The California Angels signed outfielder Mike Trout to a one-year contract worth $1 million — a deal significant for what it portends.
Signing this relatively modest contract now means the big, long-range contract both sides are working on would count toward the team’s 2015 luxury-tax payroll rather than this year’s but would be announced this spring. And the $1-million figure is significant from Trout’s perspective because it is the highest one-year deal for a player who is not eligible for arbitration, breaking the mark of $900,000 shared by Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard.
“I think it’s fitting,” Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto said (via the Los Angeles Times). “I think Mike has earned it. We’re glad to provide it. He’s an extraordinary player.”
Because Trout is entering his third major-league season, the Angels were in position to pay him what they pleased and, if the two sides do not complete a long-term deal, he would be eligible for salary arbitration next season. Trout, 22, earned $482,500 when he was the American League Rookie of the Year and the runner-up in MVP balloting in 2012. The Angels unilaterally renewed his contract last season, when he was second in MVP voting again, for $510,000.
Now, the two sides will continue to discuss a long-range deal that would probably run through 2020 and would be in the $150 million range.