Angels, Trout’s rep disagree on 2013 salary …
The Angels gave superstar outfielder Mike Trout a $510,000 contract for next season, representing a $20,000 jump from the Major League minimum, and his agent is not happy.
Trout’s representative, Craig Landis, made it clear in a statement that Trout’s contract is “not the result of a negotiated compromise,” adding that the salary “falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process.”
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams are free to assign whatever salaries they want to players between zero and three years of service time – in other words, pre-arbitration players – given that it’s at least the minimum of $490,000. The Angels use a system that’s based heavily on service time, not performance, and they didn’t to make an exception for Trout.
Of the 22 zero-to-three players that obtained contracts Saturday, Trout was the only one who was “renewed,” while the other 21 “agreed” to their salaries. The highest salary for those 22 was $540,000 for Mark Trumbo, who has just over two years of service time.
The Angels didn’t want to make an exception for Trout, basically because they didn’t want to set a precedent for all their other players and because they don’t feel it’ll hinder their ability to sign him to a long-term extension.
“I don’t think so,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “Mike’s a great kid, he’s wired the right way, we have every faith in his desire to be a great player. He’s going to go out there and he’s going to bust his tail.”
Within the Angels’ system, $510,000 was the most a player with Trout’s service time – 1.070 years – could make.
“We’re trying to manage a group of 25 players, not one,” Dipoto said, adding: “We have been as aggressive with Mike as we can be.”
Landis had previously expressed his displeasure to the front office that Trout would not be the primary center fielder in 2013, with the Angels giving Peter Bourjos an everyday role. Trout’s agent expressed that again in his statement, saying: “As when he learned he would not be the team’s primary center fielder for the upcoming season, Mike will put the disappointment behind him and focus on helping the Angels reach their goal of winning the 2013 World Series.”
Trout, the unanimous choice for the American League Rookie of the Year Award and the runner-up for the MVP at age 21, isn’t with the Angels at Maryvale Baseball Park and his agent said he will not comment on the situation.
“Mike is a unique case, such an exceptional player at such a young age, but what we’re doing contractually with Mike is within the parameters of an agreement collective bargained between players and the league,” Dipoto said. “It’s not the lowest and it’s not the highest. We’re seeing a minimum salary that has gotten bigger and bigger, and we are seeing an average salary at the Major League level that has gotten bigger and bigger, and we’re charged with managing that across the board. With the 0-3 and arbitration years and free agent years, at some point you have to manage the talent on the field and the economics of the game. That’s what we’re trying to do every day.”