As we all know at this point, Mike Trout is going to be a Halo for the rest of his career, joining players like Tim Salmon and Garrett Anderson as Angels Lifers.
But how does the reported 12-year, $426 million agreement between Mike Trout and the LA Angels compare to some of the deals other stars have received this offseason? It goes without saying that Mike Trout is the best play among any free agent stars, but did the Angels get the best deal?
Short answer? Yes, and it wasn’t necessarily close.
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The other stars we’re going to be looking at are the three obvious choices. First is Manny Machado, who signed with the San Diego Padres for a ten-year $300 million deal. Then Bryce “The Tamperer” Harper, who agreed to spend the rest of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies on a 13-year, $330 million deal. Finally, Nolan Arenado will also be looked at after his $260 million contract with the Colorado Rockies for the next eight years of his service.
Also, for comparison’s sake, all four players are either 26 (Machado, Harper) or 27 (Trout, Arenado.
To start, Trout’s deal breaks the record for highest annual average value (AAV). The record belonged to pitcher Zack Grienke, whose AAV sits at $34.4 million with the Arizon Diamondbacks. Arenado’s 32.5 AAV in his new extension was the record for position players, but Trout will now be making an average of $35.83 million for the next 12 years of his life.
He also beat the highest total money in a contract by, well, a lot. This was another example of beating out a new record, as Harper’s $330 million broke Giancarlo Stanton‘s contract, originally with the Miami Marlins, by five million dollars. Trout blew that into the stratosphere, topping Harper by nearly $100 million for one less year of service.
All four deals had at least some sort of no-trade clause, with Machado having a list of six teams he can block a trade too. Arenado, Harper, and Trout all have full no-trade clauses for the length of their contracts.
However, Arenado and Machado both have opt outs after three years, making them eligible for free agency again before their age 30 season. Harper and Trout have no opt outs (oh my that feels so good to say), essentially marrying them to their respective teams.
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In the end, if you asked 30 MLB teams which contract they would choose for their franchise, you would get 30 answers back that were all exactly the same. Every MLB general manager, owner, or president of baseball operations would utter the same three words.
“Give me Trout.”