Trout excepted). Cal Ripken's first 3 years total 12.4. But if had not had 40 PA in 1981, his first 3 years would be 22.8. ARod's first 3 total 8.7, because he was terrible in 200 PAs as an 18 and 19 YO. His first 3 real years total over 23. Frank Thomas cracks 20 with his first 3 full years. Willie Mays at 15.8 above includes a "year" of 34 games before he went into the army. His first 3 full years are over 24.

Not to take anything away from Jackson, who is a fine ballplayer, and has been excellent right from the get go, but if he had had a September call up as a 22 YO, his first 3 would barely crack 10.
   66. billyshears Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4661797)
I tend to think that there is a threshold AAV (which obviously rises with time) that teams just won't exceed on a long term contract for any level of projected performance within accepted parameters. Trout may have been worth $60 million over the past two season and may project to be worth $500 million over the next 10 seasons, but I just don't think any team would offer him that kind of contract if he was a FA right now. I think at those numbers, the downside risk exceeds what any team is willing to bear. I think accepting some sort of upper limit of risk tolerance for teams, when combined with the incredible significance of a player's first big contract, puts this contract within a smaller, and lower range than would be assumed just by running projections and expected value calculations.
   67. DL from MN Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:52 PM (#4661814)
If the Angels can't afford Trout, who can? Who has more resources than the Angels?
   68. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4661821)
The Yankees.
   69. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 24, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4661829)
It's really, really hard to post 8 WAR.

There have been only 131 such seasons in the last fifty years, less than 3 per year out of the ~250 full-time major league slots. (And, yeah, Trout has two of 'em.)

EDIT: There were only 46 seasons of 8 WAR from 1989-2004...and Barry Bonds had eleven of them. Yoik!
   70. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4661852)
maybe he gets $400m over the next 12 years, instead of $300m....l. If you knew you could lock in $200 million for your age 22-31 years, and then quite possibly have a chance to lock in another $200 million after that...what would you be waiting for? It's a world I (and most others) cannot imagine.


To reiterate, this is a world of which I am not familiar....

There were only 46 seasons of 8 WAR from 1989-2004...and Barry Bonds had eleven of them.


Well yeah and Barry is like one of the 3 best position players ever. We know Trout's ceiling is ridiculously high, now it's just a matter of health and consistency. Like Kershaw, will he have "just" an awesome peak or will he be an all time great?

I know people barrack for the laundry, but I stand by what I posted above, The Angels have to lock this guy up. He's a once in a generation type player at this stage, the fans will riot if he leaves when he is 25. I don't think his people will allow him to sign past age 29/30 unless the offer is like $300mil or some type of sillyness and I think his people know he can do better then 6/140. I think Jose proposed 7 years. Leaves him a FA at 29. It'll take close to $200mil to get it done. That's what I would offer, 7/200...and that's what I would take if I were his people.
   71. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:16 AM (#4661872)
I wonder whether Trout would be tempted to sign if he were offered 20 years, $400 million?
   72. tshipman Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:34 AM (#4661874)
I wonder whether Trout would be tempted to sign if he were offered 20 years, $400 million?


I thought those kind of deals were illegal under the CBA?

Like, Hockey tried all that stuff, and there was some kind of reaction to it.

I would guess that 7 years is the sweet spot for Trout/Angels. It gets the Angels 3 FA years and it gets Trout complete financial security. If you value Trout's FA years at 40mm, that puts the deal at 7/195. Who blinks first for that deal?
   73. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:37 AM (#4661876)
I know of no maximum contract length under the CBA, nor do I think anyone would have a problem with a 20/400 contract as long as it were reasonably laid out. The problem the NHL ran into is the way its cap was structured encourage teams to offer contracts that pay $9 million a year for seven years and then $1 million a year for four years (during which the player will almost certainly be retired).

MLB doesn't have the cap-jiggling problems the other sports do because (a) there are no or almost no signing bonuses on established players' contracts, and (b) the cap hit is the AAV of the contract, period.
   74. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 25, 2014 at 03:52 AM (#4661896)
   75. BrianBrianson Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:41 AM (#4661899)

Well, the problem with a list like this is if a guy has a cup of coffee his first year, he likely does not make the list (Trout excepted). Cal Ripken's first 3 years total 12.4. But if had not had 40 PA in 1981, his first 3 years would be 22.8. ARod's first 3 total 8.7, because he was terrible in 200 PAs as an 18 and 19 YO. His first 3 real years total over 23. Frank Thomas cracks 20 with his first 3 full years. Willie Mays at 15.8 above includes a "year" of 34 games before he went into the army. His first 3 full years are over 24.


For the purposes of the list, saying "Hey, Ripken, Mays, Thomas, and Rodriguez are also players whose debut was almost as good as Trout's" really only strengthens the argument.
   76. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:04 AM (#4661906)
That's what he means when he says "so and so's value last year was $X. How much would pay Randy Johnson on a 4 year contract if you knew with absolute certainty you would be getting his 1999-2002 performance?


Does Randy know it with absolute certainty as well?
   77. GuyM Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4662069)
Well, the problem with a list like this is if a guy has a cup of coffee his first year, he likely does not make the list

Fair point. But if you look at WAR leaders thru age 22 (which largely removes that problem), you get the same story: the hitters are a very good bet for future success, the pitchers not so much. You'd be happy signing a long term deal with any one of these hitters except Cedeno (and be a tad disappointed in Pinson), but you'd be happy signing fewer than half of the pitchers.

HITTERS (since 1916)
Player WAR/pos
Ted Williams 23.6
Mel Ott 23.6
Alex Rodriguez 22.8
Ken Griffey 21.3
Al Kaline 21
Jimmie Foxx 20.9
Mike Trout 20.8
Rogers Hornsby 20.1
Mickey Mantle 20
Vada Pinson 20
Cesar Cedeno 19.1
Eddie Mathews 18.4
Johnny Bench 18.1
Andruw Jones 17.8
Frank Robinson 17.7
Arky Vaughan 17.4
Stan Musial 15.3

PITCHERS (since 1916)
Bob Feller 37.3
Dwight Gooden 25.7
Bert Blyleven 23.4
Frank Tanana 20
Larry Dierker 17.1
Don Drysdale 16.6
Gary Nolan 15.9
Babe Ruth 15.2
Wes Ferrell 14.3
Fernando Valenzuela 13.4
Dennis Eckersley 13.3
Mark Fidrych 12
Felix Hernandez 11.9
Ralph Branca 11.9
Sam McDowell 11.6
Clayton Kershaw 11.6
Milt Pappas 11.4
Dave Rozema 11
Waite Hoyt 10.9
Bret Saberhagen 10.8
Mark Prior 10.4
Mike McCormick 10.3
Britt Burns 10.3
Terry Forster 10.2
Paul Dean 10.1
   78. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4662082)
I know people barrack for the laundry, but I stand by what I posted above, The Angels have to lock this guy up. He's a once in a generation type player at this stage, the fans will riot if he leaves when he is 25. I don't think his people will allow him to sign past age 29/30 unless the offer is like $300mil or some type of sillyness and I think his people know he can do better then 6/140. I think Jose proposed 7 years. Leaves him a FA at 29. It'll take close to $200mil to get it done. That's what I would offer, 7/200...and that's what I would take if I were his people.


You know the Angels already have the next 4 years of Mike Trout for probably $60M if he remains good, and less if he's hurt or declines, don't you? That's $140M to lock up 4 years past his arbitration years, or $35M a year, which is essentially market value for what he can expect on a free agency deal. That deal locks in Mike's likely highest possible salaries for the next 7 years and lets him go out into free agency in his prime to get more $35M seasons, ie. zero risk for Mike.

So what's in it for the Angels? Almost nothing. That deal is almost all downside for them. If Mike gets hurt, they are on the hook for $200M. If Mike is Mike, they get to keep 3 more super expensive years, and Mike has to put up at least 8 WAR a year for it to be a good deal for the Angels. If he's averaging 6 WAR a year, it's totally meh. 8 WAR a year requires consistent health every year, even for Mike Trout.

If they just go to arbitration he's not leaving until 2018 and $60M is probably the most he'd cost, plus they get a draft pick when he leaves, and if he gets hurt his arbitration costs is much less.

And the people of LA-Anaheim aren't rioting over Mike Trout. It's not like he's Mickey Mouse or OJ Simpson.
   79. DL from MN Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4662096)
which is essentially market value for what he can expect on a free agency deal


That seems to be the argument. Is $35M fair market value for Mike Trout in 2020 or is that closer to $50M? The Angels seem to be saying they value those years at $35-40M with their 6 year $145M offer. I think the arb years could escalate to $75M so that would give the Angels 2 seasons at $35M and make Trout a free agent at age 28 assuming the Angels don't cough up for another extension before then.
   80. Willie Mayspedester Posted: February 25, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4662172)
Bob Feller 37.3
?!!!11
   81. GuyM Posted: February 25, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4662194)
Yeah. At the end of his age 22 season, Feller was 107-54. 107 wins is a pretty good career. Alex Fernandez, JR Richard, Steve Stone, Ralph Terry, and Jarrod Washburn all had 107 wins. Greinke, Lester, Shields, Hamels, and Wainwright should all get there this year -- seven to ten years later than Feller. Wow.
   82. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 25, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4662243)
You know the Angels already have the next 4 years of Mike Trout for probably $60M if he remains good, and less if he's hurt or declines, don't you?

If I'm Trout and I'm at all risk-averse, I tell the Angels that I'm testing the free agent waters as soon as I can, but that we can work with my arb years to gain them some savings and me some guarantees. I'd try to get what I could, but target $40M over 4 years. I'd probably settle for $20M over 4 years as my absolute lowest boundary. Set for life and a free agent as young as possible.
   83. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4662300)
I'd probably settle for $20M over 4 years as my absolute lowest boundary


Am I the only one that didn't know Arte Moreno posted at BBTF as Greg Pope?

;-)
   84. AROM Posted: February 25, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4662321)
I'd probably settle for $20M over 4 years as my absolute lowest boundary


I don't think you're aware of what contracts are going for in years 3-6 for superstars. Jon Papelbon made 28 million going year to year. Sure, there's more risk, but that's a 1 inning pitcher as opposed to an MVP candidate everyday player. Ryan Howard made 44 million in his first 3 years of arbitration eligibility (would have had 4 overall as a super 2).

   85. dave h Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4662755)
Some other articles I've read indicate this contract would start next year, which makes it a whole lot better for the Angels - put off luxury tax issues for a year and of course more significantly replace a pre-arb year with a FA year. Anyone have any ideas? I can't tell if everyone knew this already or if it's not even true or what.
   86. tshipman Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4662767)
So what's in it for the Angels? Almost nothing. That deal is almost all downside for them. If Mike gets hurt, they are on the hook for $200M. If Mike is Mike, they get to keep 3 more super expensive years, and Mike has to put up at least 8 WAR a year for it to be a good deal for the Angels. If he's averaging 6 WAR a year, it's totally meh. 8 WAR a year requires consistent health every year, even for Mike Trout.


I think the big upside for the Angels is actually in avoiding the downside on his next contract. At some point, Mike Trout will come up for FA. He will get an absolutely monster contract. The Angels can choose to have him start that deal when he's 26, or when he's 28. To me, extending him until he's 28 allows you to obtain his best years while avoiding the risk of having him post-35.
   87. AROM Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4662890)
The contract has been signed. How much money is it?

Brace yourselves.

(in Dr. Evil voice)

ONE MILLION DOLLARS

   88. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4662893)
The contract has been signed. How much money is it?

Brace yourselves.

(in Dr. Evil voice)

ONE MILLION DOLLARS


I had to read the little MLB Trade Rumors note that popped up on my phone three times before I grasped what had been done. My first thought was "$100 million"...no, eventually I figured it out.
   89. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4662896)
Can we bring back that thread where we argued about whether or not the Angels were being cheap by giving him a near-minimum contract last year?
   90. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4662900)
I don't think you're aware of what contracts are going for in years 3-6 for superstars. Jon Papelbon made 28 million going year to year. Sure, there's more risk, but that's a 1 inning pitcher as opposed to an MVP candidate everyday player. Ryan Howard made 44 million in his first 3 years of arbitration eligibility (would have had 4 overall as a super 2).

No, I get all of that. I said that I'd target $40M. I didn't say I'd start at $40M. I'd start at the $60M I'd probably get in arbitration with arguments about cost certainty, etc. I'd plan to settle around $40M. But if the Angels stand their ground, I would take $20M. That's enough to set me up for life, even if my leg gets bitten off by a shark in a surfing accident.
   91. GregD Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4662910)
Leaving aside Sharknado, Trout would be crazy to take $20 million. All he needs is one good arbitration award. The rules then prevent the team from submitting a salary figure below 80% of his previous salary on the next arbitration. So even if he got hurt and missed a year, the Angels would face--unless I'm wrong--either giving him 80% of his salary the next year or releasing him.

So let's say he gets $15 million his first arb year, he could then get terribly hurt and look at $12 million and $9.6 million for $36.5 million pre free agency.

Even if he somehow got $12 million his first arb year, he'd be, at minimum, $9.6 million his second, and $7.7 million the third, for $29.3 million.
   92. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4662921)
Sigh...

Whatever the amount is, my point was that I'd negotiate with the Angels to give them a discount on my pre-FA years while guaranteeing me some money. But I wouldn't negotiate away any of my FA years.
   93. DL from MN Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4662934)
Looks like they are discussing a 6 year $150M extension after this season which buys out 3 free agent years at about $30M each. Seems fair to both sides.
   94. dave h Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4662965)
Yeah, that makes more sense. Angels get a potential steal if he keeps being MIKE TROUT but they take on the risk and Trout still hits FA in his twenties.
   95. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4663103)
Here are all the players in modern major league history who compiled at least 20 WAR in their first four major league seasons, excluding Hall of Famers (or people who obviously should be in the HOF but aren't yet) and excluding Evan Longoria and Mike Trout, and also excluding Snuffy Stirnweiss on grounds of he obviously only was that successful because of World War II:

46.8 - Kenny Lofton
36.7 - Bobby Bonds
36.0 - Dick Allen
34.6 - Will Clark
34.2 - Vada Pinson
23.7 - Nomar Garciaparra
21.5 - Wally Berger
16.6 - Charlie Keller

That's eight players who went on to be disappointments (stretching the definition of the word for the first five on the list)--versus 25 players who compiled 20+ WAR in their first four seasons and went on to Hall of Fame careers.

But as you know, Mike Trout amassed 20.1 WAR in only his first two full seasons in the major leagues. Here's the complete list of guys who managed as many as 15:

Mike Trout
Willie Mays
Stan Musial
Dick Allen

The point isn't that the sample size is too small to make any conclusions. It's more instructive to consider why the sample is so small: Trout is one of the small handful of the most talented baseball players that have ever lived. His career might be ruined by injuries, but it would take one hell of a freak injury to do it. Maybe he'll mess up a knee and then become merely Mickey Mantle; what a damn shame that would be. Maybe he'll go Bo, but in the past 40 years pretty much the only baseball player to go Bo was Bo--and he was playing football.

There is not as much risk with Mike Trout as you think. Absent a freak injury that's about as likely as you getting killed in a car wreck this year, his downside risk is merely a borderline Hall of Fame career.
   96. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 26, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4663118)
#95. I agree. Excepting injury, his absolute worst plausible downside is Cedeno or Pinson. 2 very good players who enjoyed, long productive careers. I think another good comp. who never quite reached Troutian (Troutesque?) heights was Fred Lynn. Again a very good player who enjoyed a long productive career. The one thing is that these 3 guys were all very, very good up until their mid to late 20's anyway so unless hit by a bus, this is about as sure bet as you can get in baseball.

You're downside is Fred Lynn until he is 30(about 40WAR), your upside is Willie Mays (about 76WAR). At $6 mil per 1WAR, he'll be a bargain at 6/150.
   97. Ziggy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4663141)
So, the bottom line is that Mike Trout is worth about a zillion dollars, right? Now, as far as I know, there is no greater than zero baseball teams that have one zillion dollars. And Mike Trout is too smart to sign for any less than he's worth. Which means... if I've done my math right... that Trout will be forced to retire as soon as he's a free agent, on the grounds that no one can afford him.
   98. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4663151)
I still think that I would offer him 20/400 if I were the Angels, and I would accept it if I were him (allowing Trout to demand a no-trade and then acquiescing to it; the chance the Angels would want to trade him before he goes 10/5 is near nil anyway). The Angels assume a downside risk that is enormous but very unlikely (and a dead $20 million a year won't destroy the franchise if it comes in even in the worst case); Trout gives up quite a lot of career earning potential but still signs the biggest contract ever, is set for life, and knows he'll spend his entire career in Anaheim without having to negotiate a contract ever again.
   99. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 26, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4663162)
I still think that I would offer him 20/400


Reminds me of the Magic Johnson contract when Jerry Buss gave him $25mil for 25 years. A lot of people thought that was loony. Turns out it was the best $25mil ever spent in sports!
   100. Willie Mayspedester Posted: February 26, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4663178)
Isn't there a California state law against signing contracts like this more than 8 years? Or was that an urban myth?
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