For any team, it is natural to attempt to lock up a young, productive player for the long term. When that player happens to be Mike Trout, arguably the best player in baseball, then that becomes a no brainer.
Following last year’s controversy where the Angels renewed Trout’s contract for just over the league minimum, it has been reported that both sides are entering negotiations to make him one of the highest paid players in the game. It is hoped that the extension will be agreed upon before the season starts, so that Trout does not have the distraction of the negotiations hanging over his head at the beginning of the season.
Mike Trout, at 22 years old heading into the 2014 season, has already put together an excellent resume. He is a two time All-Star and Silver Slugger, and has finished second behind Miguel Cabrera for the MVP award in both of his full seasons. Not only is he a power and speed threat, but Trout has displayed excellent plate discipline, leading the American League in walks as a 21 year old. His similarity score through age 21 is essentially a list of the all time greats, with Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey Jr and Ted Williams amongst the names listed. This is the type of player that a team needs to lock up.
As much as signing Trout may cost the Angels monetarily, there is also a strong chance that the extension could end up being a bargain. Instead of spending that money on an aging free agent who is entering the downside of their career, the Angels could potentially lock Trout up through his prime. As great as he has been, it may be possible that he is only scratching the surface of his abilities, that the 30/30 seasons, excellent hitting rates and plate discipline are only a taste of what is to come. If so, Trout will end up being far more than a superstar.
The Angels need to lock Mike trout up long term. Right now, it appears as though they are taking the first steps in that direction.