For the first time in his major league career, Angels star Mike Trout has a seven-figure contract.
The 22-year-old center fielder, who is heading into his third full season in the majors, agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with Los Angeles on Wednesday.
While the $1 million deal seems small in comparison to the nine-figure salary Trout is expected to net after this season, the agreement is historically high. No other player who is not yet arbitration eligible and is not from Japan or Cuba, has received more than $900,000 for a one-year contract. The only exceptions are players who received larger amounts because of the maximum cut rule.
Trout and the Angels are believed to be discussing an agreement that would keep the top-tier player with the team through 2020 for a deal in the $150 million range. The 2012 American League Rookie of the Year is eligible for arbitration after the coming season and could become a free agent after the 2017 season.
“I just go out there to play the game,” said Trout, who would not discuss a potential multi-year contract. “If the money is where it’s at, that’s where it’s going to be.”
Since Trout agreed to the deal now, the Angels do not have to add a long-term deal to their 2014 luxury tax payroll.
“It’s a landmark to do a $1 million with a two-plus player,” said Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto. “I think it’s fitting and Mike’s earned that and we’re glad to provide that for him.”
Trout finished second in MVP voting in both 2012 and 2013. During the 2013 season, he batted .323 with a .432 on-base percentage, 27 home runs, 97 RBIs and 33 steals.
“We thought his performance was exceptional,” Dipoto said. “There are players that force you to break rules. What he did for two consecutive years forced us to break our own rule. His performance certainly merited us to do differently than any of the others.”
During his rookie year, Trout earned $482,500 and picked up an extra $10,000 for winning Rookie of the Year. When the Angels renewed his contract in 2013, they increased his salary to $510,000, which is only $20,000 above the 2013 major league minimum.
“The Angels could have easily just done the same thing that they did last year,” Trout said. “It makes you feel good inside. It makes you feel like they really want you here. It means a lot to me.”