Report: Angels consider offering Mike Trout 10-year, $350 million extension

Mike Trout
AP Images

The Angels have floated the idea of a 10-year, $350 million extension for center fielder Mike Trout, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Saturday. Rosenthal clarifies that it’s not yet clear whether the Angels formally extended the offer to Trout or whether they’ve even broached the subject of an extension recently. Real or hypothetical, however, it would be the most lucrative deal in the history of Major League Baseball.

Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that Trout isn’t going to accept that kind of contract offer from the club. Per FanGraphs, the two-time AL MVP and seven-time All-Star has forked over 64.7 Wins Above Replacement during his last eight years in Anaheim, and it’s hardly hyperbolic to call him the best player in the game — no matter which metric you use to measure his accomplishments. Barring serious injury or inexplicable decline, he figures to be among the most valuable players in the league for years to come, too. For that reason, it seems plausible that Trout will elect to test the market upon reaching free agency in 2021, and there’s no question that he’ll be in line for a far bigger raise than the ones Bryce Harper and Manny Machado scored this winter.

Should Trout find some common ground with the Angels before then, Rosenthal adds that it “would not seem unreasonable” if he did so to the tune of a 10-year, $400 deal, with an average annual value of $40 million/year. In fact, that may well be the starting point for negotiations, especially taking into account Trout’s immense value (just over $493 million, via FanGraphs) to the organization over the last near-decade.

What’s unclear, then, is how the 27-year-old feels about the possibility of another lengthy extension in Anaheim. Speaking to reporters Friday, he avoided any specific statements concerning current or future negotiations with the team. From’s Rhett Bollinger:

I haven’t even thought about it,” Trout said. “Obviously, you guys [the media] bring it up a lot and I appreciate you asking me all these questions, but right now is not the time to think about it. I still have two years. […] In Spring Training, you’re trying to get ready for the start of the season, and you don’t want to worry about anything else. That’s the mindset right now, and we’ll go from there. […] I haven’t really thought about it. I’m happy with what [Bryce Harper and Manny Machado] got. They obviously wanted that and we’ll go from there. Like I said, I don’t think about that stuff.

Trout may not be close to making any kind of decision just yet, but one thing is certain: Whether or not he ends up in Anaheim on a long-term basis, his next contract will be one for the record books.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.