Saturday March 2nd 2013. This was the day the Los Angeles Angels, could have done the right thing and made their second year superstar, Mike Trout feel appreciated and taken care of. Instead they used the collective bargaining agreement as a shield and an excuse to grossly underpay one of the games best players and runner-up in last season’s MVP voting.
The Angels just renewed Trout for 20K over the league minimum (how generous) paying him $510,000 for the 2013 season.
In 2012 the average MLB salary was $3,440,000.
Does anybody think Mike Trout is average? Does anybody think Mike Trout deserves to be paid less than six times the average player?
In the off-season the Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year $125 million dollar contract. That averages out to $25m per.
Last season, Hamilton batted .285 with 43 home runs, 128, rbi’s, 7 stolen bases, 60 walks and 160 strike outs. His slugging percentage was .549. His on base percentage was .363. By comparison, playing in nine fewer games, Trout hit .326, with 30 home runs, 83 rbi’s, 49 stolen bases, 67 walks and 139 strike outs. His slugging percentage was .564 and his on base percentage was .399.
Does anyone think Hamilton is worth about 24.5 mill more than Trout? Trout’s agent doesn’t think so. And I’m guessing Trout himself doesn’t either.
We, myself included, get on players for taking the money and running when they finally do reach free agency. Just recently, I wrote about how much money the NY Yankees should and should not offer Robinson Cano when he becomes a free agent.
But there is something to be said for wanting to be treated fairly and not taken advantage of. I understand it can be argued that teams like the Angels have to take advantage of the CBA this way to make up for spending on players like Hamilton and Albert Pujols. However, that doesn’t help players like Trout who could get injured before they ever see the light of fair market value.
The desire to receive fair market value is something that whether you’re a shoe salesmen, or an athlete, we want. We feel taken advantage of if we do not receive it.
The MLB players union is partly to blame. They are the most powerful union in sports, but I guess they like the idea of having more money available for players that have been in the league longer, and don’t mind screwing over the new kids just entering the league. Otherwise, why else hasn’t the union made louder noise on this issue?
The system is what it is and I don’t mean to suggest that the Angels had to pay Trout $25 million. However, they could have shown good faith and won some loyalty points by renewing Trout at the league average of around 3.4 mill. Would anyone suggest Trout would be getting overpaid at that figure?
Don’t think Trout won’t remember this. And as a fan of the Angels, if and when he makes it to free agency, don’t hold it against him if he goes elsewhere for more money. Rather than boo him later, boo the Angels now for lowering the hammer under the guise of “it’s just business”. Remember, if it is just business now, it may be just business later when Trout is in a Texas Ranger’s, or other team’s uniform.