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Angels’ contract for Mike Trout reportedly 7 years for $150 million, not 6 years

Mike Trout AngelsThe LA Angels were heavily criticized when news first emerged that they were discussing a contract extension with Mike Trout. Now it’s looking like that criticism might be misguided.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reported Sunday that the Angels and Trout were talking about a six-year, $150 million extension. That contract would cover this season — Trout’s third with the team and one where the Angels would still be able to name his pay; three arbitration years; and two free agency years. Players make increasingly more in each arbitration-eligible season, but they still earn less than they would in free agency.

Say the Angels paid Trout $1 million this season, they could probably pay him around $60 million over this three arbitration years and $70 million over his two free agency years. All those figures look generous now, and that still leaves an additional $20 million to hand out at some point. That’s why people thought the Angels were making a bad deal.

But here’s the thing: the $150 million might be over seven years and would cover three of Trout’s free agency seasons. That’s what FOX’s Ken Rosenthal says. He also provided this breakdown of what the Angels would like to have for Trout’s extension:

Now that makes a lot more sense. If the Angels are able to lock up three of Trout’s free agency years and spend $160 million to do it, that wouldn’t be a bad deal for them at all.

Based on how ticked off Trout’s camp seemed to be over the Angels low-balling him with his 2013 team-designated salary, not to mention some of Trout’s free agency comments, just getting him to sign an extension would seem like a victory.

Mike Trout can jump really really really high (Video)

Mike Trout jumpMike Trout is a supreme athlete. You already knew that. But it’s still pretty awesome to watch some of his athletic feats, such as him doing a ridiculous plyometric box jump during a recent workout.

Trouty posted the video to his Instagram page on Wednesday and added that there were only 42 days until spring training begins. Think he’s ready for another big season? I’d say so.

Trout is listed at 6-foot-1. The box looked like it came up to the middle of his pecs. Knocking about 18 inches off Trout’s 73 inches in height, and I’d peg that at somewhere between a 55-60″ clearance jump.

If you thought that was impressive — and it surely was — then you have to see this video of ex-Pro Bowl DB Adrian Wilson doing a 66-inch jump.

Yankees president Randy Levine apologizes to Angels for Mike Trout tampering comment

Mike TroutNew York Yankees president Randy Levine is already getting a head start on stealing the Los Angeles Angels’ best player, and he had to apologize for it.

At Friday’s press conference to introduce new Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury, Levine answered questions about the team losing Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners. Cano agreed to a 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle, which was much than the Yankees offered him.

Levine explained that the team has a policy against giving players over 30 10-year deals, and that’s when he mentioned Trout.

“If Mike Trout was here, I would recommend a 10-year contract. But for people over 30, I don’t believe it makes sense. I don’t think Hal thinks it makes sense. We were very clear about that.”

Though Levine might not have made a premeditated comment, his remark gets the thought out there that the Yankees are willing to open the vault for Trout when the time comes. Because of that, MLB was said to be investigating Levine for tampering. Levine already says he has called the Angels to apologize.

“When I was talking about Mike Trout, I was using it as an example of the type of player because of his age, we would consider giving a 10-year deal to. I realized it could be misconstrued, so I called John Carpino, the president of the Angels, and apologized to him for any inconvenience. I spoke to Major League Baseball and apologized to them and my understanding is the matter is over,” Levine said in a statement, via Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

Trout just completed his second full season and will be arbitration eligible for 2015-2017 before becoming a free agent for the 2018 season. The Angels control him until then, but there is a strong possibility they could lost him after that.

Trout and his agent were upset with the Angels for snubbing him on his team-controlled salary last season. The MVP candidate also has made it sound like he’s open to playing elsewhere when the time comes. We’re another four years away from seeing it happen, but it already seems like Trout going to the Yankees is a strong possibility.

And I don’t care what people think: this absolutely is tampering. You think I enjoy the richest team in baseball talking about giving a 10-year contract to my team’s best player? You don’t think the Angels are ticked about the Yankees screwing with their guy? Of course they are! Back off, Yankees.

Writer voted Mike Trout 7th in AL MVP voting

Mike Trout AngelsMike Trout finished second in AL MVP voting for the second consecutive year. That’s bad enough in itself. What’s much worse is that one voter actually placed him 7th.

Trout appeared on all 30 MVP ballots. He received 5 1st-place votes, 19 2nd, 3 third, and 1 fourth, fifth and seventh-place votes. Miguel Cabrera, who won the MVP for the second straight year, was first on 23 ballots and second on the other seven.

The person who didn’t think Trout was one of the top-6 most valuable players in the league last season was Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. He belongs to the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association.

Trout’s placement wasn’t Ballou’s only unusual ranking.

Ballou voted Chris Davis first, followed by Cabrera, Josh Donaldson, Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre, Dustin Pedroia and then Trout.

I really don’t understand how anyone could view Trout’s performance last season that lowly. Trout batted .323 with 27 home runs, 97 RBIs, 109 runs and 33 stolen bases. His batting average was third in the AL, his .432 on-base percentage was second, his .998 OPS was third, his 109 runs were first and his 33 stolen bases ranked him eighth. He also is a good defender in the outfield, plays a premium position, and is one of the best baserunners in the game. Trout’s offensive numbers are already close to Cabrera and Davis, and his defense and baserunning makes him a superior overall player. How could someone not see that and feel like Cano, Beltre or Pedroia were more valuable?

The only explanation for the 7th-place vote for Trout is that he played for a team that went 78-84. If that was Ballou or anyone else’s reason for dropping Trout in the voting, it’s a poor one. Why should Trout, who had the best season of any player in MLB last year, be penalized because Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton, and mostly everyone in the Angels’ bullpen severely underachieved? That doesn’t sound like very good logic. Without Trout, maybe the Angels are only a 65-win team. Doesn’t that make him an extremely valuable player?

Mike Trout hints he’s open to playing for another team

Mike Trout AngelsMike Trout is still under the Los Angeles Angels’ control for another four seasons and quite a ways away free agency. He and his agent have not talked with the team about a possible contract extension, insisting that they will be patient. Another concern for the Angels is that Trout seems open to the possibility of playing elsewhere.

Trout’s agent Craig Landis said Tuesday that they will be patient when it comes to contract talks. Though Trout says he loves playing in Anaheim and calls it a “great place to play,” he may be open to playing elsewhere.

“It’s about time to start looking for a house,” Trout said, via the Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna. “I’m trying to see what direction my career takes me. Do I want to buy a house out here or some other place?”

Why would Trout consider buying a home elsewhere if he weren’t considering leaving the Angels when he becomes a free agent? That’s what the comment indicates to me.

Trout won Rookie of the Year last season and should have been AL MVP. He leads MLB in WAR for the second season in a row and is having an even better season than last year. By the time free agency comes, he may be in position to be sign the most lucrative contract in baseball history.

Will the Angels be the team to pay it? Josh Hamilton’s contract will be up by then, as will Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson’s. Weaver and Wilson are on good contracts, but the point is the Angels should have money available for Trout as long as they don’t commit to huge contracts in the next few seasons. Unfortunately Albert Pujols will still be making a boatload of cash in 2018, but the team should have plenty of extra money. By the time he’s a free agent, Trout could be a $35-million-a-year player. He and his agent may also want to make the Angels pay for snubbing him on his salary this season.

Mike Trout thinks he would beat Michael Vick in a race

Mike Trout is one of the fastest players in baseball, and he thinks he’s fast enough to take down one of the fastest players in the NFL.

The Los Angeles Angels stud outfielder joined MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk” last week and was asked whether he could accomplish many athletic feats. Trout was asked if he could: dunk a basketball, drive a golf ball over 300 yards, ice skate backwards, bowl a perfect game and finish in the top three of “Dancing With the Stars.” Trout was also asked if he could beat Michael Vick in a 50-yard dash.

Mike Trout cycleAfter pondering the question for a few seconds, Trout came up with a confident response.

“I mean yeah. What is he, 30? I know he’s older. I got him, I got him for sure!” Trout said.

Trout was then asked if he could beat Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson in a race. Johnson famously clocked a 4.24 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine.

“I don’t know about that. Nah, there ain’t no way. Ain’t no way of catching him,” Trout admitted.

As for the other accomplishments, Trout says he came close to a perfect game in bowling and that his highest score was in the 280s. He could do everything else on the list, except finish well in “Dancing With the Stars” because he says he’s not a good dancer.

Vick’s speed has actually been a popular topic this year. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback raced teammate LeSean McCoy in May and supposedly torched the running back. Shortly thereafter, Vick said he was the fastest quarterback in the league. But could Trout beat him in a race? I’ll take my boy Trout, and I’d happily pay to see it happen.

If you have some time, you should watch the entire interview because it’s pretty funny. At one point Trout says if the Angels were stuck on a desert island and had to eat someone, he’d choose manager Mike Scioscia because he’s the meatiest. Love it.

H/T The 700 Level

Mike Trout homers on his birthday for second straight year (Video)

So there is like an unwritten rule here at LBS, and it states that when Mike Trout does something awesome, we must post about it. Well, I choose to post about it. Because the Los Angeles Angels have been so embarrassingly bad this season, Trout highlights are pretty much all I have.

Mike Trout home runTrout took Texas Rangers starter Alexi Ogando deep to left center on a 2-1 off-speed pitch in the first inning of Wednesday’s 10-3 loss. It was just a ridiculous blast from Trout to give the Angels a 2-0 lead, which they eventually blew, of course. It also came on Trout’s 22nd birthday, meaning Trout has homered on his birthday two years in a row.

The dinger marked Trout’s 20th of the season, and it gave him 70 RBIs on the year.

Believe it or not, Trout is actually having a better season than his incredible rookie campaign last year. He’s up to a .333 batting average, .424 on-base percentage, and .580 slugging percentage, all of which top his numbers from last year. Though he’s 10 homers shy of where he was last year, he already has the same amount of triples and more doubles.

The AL MVP will likely come down to Trout and Miguel Cabrera, and Cabrera will win for the second year in a row, but Trout’s special season should not be overlooked. As Fangraphs wrote on Wednesday, Trout actually has a higher wRC+ (weighted runs created) than any other player in history through his age 21 season.

And since we can, here’s video of Trout homering on nearly an identical swing/pitch on his 21st birthday:

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