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Mike Trout’s agent disappointed with Angels over contract renewal price

Mike TroutMike Trout’s agent, Craig Landis, is disappointed with the Angels over the amount of money for which they chose to renew his client’s contract.

Trout just completed his rookie season for the Angels. MLB players with 0-3 years of service time are paid what the team chooses (so long as it’s over the minimum). Players are arbitration eligible from years 4-6, and they become free agents after six years of service time.

Because he only has one year of service time, the Angels had the right to pay Trout whatever they chose. They opted to renew his contract for $510,000, which is just $20,000 more than the minimum salary.

“In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process,” agent Craig Landis said Saturday, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Landis reportedly said Trout was also disappointed with the amount of money for which the Angels chose to renew his contract.

Teams generally renew the contracts of players’ with 0-3 years of service time in one of two ways: increasing their pay based on service time, or on performance. The Angels operate on the former method, which is why Mark Trumbo received more money ($540,000) than Trout despite having an inferior season.

For context, there is some precedent for teams renewing young players’ contracts for raises if they have performed well.

Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award in his second season and was paid $650,000 by the San Francisco Giants the following season (the minimum salary was $400,000). Ryan Howard won Rookie of the Year in 2006 and was paid $355,000 the next season by the Philadelphia Phillies (minimum salary was $327,000). He won MVP in his second season and was renewed for a record $900,000 the following year.

Not only did Landis say Trout is disappointed with his contract renewal price, but he also said his client was disappointed the Angels moved him away from center field.

“As when he learned he would not be the team’s primary center fielder for the upcoming season, Mike will put the disappointment behind him and focus on helping the Angels reach their goal of winning the 2013 World Series,” Landis said, per The Register.

The Angels better hope neither factor adversely affects their best player.

Though it seems absurd that Trout is making so little money, these are part of the rules the players union agreed to during collective bargaining. They are also important rules; if teams couldn’t control the costs of young players, smaller-market clubs would have even less of a chance to compete because player salaries would escalate quickly. There should be a reward to clubs that draft well.

As long as he remains productive, Trout will be pulling in millions by the time he enters arbitration, and he’ll be in line for at least a $200 million contract when free agency comes. He and his agent should be patient and worry about more important matters, though I do think a team that spent $240 million on Albert Pujols and $125 million for Josh Hamilton could have sprung for an extra $100-200k for Trout. He certainly earned it.

Mike Trout on weight gain: I put on eight pounds, and it was all muscle

Mike Trout says the reports that he showed up to spring training overweight are inaccurate and overblown.

Many fans and analysts were concerned that Trout fell out of shape over the offseason after word circulated that the reigning AL Rookie of the Year had put on weight. The report seemed to emanate from Angels beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, who tweeted this on Feb. 14:

Reading that Trout was up to 240 pounds and looking like a fullback was pretty stunning, especially when you consider that his player profile on most sports websites lists him at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, which would equate to a 40-pound gain. Additionally, photos posted to Trout’s Twitter account didn’t seem to show a noticeable change in his physique. That’s probably because there wasn’t much of one.

Mike Trout AngelsOn Thursday, Trout set the record straight about his weight during an interview with Mike Gill’s “The Sports Bash” on 97.3 FM in Trout’s home state of New Jersey.

“People say I gained 30 or 40 pounds, they got a wrong answer,” Trout told Gill. “I came into camp like eight pounds over what I played at last year. I ended the year last year 231, and I came in to camp like 240. I’m down to like 235 now.

“I feel great, feel fine, feel normal, so it’s nothing to worry about. [I have] nine percent body fat, so it’s not like I’m out there crushing hamburgers and eating some bad food. Just working out. I didn’t think it was a big deal.

“I think it got out there because when I got drafted it said I was 210, and they haven’t updated it in like three years. I think that’s why they got 30 pounds. Right now, I probably gained five pounds, if that,” said Trout.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia elaborated on the matter during an interview with ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning.”

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Angels to have five Mike Trout giveaways, none for Jered Weaver or Josh Hamilton

The Los Angeles Angels enter the 2013 season with a roster filled with superstars, but none may be more popular than Mike Trout. The 21-year-old burst onto the scene last year and was one of the best players in baseball. Had it not been for Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, Trout could have easily taken home the American League MVP award.

How popular is Trout in LA? Of the eight giveaway promotions the Angels will be holding this season featuring individual players, five have to do with Trout. As the LA Times called to our attention, the team will be giving away Trout bobblehead dolls, kids’ jerseys, blankets, hats and drinking glasses. Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson and Mark Trumbo make up the other three player promotions, meaning no love for Jered Weaver or Josh Hamilton.

It seems there is no question who the most popular player is on a team that has realistic World Series aspirations. Fans are already more than capable of identifying Trout when they see him on the street, and the youngster seems to be enjoying the ride.

“Everywhere I go, I hear my name whispered: ‘That’s Trout! That’s Trout!’” he said. “You can only do this one time.”

Angels vice president of communications Tim Mead said it was a no-brainer for the team to capitalize on Trout’s popularity with the way he performed in 2012.

“If Albert had been the MVP last year, perhaps there would be the same items pushing that,” Mead said.

Amen to that. When a player robs not one, not two, not three, but four home runs over the course of a season, it’s no surprise that he becomes a fan favorite. Mix in his .326 batting average, 30 homers, 49 stolen bases and that massive fish he caught over the summer and you see why Trout could soon become the most popular player in America.

Mike Trout went fishing and his group caught a 550-pound monster (Pictures)

mike trout fish

Is there anything Mike Trout can’t catch? The reigning AL Rookie of the Year (and AL MVP snub) was in Key West, Fla., over the weekend. Trout, his girlfriend, and some family went fishing, and they had a heck of a catch.

Trout’s girlfriend, Tara Cox, tweeted the picture you see above and says the group caught a 500-pound goliath grouper. Another Trout family member, Tyler, says the grouper was 550 pounds and over five feet long. He shared another picture of their catch:

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No MVP, no Gold Glove for Mike Trout … MLB awards are a joke

Just when you thought everyone associated with the baseball was getting smarter, an awards voting comes along and proves we’re still really dumb.

Angels center fielder Mike Trout was shut out in the awards voting this month. He finished second in AL MVP, and he did not win a Gold Glove. Oh yeah, he did win AL Rookie of the Year. Whoopie. Excuse me if I’m not so excited about the best player in the game winning an award that was also given to the likes of Angel Berroa and Bobby Crosby.

Trout put together the best season by a position player since Barry Bonds, per Baseball Reference’s WAR metric. Trout finished with a 10.7 WAR, which actually topped Bonds’ WAR for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, and only was shy of Bonds’ WAR for 2002 and 2001, the years he batted .370 and hit 73 home runs respectively.

WAR measures “Wins Above Replacement,” aka how many more wins the player contributed to the team than the average replacement player. Since it takes into account defensive, base running, and offensive statistics, the way it is calculated is subjective and slightly different depending on the outlet.

Fangraphs, which has a more reliable WAR calculation, measured Trout at 10 WAR. The next highest player was Buster Posey with 8, and he won NL MVP. Miguel Cabrera, who won AL MVP, was eighth in their calculations with 7.1, behind even Robinson Cano in the AL.

A few tweaks to the formulas can result in a slightly different order for the top players’ WAR, but what is not disputable is that no matter the outlet, Trout was anywhere from 25-50% more valuable than the other best players in baseball.

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Mike Trout hazed by Angels again, this time dresses as a giant baby (Picture)

The Angels really seem to enjoy screwing with Mike Trout. The 21-year-old is arguably the best player on the team, but a rookie is a rookie. Trout played only 40 games at the MLB level last season, and apparently he didn’t fully pay his hazing dues when the team made him dress in this ridiculous outfit and parade around. As you can see from the photo above that Torii Hunter shared on Twitter, Trout was given the giant baby treatment this season.

If the Angels miss the playoffs, Trout will be looking for to next season for more reasons than one.

Justin Verlander makes a very strong push for Miguel Cabrera as AL MVP

In years past, the MVP race has had a tendency to become clearer as the season draws to a close. That has not been the case in the American League this season. Although Jim Leyland would have told you otherwise, Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout looked like the clear-cut favorite for AL MVP back at the beginning of August. Miguel Cabrera was a close second, but over the past month it has turned into 1A and 1B.

With Cabrera closing in on the Triple Crown, Last year’s AL MVP Justin Verlander feels that it would be ridiculous to give the award to anyone other than his teammate.

“Bull (expletive),” Verlander said on Wednesday when informed that some analysts say they would pick Trout even if Miggy wins the Triple Crown. “That’s ridiculous. When was the last time there was a Triple Crown winner, ’67? OK.

“That would be a joke in my opinion. Come on. Even the fact he’s one home run away (from a Triple Crown) is just absolutely absurd. Just watch him. And watch him when we need him, down this home stretch. Oh my god. You want to talk about MVP. Compare their numbers the last two months of the season. Big difference.”

Cabrera leads the AL with a .333 batting average and 130 RBI. He is in second by one homer behind Josh Hamilton with 41. The last player to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, so it is clearly one of the rarest feats in all of professional sports. If Trout were to win the award, it would be the result of voters keeping amazing defensive plays like this one and this one in mind in addition to his impressive batting stats.

As impressive as Trout has been, I tend to agree with Verlander that a player who wins the Triple Crown would have to be the league MVP. At the same time, the fact that someone is in line for the Triple Crown and hasn’t run away with the award is a reminder of just how phenomenal Trout has been.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE