In a 2019 MLB Offseason defined by record-setting and record-breaking deals, Mike Trout has once again reaffirmed his place as the undisputed king of Major League Baseball (and now, arguably, Major League Sports).
As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angeles are in the process of finalizing a contract extension that will pay Trout an unprecedented, record-shattering, $430 million over the course of the next 12 seasons.
The deal not only eclipses Bryce Harper’s recent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies as the largest contract in North American Major League sports history (by over $100 million), it is also the largest athletic contract in professional sports history, period. In total, the deal is worth roughly 30% more than Harper’s deal and an estimated $65 million more than the next largest professional sports contract, boxer Canelo Alvarez’s recent deal with DAZN.
Additionally, with an average annual value of roughly $36 million, Trout’s deal also awards him the highest annual value in professional sports; as he is now slated to earn an average $1.6 million more than Zach Greinke, whose pitching contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks (previously the highest AAV of any baseball contract) pays him roughly $34.4 million per season. The next closest position player annual value belongs to Colorado Rockies’ third baseman, Nolan Arenado, who signed an eight-year, $260 million contract extension this offseason, worth roughly $32.5 million annually.
In signing with the Angels, Trout is able to avoid free-agency in 2020 and will supplant the remaining two years of his six-year $144.5 million contract, with the twelve years of his new deal. The extension between the two-time AL MVP and perennial All-Star will undoubtedly reshape the way that many major league teams approach free agency in the coming seasons and is seemingly indicative (alongside the extension signed by Arenado) of a shift away from the free-agent frenzy that has dominated off seasons’ past.
In Los Angeles, Mike Trout has put together one of (if not) the best starts to a major league baseball career. In 1,065 career games over eight career seasons, Trout has slashed an astonishing .307/.416/.573 with 240 home runs, 648 RBIs, 793 runs and 189 stolen bases. Trout also owns the highest WAR of any player in major league history through their 26-year-old season, at 64.3. Adding to his upside for the Angels, Trout appears to be continually improving with age; he is coming off his best season to date, in which he slashed .312/.460/.628 with 39 home runs and 79 RBIs in 140 games.
Of note is the fact that according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the deal between Los Angeles and Trout does not include an opt-out clause; meaning, the greatest baseball player of this generation will now retire a Los Angeles Angel.