The Angels have officially announced agreement on a long-term extension with star outfielder Mike Trout. The deal covers six years and is worth $144.5MM. Trout receives a full no-trade clause.
The six-year pact will kick in for 2015 and will take Trout through his age-28 season in 2020, covering three arb-eligible seasons and three free agent seasons. It does not include any option years at the back end, meaning Trout now stands to hit the open market at age 29.
Surprisingly, this extension is not the largest total guarantee ever given to a player with between two and three years of service. That distinction still belongs to Buster Posey, who secured an eight-year, $159MM contract while also sacrificing an option year. Of course, Trout's deal is more favorable to the player on the whole, especially since he will have a chance to test the market at such a young age, and carries a greater average annual value.
But after establishing himself as the best player in the game today -- at just 22 years of age -- the natural inclination is to ask why he did not secure a larger guarantee. Set to break records in arbitration, Trout was already locked in for huge salaries given his unprecedented success. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs spitballed his three-year arb earnings at $60MM. If that is the case, then Trout sold his first three free agent years (in the peak prime of his career) at just around $85MM. That represents an incredible savings for an Angels team that can reasonably expect Trout to remain the game's most productive player over most (if not all) of the deal.