That didn’t take long. Just days after Bryce Harper signed a record contract with Philadelphia that was the biggest in baseball history, another superstar took the top spot. Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a 12-year, $430 million contract extension on March 19, 2019. With the extension, it’s a good bet that Trout, who turns 28 years old during the 2019 baseball season, will retire with the Angels. At the very least, his remaining seasons in his prime
How much was Mike Trout making?
The cynical answer to the question ‘How much was Mike Trout making?’ is ‘Not enough.’ The six-year, $144.5 million deal he had before the extension put his per-year earnings at just over $34 million, according to USA Today, which was No. 3 in baseball.
However, the total value of his old deal was far behind that of his peers. Slumping slugger Chris Davis, aging catcher Buster Posey, so-so outfielder Jason Heyward, and the retired Prince Fielder all have larger active contracts than Mike Trout in 2019, according to Baseball Prospectus.
How does Trout’s contract compare to Harpers?
As we mentioned above, Trout’s new contract takes the crown as the largest in baseball. Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies for 13-years and $330 million. His average salary from the deal wasn’t among the highest in baseball, but the total value was tops in MLB.
With the new deal, Mike Trout still won’t be the highest-paid baseball player, but he will be the richest. Trout’s average salary breaks down to $35.8, which remains behind Washington pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. However, the $430 million total compensation is the largest professional sports contract ever, according to ESPN. Considering Trout is probably the game’s best player, the mammoth deal seems like a smart investment for the Angels.
Mike Trout or Bryce Harper — who ya got?
Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are two of the best players in baseball in 2019, and they’re both being paid that way. But if you had to pick one to start your team with, who would you pick? Let’s look at the numbers:
- Two-time MVP (and he finished second four times)
- Seven-time all-star
- Three seasons with 10-plus WAR numbers (meaning Trout is worth 10 more wins to his team than the average replacement player). His career WAR through the 2018 season is 64.3
- .307/.416/.573 career slash line
- 240 home runs and 648 RBIs through 2018. Trout has 189 stolen bases entering the 2019 season.
- .994 fielding percentage
- 2015 MVP
- Six-time all-star
- One season with WAR of 10 or more (2015)
- .279/.388/.512 career slash line
- 184 home runs and 521 RBIs through the 2018 season. Harper has 75 stolen bases in his career.
- .983 fielding percentage.
Harper is slightly younger at 26 years old, and he won’t turn 27 until October 2019. He also swings lefty, while Trout is a righty. However, based on stats, production, stable defense, and accolades, Mike Trout seems like the obvious choice. He’s probably the hardest player to replace in all of baseball, and he might be one of the 10 best players of all time.