The greatest player in all of baseball just got robbed ladies and gentlemen by the Los Angeles Angels of all teams. MLB insider, Jeff Passan, broke the news that Mike Trout reached a deal worth $430 million for the next 12 seasons with the Halos.
This is the biggest heist since Jerry Reinsdorf when he stiffed Michael Jordan all those years with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan made less than $100 million his entire career. This is bigger than Bonnie and Clyde’s stickup.
Getting back on track, Trout sold himself short as he chose to remain loyal to team that hasn’t shown a commitment to winning. He deserved more money. Here’s why:
Ahead of his Peers
Trout is the best player in baseball. Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge will make things interesting in 2019, but Trout is the man until someone knocks him off.
What triggered this new deal for Trout was his peers’, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, contracts. They saw their bank account increase significantly during the winter.
Both players were well-deserving of their monster deals as superstars, but Trout is a megastar. He is in a realm of his own as his numbers are lightyears ahead of Harper and Machado.
Here are the three stars numbers since 2012:
- Hits: 1160/922/1050
- HR: 235/184/175
- RBI: 632/521/513
- BA: .309/.279/.282
- SLG: .582/.512/.487
It doesn’t stop there.
The Angels’ outfielder is much more durable than Harper and Machado as he has appeared in 98 more games than them. Trout is so lethal in the box that he has been walked 684 times since 2012. Harper and Machado have been walked just 197 more times combined, so they see more opportunities to hit.
If Trout was given the same opportunities to hit as the two All-Stars, it’s fair to say his numbers would be in another stratosphere.
Lastly, the big statistic that is taking over baseball is Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Trout’s WAR has been at 10 or above at the conclusion of three separate seasons. The two $300 million men have one season combined.
The two-time AL MVP is much more durable, productive, and valuable to his team than his two NL contemporaries. For that reason alone, Trout should be making $500 million or more.
We often hear about Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Pete Rose, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, and Ted Williams as the greatest players ever. Through his first eight seasons, Trout is already at the dinner table for the discussion regarding the best player of all-time.
In each of their first eight full seasons, the Philly native is sixth among the aforementioned greats in home runs (240), seventh in RBI (648), and fourth in slugging (.573). He even has more stolen bases (189) than Mays had (180).
Keep in mind Trout is playing in an era of advanced analytics and scouting reports that make it that much harder to produce at the level he is producing at. No matter how you want to slice it, the past greats’ numbers would be lower in this era or Trout’s would be higher in theirs.
Despite all of this, Trout got paid market value by a, historically, small market team.
The Face of Many
The worst part of this is Trout got paid well under his value as the face of baseball.
Harper, Betts, and Judge are box office, but Trout is a showstopper. No matter how good, or bad, the Angels are, the fans come out and support both at home and on the road because of Trout.
The six-time Silver Slugger is so valuable to the sport that he has been the driving force to making the Angels one of the most profitable teams in the MLB.
Last year, a Forbes article revealed that the Angels were worth $1.8 billion, placing them at eighth among all MLB teams.
Going back to 2003, the team was purchased for $184 million.
Trout’s dominance and marketability has a lot to do with why the team is worth 10 times more than what it was 16 years ago. He is also the most widely recognized star in baseball.
Trout got paid, but he got shorted by a couple HUNDRED million folks.
Wrapping it Up
Trout will be making just north of $24,000 per inning, which is crazy when you think about it. However, he got sold well short of his value.
The negotiations should have started at $500 million, but Trout is loyal and he genuinely loves the sport of baseball. He just doesn’t come off as a guy who is a diva.
Give credit to the Angels front office because they saw the benchmark set by Harper and Machado. They acted fast and paid their future Hall of Famer.
There is no way around it. Trout got robbed.