Have you had your morning coffee yet? Here’s something for you:
BREAKING: Star center fielder Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are finalizing a record-breaking 12-year contract worth more than $430 million, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Details: https://t.co/bROnnC11Uh
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 19, 2019
In the seven years since his debut as a precocious 19-year-old back in 2011, Mike Trout has been worth 64.9 wins above replacement — nearly 20 more than the next-greatest mark achieved over that period (Buster Posey’s 47.3). If you look since 2012, which eliminates Trout’s 0.7 win 2011, the gulf is just as wide: Trout’s 64.2 wins are as far ahead of second-place Posey (45.4) as Posey is of 21st place Jonathan Lucroy (26.3). Trout holds the record for most WAR through age 21, 22, 23, 24, and 26 (Ty Cobb beat him out for 25). Mike Trout is 23rd all time in career WAR through age 30, and he is only 27 years old. Mike Trout is already an average Hall of Famer, and his career can’t yet drive or buy a drink.
Now he’s also signed the biggest contract in professional sports history, besting in one swoop both Zack Greinke’s $34.4 million AAV (Trout will get $36 million), and, by $100 million, Bryce Harper’s briefly record-setting $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Trout will be an Angel for life and he is already the greatest to ever wear that uniform. Craig Edwards will have a much longer post putting this all in context later today, but for now, please take this time to discuss, reflect, and enjoy. Mike Trout is baseball’s greatest player, he should be the game’s biggest star, and he’s finally going to be paid like it.
Rian Watt is a contributor to FanGraphs based in Seattle. His work has appeared at Vice, Baseball Prospectus, The Athletic, FiveThirtyEight, and some other places too. By day, he’s a public policy researcher in housing & homelessness.