Mike Trout re-signs with the Angels, but at what cost?

The Angels retained Mike Trout‘s services for the 2013 season on Saturday, but at what cost?

Mike TroutThe reigning American League Rookie of the Year will earn $510,000 — $20,000 above the major-league minimum. Yet by lowballing their leadoff hitter, the Angels have set a possibly precarious precedent for future negotiations with Trout’s agent, Craig Landis.

In an email to reporters Saturday, Landis wrote:

“During the process, on behalf of Mike, I asked only that the Angels compensate Mike fairly for his historic 2012 season, given his service time,” Landis, who represents Trout, said in an email. “In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract, and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process.”

The Angels were within their right to offer Trout whatever they wanted. Players with zero to three years of major-league service time (Trout has one year and 70 days) do not have the same leverage as a player with three to six years’ service time, who are eligible for arbitration. Players with six years of service time are eligible for free agency.

“The $510,000 salary was not the result of a negotiated compromise between Mike and the Angels,” Landis wrote. “Because Mike has less than 3 years of Major League service and has not yet reached salary arbitration eligibility, the Angels have the right under the CBA to unilaterally impose a salary upon Mike, and they chose to do that today.”

The Angels also renewed the contracts of 21 players. Alphabetically: Peter Bourjos, Ryan Brasier, Kole Calhoun, David Carpenter, Hank Conger, Scott Cousins, Barry Enright, Tommy Field, Ernesto Frieri, Steven Geltz, John Hester, Luis Jimenez, Michael Kohn, Nick Maronde, Brad Mills, Garrett Richards, Andrew Romine, Brandon Sisk, Andrew Taylor, Mark Trumbo and Travis Witherspoon.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
  • curious as to know if the contract is incentive-laden?

  • jphoornstra

    Will, there typically aren’t incentives in 0-3 contracts. On the surface, the Angels don’t have any reason to offer incentives to Trout, who is healthy and had a historic season without any incentives in his contract last year. If I find out for sure, I’ll post it here.