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Angels sign Mike Trout to 12-year, $430 million contract extension

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Move over Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Your deals were big, but they just got dwarfed: Jeff Passan reports that the Los Angeles Angels and Mike Trout are finalizing a 12-year, $430 million extension that will, in all likelihood, make Trout an Angel for life.

The exact structure of the deal is not yet known, but Passan reports that it’ll tack on ten years to the final two years remaining on his current contract. The average of roughly $36 million over that span will be the highest ever for a player and, obviously, that $430 million shatters the record for the largest overall deal of all time.

It took that kind of deal to keep Trout off the free agent market. If he continued performing the way he has performed and had opened himself up for bids as scheduled following the 2020 season, the total could’ve exceeded even that. Of course, despite all of the speculation that the New Jersey-born Trout would want to head back east to Philadelphia, there was never any strong suggestion that he was unhappy in Anaheim.

Sure, the Angels have struggled to surround the greatest player in the game with playoff-caliber talent, but Southern California has treated Trout just fine. He has never sought the spotlight, so the lure of the flashier east coast markets has never seemed his speed. And you can’t argue with his personal results. Trout, 27, has won two American League MVP awards and could easily have five or six, having finished second four times. He’s a career .307/.416/.573 hitter (173 OPS+) who has hit 240 homers and has stolen 189 bases in just over seven seasons. While you have to play ten years to make the Hall of Fame, Trout could get hit by a bus tomorrow and limp to the plate for a couple of years and still waltz in to Cooperstown.

A gigantic deal to be sure, but it’s hard to argue that the guy is not worth it. I mean, if Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays was around today, what would they make? That’s who Mike Trout is. And he’s about to be paid like it.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.