Reviewing Mike Trout contract extension predictions


Yes, folks, the day we have all spent countless hours speculating about appears to be finally drawing near with reports that the Angels and Mike Trout are nearing the completion of a long-term contract. Current rumors have the deal in the six-year, $150 million range, but that is far from final. What is it going to be? Inquiring minds want to know.

Well, the good news is we have answers… well, sort of. We actually have educated opinions from real live experts who have taken a stab at predicting Trout's ultimate extension over the last few months. So, before Trout actually puts pen to paper, let's see what these so-called experts think will go down.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I focused on actual predictions because it turns out a lot of writers threw around hypotheticals for Trout, but didn't really commit to them

Buster Olney, ESPN:

If the Angels go this route, of course, they can assume that signing him will cost a lot more than the $180 million that Moreno spent to buy the team a decade ago.

I asked a long-time agent who does not represent Trout what he might ask for in a negotiation for a multiyear deal, and he paused for a few moments, like someone savoring a good piece of steak.

"Why not do something that's never been done before?" he asked rhetorically.

What do you mean?

"Twelve years, $400 million."

This was the story that sparked all the Trout extension hysteria. That $400 million number is truly preposterous (and in fairness to Olney, not his prediction) has really skewed projections ever since. But still, Olney claims $180 million is the lowest bar possible. Thus far, he isn't looking very good should the report by Jeff Passan come to, err, pass. Speaking of which…

Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports:

This is the perfect contract. If the Angels decline the option, it is a seven-year, $100 million deal. If they pick it up, it's an eight-year, $128 million deal.

This is easily the lowest prediction of the bunch. Had I seen this a week ago, I would've scoffed at it. Alas, it is looking prescient now even if it was the equivalent of the Price Right one dollar bid. Perhaps Passan, who had the story first on the six-year, $150 million deal, has had a bit of an inside scoop all along.

Dave Cameron, Fangraphs:

Pricing those free agent years at $40 million apiece, in addition to the $60 million he’d be getting for his remaining years of team control, would bring the total deal to $260 million over nine years. The deal would fall short of being the largest contract in baseball history, but would easily be the largest deal for any player still under team control. If Trout was particularly interested in breaking A-Rod’s record, adding a 10th year to push the deal to $300 million in total wouldn’t be that difficult, and should still be something the Angels are interested in doing.

The sabermetric community begins to chime in now and the price really starts to go up. $260 million is a big price tag, but what we are really going to see is the longer length of deals. That's really the funny part because much of these projections focus so much on the money, but few ever really look too deeply into how long Trout would be willing to sign for. That looks like a big oversight thus far.

Andrew Ball, Beyond the Boxscore:

Our revised offer is 8-years, $152 million with club options for 2022 and 2023.


In total the deal could be worth $204 million over ten years and even if we exercise both options, he still would have the chance to hit the market as a 32-year old and have one more pay day.

A more detailed version of a sabermetric evaluation. Thus far we haven't heard anything about options or incentive clauses working into talks, but if Clayton Kershaw's deal is any kind of template, it is a real possibility that a compromise on the length of the deal could be including player options. That actualy won't work much in the Angels' favor since Trout would surely opt out, but it would make Trout's agent look better since it increases the overall potential value.

Jonah Keri, Grantland:

By those estimates, if the Angels wanted to give Trout a 10-year deal to take him through his 32nd birthday, they’d have to offer something like $222 million.

See, like I said, length just keeps extending.

Drew Fairservice, Getting Blanked:

The Angels and Mike Trout will agree to an eight year, $240 million contract. Some safety and guaranteed money with an opportunity to hit free agency at 30. Plus he’ll probably be the highest paid player in the game in about three years. Sounds good? Good.

Fairservice actually did take a good shot at considering the duration of the contract and his heart was in the right place by trying to get Trout to free agency at 30, but still he falls short. For what it is worth, I made the exact same prediction just a few days before. We tried so hard, but nobody anticipated Trout's agent to be so ambitious about getting him to the open market.

Jason Martinez, Bleacher Report:

For what would be an eight-year contract extension, they'd likely estimate a $30 million-per-season cost for the five free-agent years. So Trout and his agent could ask for eight years and $190 million to keep him with the Angels through 2021.

Yeah, I know, Bleacher Report, but I wanted to cast a wide net here. This is probably the closest thing to an armchair guess, but it isn't all that far off from where talks seem to stand now.

Alden Gonzalez, Angels beat writer:

My guess (and that’s all this is)? I’d say a $35 million AAV for his four free-agent years (Kershaw maxes out at $33 million by 2017). Given that, the (perhaps generous) arbitration projections and the potential desire to make Trout a free agent again at or just before age 30 — seven years, $200 million ($28.6 million AAV) for a Trout extension.

Now that we are actually getting details on the negotiations, this prediction is the one I would lay my money on. The Angels want that seventh year and if they get it, $200 million would be bang on in terms of value.

So who will be right? As or right now, it looks like almost everyone overshot the value, but a lot can change between now and the time that an agreement can actually be reached.

Also, if I missed any predictions of notoriety, by all means let me know. It will probably wrong too, but at least we can have them join the party.

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.