Superstar outfielder Mike Trout has agreed to a six-year contract extension with the Angels, the team announced Friday night. The deal is reportedly worth $144.5 million, per Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.
The contract starts in 2015 and covers Trout's three years of salary arbitration plus three more years of free agency. Trout, 22, is signed for $1 million for 2014. He will be a free agent after his age-28 season, in 2020.
No matter how you slice it, this is a precedent-setting deal. The record salary for someone in their first year of arbitration eligibility is $10 million by Ryan Howard in 2008. That was with an MVP on his mantel, but though Trout doesn't have the shiny hardware he came close.
Trout has finished second in American League MVP voting in each of the last two years, but is widely considered to be the best all-around player in the game. Trout has hit .324/.416/.560 with 57 home runs, 66 doubles and 82 stolen bases in 2012-2013 combined, and led the majors in both seasons in various versions of Wins Above Replacement (WAR).
Trout lost both MVP awards to Miguel Cabrera, who just signed an eight-year, $248 million extension with the Tigers for his ages 33-40 campaigns. Trout's new contract will carry him through his age 23-28 seasons and will almost certainly eclipse the $31 million average annual value of Cabrera's deal in the final three years of the contract, which would have been free agent years for Trout.
At just over $24 million per season for the life of the deal, he joins Albert Pujols ($24 million per season) and Josh Hamilton ($25 million per year) as Angels making at least $24 million per season.
The Angels plan to hold a news conference on Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim to announce the transaction.