Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Baseball star Mike Trout to sign biggest contract in sports history

Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are close to finalizing a $432 million, 12-year contract that would shatter the record for the largest deal in North American sports history.

Baseball star Mike Trout to sign biggest contract in sports history
Baseball star Mike Trout to sign biggest contract in sports history

Mike Trout is on the verge of becoming baseball’s first half-billion dollar man. Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are close to finalizing a $432 million, 12-year contract that would shatter the record for the largest deal in North American sports history, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The deal was disclosed Tuesday by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been finalized. The contract was likely to be announced by the end of this week, the person said.

Trout would set a baseball record for career earnings at about $513 million, surpassing the roughly $448 million Alex Rodriguez took in with Seattle, Texas and the New York Yankees from 1994-2017

“I’m pretty sure I ain’t paying one more dinner for him,” said fellow Angels star Albert Pujols, in the midst of a $240 million, 10-year deal. “It’s well deserved. I don’t think there’s anybody in baseball besides him who deserves that.”

Trout’s latest deal would top the new $330 million, 12-year contract between Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies, and Trout’s $36 million average annual value would surpass pitcher Zack Greinke’s $34.4 million in a six-year deal with Arizona that started in 2016. The contract also would best Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez’s $356 million deal with sports-streaming service DAZN.

Progress toward an agreement was first reported by ESPN.

Whether Trout’s contract is the largest in the world for a team athlete is difficult to determine. Forbes estimated Lionel Messi earned $84 million from Barcelona in 2017-18 and Cristiano Ronaldo $61 million from Real Madrid, but precise details of their contracts are not known.


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“You think about Angels, you think about Mike Trout,” Los Angeles shortstop Andrelton Simmons said, “You locked up the best player in the game. That’s a big first step to take. You can build off of that. That’s a good base to the house.”

Trout’s deal would include a signing bonus and supersede the $144.5 million, six-year contract that had been set to pay him $33.25 million in each of the next two seasons.

While the marketplace has been slow for many players this offseason, prompting complaints from the players’ association, top stars have gained robust deals. Four of the largest seven contracts will have been agreed to since Feb. 19, with Trout and Harper joined by Manny Machado ($300 million for 10 years with San Diego) and Nolan Arenado ($260 million for eight years with Colorado).

Los Angeles selected Trout with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, and he signed for a bonus of $1,215,000. He made his major league debut on July 8, 2011.

A 27-year-old entering what should be his prime years, Trout is considered baseball’s top player and would have been coveted as a free agent after the 2020 season. He lives in southern New Jersey, and Harper said he was excited about trying to recruit Trout to join him in Philadelphia.

Although Trout recently built a home in his native Millville, New Jersey, he is staying on the West Coast with the Angels, who are coming off three straight losing seasons and haven’t won a playoff game during his career.

Trout and wife Jessica have made no secret of how much they enjoy living in laid-back Southern California, and the low-key outfielder decided to skip the pressure of free agency entirely.

Trout has been an All-Star in every one of his seven full major association seasons and hit .312 with 39 homers, 79 RBIs, 24 takes and 122 strolls a year ago. He drove the real classes in OPS in every one of the last two seasons. 

Trout has a .307 normal with 240 homers, 648 RBIs, 189 takes and 693 strolls in eight major alliance seasons. He was casted a ballot AL Rookie of the Year in 2012, won the AL MVP grant in 2014 and '16 and completed second in MVP casting a ballot multiple times, tying the record shared by Stan Musial, Ted Williams and Pujols. 

Enormous cash bargains have not worked out for the Angels before. Pujols achieved his major ordeal with the Angels before the 2012 season yet has not coordinated his past execution with St. Louis. Josh Hamilton marked a $125 million, five-year contract before the 2013 season and contributed only 31 homers and 123 RBIs in two years with the Angels. 

Trout is seen contrastingly as a home-developed Angels player and structures a center with Japanese star two-way player Shohei Ohtani, who is recouping from Tommy John medical procedure. Ohtani is relied upon to almost certainly hit for the Angels sooner or later in the principal half of the period and to continue contributing the 2020 season. 

Trout has achieved the playoffs just once, when the Angels won the AL West in 2014 and were cleared by Kansas City. Los Angeles is falling off three straight losing seasons, and Brad Ausmus supplanted Mike Scioscia, the group's administrator since 2000. 

Los Angeles has a rewarding TV contract, a fan base that has stuffed Angel Stadium with 3 million fans for 16 back to back seasons and a proprietor in Arte Moreno who infrequently delays to spend. The Angels' homestead framework has improved strongly amid general chief Billy Eppler's three-year residency.