Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams are free to assign whatever salaries they want to players in their pre-arbitration seasons -- between zero and three years of service time -- provided that it's no less than the 2013 minimum of $490,000.Based on that, According to Mike Trout’s agent angry after Angels renew superstar’s contract at $20K over league minimum by Mike Townsend of Big League Stew:
The number the Angels ultimately settled on was $510,000, which is just $20,000 over the league minimum, about $28,000 more than he earned in 2012
I am in no way, shape or form doubting Mike Trout's abilities. But let's look at it this way. Trout is coming off his impressive rookie season where he not only won the AL Rookie of the Year but also came in second to Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera in the American League Most Valuable Player vote. Correct? Ok, but doesn't the team have the right to see what Trout does this year (and possibly the next) before opening the vault on him? Again, not that I am doubting Trout's abilities, but how many times has a rookie gone lights out in his first year only to slump badly in his second or even worse, flounder the remainder of his career. I believe (and this is my opinion) that the team has the right to feel that Trout show that his performance is the going to be the norm rather than a fluke. The Angels have a system in place on paying players within zero and three years of service and paying Trout what they did with the pay increase is within the rules they apply to all players.
Now obviously, based on Trout's performance this past season he's just not "another rookie". Trout hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBI. In 559 at-bats, trout had 182 hits (27 2B/8 3B/30 HR) with 129 runs scored and 49 stolen bases. His OPS was .963 (.399 OBP/.564 SLG) in just over five months of action.
Whether or not this becomes a problem in the future causing Trout to seek his fortunes elsewhere remains to be seen. Only time will tell that story. To me, Trout just needs to go out there and show everyone that last season was the beginning of many more outstanding seasons rather than a fluke or aberration. If he does that, all the money will come on its own. Agree? Disagree?
For Further Reading:
- Click Here for Mike Trout's Career Statistics from Baseball Reference.com