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FanGraphs on Trout Extension Possibilities


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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/so-what-does-a-mike-trout-extension-look-like-now/

"As crazy as it sounds, <b>$40 million per year </b>for those five years would actually represent something of a discount, given Trout’s expected production going forward. Even though it’s quite a bit more than Kershaw got, Trout is quite a bit better than Kershaw, and comes with less risk since he isn’t a pitcher. And the separation would be large enough that Trout would likely remain the game’s highest paid player even with future inflation, as that AAV in those years is unlikely to be surpassed any time soon."

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It is situations like this that make my wonder why teams are so loathe to give these guys extensions earlier in their careers.  Tampa Bay gave Longoria and Moore extensions very, very early in their careers, and look at how great those deals are from the team's perspective.  I have to wonder whether the Angels would have been in a much better position if they had approached Trout after 2012 (when the question of whether or not he would regress still existed).  And yes, I understand the uncertainly aspect of things, but I don't really buy it - if a team is willing to commit $100 mil to a guy like Tanaka, surely they could commit huge dollars to a player like Trout. 

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It is situations like this that make my wonder why teams are so loathe to give these guys extensions earlier in their careers.  Tampa Bay gave Longoria and Moore extensions very, very early in their careers, and look at how great those deals are from the team's perspective.  I have to wonder whether the Angels would have been in a much better position if they had approached Trout after 2012 (when the question of whether or not he would regress still existed).  And yes, I understand the uncertainly aspect of things, but I don't really buy it - if a team is willing to commit $100 mil to a guy like Tanaka, surely they could commit huge dollars to a player like Trout. 

To be fair, we haven't had a player of Trout's caliber in a long long time. Tampa Bay rolls out these top prospects like its going out of style.

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Dave seems to forget that Kershaw was just one year from free agency while Trout is four years away.

That's a big difference. Kershaw only would have had to say no for one year before hitting the market. Trout's option is to let that money sit there for four years while he runs into fences, gambling that it will still be there. That's a lot of security to let go.

That's why I've maintained all along he'll end up with something around 9/200ish. You could go to 226 just to make it the richest extension ever in total value, but the AAV is going to be less than 25 IMO.

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It is situations like this that make my wonder why teams are so loathe to give these guys extensions earlier in their careers.  Tampa Bay gave Longoria and Moore extensions very, very early in their careers, and look at how great those deals are from the team's perspective.  I have to wonder whether the Angels would have been in a much better position if they had approached Trout after 2012 (when the question of whether or not he would regress still existed).  And yes, I understand the uncertainly aspect of things, but I don't really buy it - if a team is willing to commit $100 mil to a guy like Tanaka, surely they could commit huge dollars to a player like Trout. 

 

2012?   They should have done it after 2011 if they thought he was still going to be a monster.  

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He's not going to get a 20 year extension. The Angels will not commit that kind of money that long term. 

 

He will get a Pujols sized extension if he wants it. 10/260 but that would only make sense if this year were included because they have to pay him only 510k.

 

He'd be getting a big raise this year, next year and the year after (510k, 12M, 18M likely are the year to year salaries). Paying him close to 50M than he'd get for the next three years means he'd likely take less on the back-end free agent years where he could command 30-35M on the open market over ten years. 

 

Getting the huge payday four years in advance means a lot to a young player but if he waits four more seasons, he's likely to make 50M in arbitration, so he won't exactly be hurting. Then at age 26, he could sign for 300-400M over ten seasons. 

 

It's going to be a big payday either way, but would he rather be a free agent at age 30 by signing an 8 or 9 year deal, or wait until he's 36 to see what kind of big deal he can get after his record shattering age 26 free agent contract?

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The more I think about it, the more I feel that its going to be a 10ish year contract with a player opt out after 7 or 8 years. This is why:

- Given that anything can happen, Trout would be foolish not to take a big contract offer now, at age 22. I just don't see him waiting four more years, being paid year to year. 

- Even if he does want to play back east eventually, an opt out after 7-8 years still allows him to do so.

 

So the big contract will happen, but it won't lock him into being an Angel deep into his 30s. He'll be free to go if he wants, I think, around the time he turns 30.

 

I remember Dave Cameron, the author of the linked article, suggesting after 2012 that a 10/$100M contract would make sense for both parties. Now that Trout has shown 2012 wasn't a fluke, all of a sudden we're more than doubling that number.

 

But I agree with Cameron's numbers. Arte needs to realize that doing it now will save him money in the long run. If Trout can be had for 8/$220M to 10/$300M now, after next year--assuming its of similar quality--the price will go up, and Trout will start thinking about wading through his arbitration years to get that $400M contract at age 26. And that's exactly why this needs to happen now and not next year - this year he's only guaranteed half a million dollars, whereas next year he'll be looking at $15 million or so. The big extension is much more alluring when you're only guaranteed to make $500K for the rest of your career, rather than $15M.

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If trout really does get 30-40 million a year, where does that leave the angels payroll flexibility. 

 

The Angels will be spending like 140 million  a year on Pujols, Hamilton, Weaver, Wilson and Trout.

 

They only have 2 guys signed beyond 2016 and Hamilton comes off the book the year after that.   The reports of the Angels financial distress are somewhat overstated.  The Angels could build a contract that would give him more per year than anyone has earned and hit the 60 mil window some believe his arbitration years...  Something along the lines of:

 

23 - 2015 - 15
24 - 2016 - 20
25 - 2017 - 25
26 - 2018 - 30
27 - 2019 - 35
28 - 2020 - 35
29 - 2021 - 35
30 - 2022 - 35
31 - 2023 - 35
32 - 2024 - 40* mutual option year 10 mil buyout.
 
I'm not sure how they could work the signing bonus after the season starts, but if they can front load the signing bonus they have room on the front end.  But as structured the deal has an AAV of  20 during his arbitration years exceeding the AAV Ryan Howard got to forgo his arbitration years and then an AAV of 35.8M during his FA years for 6 years guaranteed with an option year at 40M.  All told he would have 9 years at 275 mil guaranteed and a max value of 10 years 305 Mil -- the largest contract in MLB history.  Not only does it give Trout the first contract to break the 300 barrier but it leaves him with the opportunity to get one more big haul.
 
Why go that high?  Because it takes away all the peripheral BS from the union wanting him to set a new standard for a position player, feeds his ego if necessary, and leaves the decision purely up to him.   For the Angels, they get him through his prime for 30 Mil a year.  Maybe they don't need to go that high, but that deal basically takes aim at every possible counter-argument his agent and the union could come up with for him signing a long term deal.
 
I wouldn't start with this offer obviously, the team should try to get a bargain if they can, but, I'd definitely throw it out there as a last ditch effort.
Edited by Inside Pitch
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The contract you are proposing it makes more sense to trade him.

 

Ten years is a long time.   The arbitration years of the contract aren't that much more than what Posey will be making during his arbitration years (12/16.5/20), and they help to cover the gap between the 8M Posey, earned in his third season Vs. the likely 550K Trout will earn this year.  The FA years amount to 6 years 215 guaranteed and don't kick in til 2018 -- at which point nobody has any clue what the top end FA's will be making.  An argument could be made for using the top AAV for a position player as the barometer for Trout's contract vs the top contract AAV in general -- Kershaw is a pretty unique case... 

 

Getting Trout to sign a contract that will keep him here for the entirety of his prime is going to cost a lot of money.  He will be under immense pressure from the union to "do his part" and "help others like others have done helped him" and whatever other tripe the MLBPA throws at him.  Unless he really loves SoCal and would really consider making this his home, my guess is it will cost a lot of money.  

 

Again, it's not where I would start, but if the Angels offered that and he didn't bite, then it may just be he wants to be somewhere else and trading him becomes a greater possibility.
Edited by Inside Pitch
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