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Angels need to figure out what Trout is worth (mlb.com article)


WallyWorld

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http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140211&content_id=67635368&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

 

Camp Trout opens later this week, and by that I mean the Angels will report to Spring Training and begin finding answers to the two most meaningful questions surrounding the organization, both of which revolve around a single once-in-a-generation player.

Do they have enough talent surrounding Mike Trout?

Do they have enough money to pay Trout?

Both questions are complicated.

 

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I'd love to see a deal that keeps Trout in Anaheim through his age 34 or 35 season.  Although there really isn't any precedent for a deal extending longer than 10 years (I think Todd Helton's 11-year deal is the only deal ever to exceed 10 years), it would be great to see Trout sign for 12 years or so.  Wonder if he would sign for 12/250. 

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The question is how to start the talks? Who makes an offer first? If the Angels low-ball Trout they run the risk of starting a monumental four-year pout that leads the greatest home grown player going elsewhere (not that Trout is the pouty type, but no one likes to be undervalued).

 

I think a good approach would be for the Angels (Dipoto and Moreno) to sit down with Trout and his agent, show a list of all long-term pre-arb extensions and say, "You're better than all of these guys, and we realize that and want to pay you in kind. But this gives us a starting point."

 

The problem, of course, is that Trout can pretty much name his price - its just a matter if Arte can (or will) pay it. What I worry about is Trout (his agent) asking for so much that Arte goes into a pout and contract negotiations are put off, year by year, until Trout (and his agent) simply get sick of it and say they want to try out free agency. at that point, its over. The Angels' chances of extending Trout go down substantially after next offseason.

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What works against Trout that didn't affect any of the other mega contracts is the AAV that takes out much of the advantage of a deffered salary. Since the entire value of the contract is equally factored over the term towards the salary cap the teams have less ability to structure a long term lucrative contract.

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The question is how to start the talks? Who makes an offer first? If the Angels low-ball Trout they run the risk of starting a monumental four-year pout that leads the greatest home grown player going elsewhere (not that Trout is the pouty type, but no one likes to be undervalued).

 

I think a good approach would be for the Angels (Dipoto and Moreno) to sit down with Trout and his agent, show a list of all long-term pre-arb extensions and say, "You're better than all of these guys, and we realize that and want to pay you in kind. But this gives us a starting point."

 

The problem, of course, is that Trout can pretty much name his price - its just a matter if Arte can (or will) pay it. What I worry about is Trout (his agent) asking for so much that Arte goes into a pout and contract negotiations are put off, year by year, until Trout (and his agent) simply get sick of it and say they want to try out free agency. at that point, its over. The Angels' chances of extending Trout go down substantially after next offseason.

 

Fortunately I don't think Arte is an idiot and I don't think he will low-ball him. Although Trout's agent seems like a douche and would probably consider any offer below 300 million "low balling". I'd expect something like 8/180 as just a starting point.

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The question is how to start the talks? Who makes an offer first? If the Angels low-ball Trout they run the risk of starting a monumental four-year pout that leads the greatest home grown player going elsewhere (not that Trout is the pouty type, but no one likes to be undervalued).

 

I think a good approach would be for the Angels (Dipoto and Moreno) to sit down with Trout and his agent, show a list of all long-term pre-arb extensions and say, "You're better than all of these guys, and we realize that and want to pay you in kind. But this gives us a starting point."

 

The problem, of course, is that Trout can pretty much name his price - its just a matter if Arte can (or will) pay it. What I worry about is Trout (his agent) asking for so much that Arte goes into a pout and contract negotiations are put off, year by year, until Trout (and his agent) simply get sick of it and say they want to try out free agency. at that point, its over. The Angels' chances of extending Trout go down substantially after next offseason.

The Angels can be fair with Trout by offering him a record-breaking deal for a guy with his amount of service time, and can simultaneously offer him something that is still reasonable to them.  They didn't balk at offering Hamilton and Pujols $24/25 million per year, so clearly that is an AAV they are comfortable paying premium talent.  There is no reason to be cheap with Trout, and no reason to bid against themselves, either.  Offer him something between 10/200 and 12/250, and stay firm on the offer.  That is a ton of coin to turn down.   

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I know a lot of people say there's no reason to extend him this year or give him a huge raise, because you don't have to yet and it's a waste of money.  But the closer this guy gets to FA, the less motivated he's going to be to sign an extension (unless it's the equivalent of what he thinks he would get in FA, which it's doubtful the Angels can afford).  I think they have to do everything in their power to lock him up once the season starts.  For me, and maybe I'm just too much of a pessimist, if Trout isn't locked up in 2014, the odds of him leaving via FA begin to grow exponentially.

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Because he is guaranteed only $500K for the rest of his life. 

 

Along with the couple of million he is making in endorsement deals

 

because he's not a free agent.  we've been over this.

 

You are right, he is not a free  agent.  He is also one of the top 2 or 3 players currently in the game. With that being said, why would he sign a relatively team friendly deal through his age 34 season? Sadly, if the Angels want to keep him that long with guaranteed money and not let him test free agency, they will need to pay him like a free aget. Especially of they hope to keep him past 30.

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 why would he sign a relatively team friendly deal through his age 34 season? 

 

Because, for now, he is still 4 more years away from FA and 1 year away from being arb eligible.  A lot can happen in 4 years or even 1 year.  He could suffer an injury at any point that derails his career.and causes his to miss out on millions - potentially hundreds of millions.  Doubtful he would give the Angels a huge discount, but I don't think it would quite take FA equivalent money either.

Edited by WallyWorld
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You are right, he is not a free  agent.  He is also one of the top 2 or 3 players currently in the game. With that being said, why would he sign a relatively team friendly deal through his age 34 season? Sadly, if the Angels want to keep him that long with guaranteed money and not let him test free agency, they will need to pay him like a free aget. Especially of they hope to keep him past 30.

Team friendly? When we're talking about the difference between 180 million dollars and 300 million dollars, I think that term can be thrown out the window. The Angels know what they have in Trout but they don't have to extend him yet while he's still making the league minimum. 

 

When he enters arbitration next offseason, they can start negotiating a deal that will pay him enough money that he won't pass up. 

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Team friendly? When we're talking about the difference between 180 million dollars and 300 million dollars, I think that term can be thrown out the window. The Angels know what they have in Trout but they don't have to extend him yet while he's still making the league minimum. 

 

When he enters arbitration next offseason, they can start negotiating a deal that will pay him enough money that he won't pass up. 

 

The thing about waiting until next year to negotiate an extension is that he's going to get a HUGE raise in arbitration.  Enough to lessen the risk of waiting for FA, IMO.

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Along with the couple of million he is making in endorsement deals

 

 

You are right, he is not a free  agent.  He is also one of the top 2 or 3 players currently in the game. With that being said, why would he sign a relatively team friendly deal through his age 34 season? Sadly, if the Angels want to keep him that long with guaranteed money and not let him test free agency, they will need to pay him like a free aget. Especially of they hope to keep him past 30.

why are you assuming it would be 'team friendly'?

 

there is a difference between team friendly and market appropriate for a players skill level and # of years before being a free agency. 

 

they won't have to come anywhere close to paying him what he would get if he were to wait and become a free agent.  He'll get an aav somewhere between what he would get as a free agent and what he would get thru arb and min salary for this year. 

 

there is significant upside for the player to get guaranteed money for the next 8 years starting right now.  He may never be as good as he was the first two years.  He may get injured.  Shit happens.

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8 years, yes, I am all for that and I think Trout should be too. This gives him guaranteed money that will set him and his grand kids for life and if it all works out, he can get a second mega contract at 30 (hopefully with us).

I took issue with 12 years 250 million locking him up until he is 34 with an AAV less than an aging and declining Pujols.

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For those of you who attempt to follow arbitration and free agency dollars and their increases of late, there is an interesting situation playing out in Atlanta.  Clearly closers are on a different scale because they do not last as long as a position player.  Craig Kimbrel, who I would offer as the Mike Trout of relievers, will go to arbitration on Monday February 17.  He is asking 9 million and the Braves are asking 6.55 million.  This works out to a FA value of either 22.5 million or 16.375 million using 40/60/80.  These kind of numbers far exceed anything the greatest reliever of our lives, Mariano Rivera, ever received.  As an added note, Holland settled his first arb year yesterday at 4.675 million.  In any case we are dealing with an exceptional player and very different times with Mike Trout. 

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I know a lot of people say there's no reason to extend him this year or give him a huge raise, because you don't have to yet and it's a waste of money.  But the closer this guy gets to FA, the less motivated he's going to be to sign an extension (unless it's the equivalent of what he thinks he would get in FA, which it's doubtful the Angels can afford).  I think they have to do everything in their power to lock him up once the season starts.  For me, and maybe I'm just too much of a pessimist, if Trout isn't locked up in 2014, the odds of him leaving via FA begin to grow exponentially.

 

Why cant the Angels do what the Dodgers did with Kershaw? There is no need to just sign him because he may go else where. The Dodgers (Unless i am mistaken) waited until the year before Kershaw became a free agent to pay him out. They gave him fair market during his arbitration years and now he is the highest paid player.

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