MLBits: Trout Gets All the Monies, Gonzalez Signs, Single-Season Records Broken This Year? More

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MLBits: Trout Gets All the Monies, Gonzalez Signs, Single-Season Records Broken This Year? More

Chicago Cubs

Earlier this morning, Mike Trout signed a 12-year, $430M deal with the Angels. That’s $100M more guaranteed dollars than Bryce Harper on a shorter overall deal, which also means his ~$36M in AAV is more than $10M more per year than what Harper got. Think that grinds Scott Boras’s gears?

Let’s have some fun with these numbers …

  • As Brett pointed out on Twitter, if Trout averages 150 games games per season for the next 12 seasons, he’ll make a hilarious $26,543 per inning over the life of this contract. It’s also fun to think about his contract with respect to the monster deal signed by Albert Pujols with the Angels back in 2012:

  • That’s insane … but also not even a little undeserved. I know Trout’s talent is not exactly a secret, but even as most people admit he’s the best player in baseball, I don’t think they actually get what that means. A while back, I decided to take a look at Mike Trout’s entire career to find what his worst season looked like and I was pretty shocked by the result:

  • One final Trout-specific thought: with this contract inked, baseball definitely just saw it’s absolute ceiling on total dollars set for the next, maybe, decade-plus. No one is going to beat that until natural inflation lowers the bar a bit (and even then, it’s going to take a young, superstar free agent or near-free agent). And the only real way that average annual salary will be beat is if another free agent like Harper comes around and chooses to do one of those frequently discussed, but rarely agreed upon short-term, high-AAV deals (like 4 years, $160M). Trout set the ceiling high, and he deserved to be the one to do it.
  • Then again, he didn’t do it alone. He had some help from Harper, Manny Machado, and Nolan Arenado:

  • The Yankees have signed pitcher Gio Gonzalez to a pretty solid minor league deal, according to James Wagner. He’ll get $3M in guaranteed dollars if he makes the big league team and if he does, he can earn another $300K/start ($12 million max on the deal). He can also opt out of his deal on April 20th (this gives him an out if the Yankees don’t have him in the Majors, despite otherwise looking good), which preserves some flexibility. It’s not a perfect deal for a guy who finished sixth in the Cy Young voting in 2017, but given the trends and his age and the date, it’s not the worst deal either.
  • Okay, this one is a ton of fun: At ESPN, Sam Miller takes a look at which of baseball’s top-20 single-season records have the best chance of being broken this year. At the bottom of the list (least likely to be broken), you’ll find things like 36 triples (set in 1912) and a .426 batting average (set in 1901) … neither of those are going to be broken, I’m afraid. But as you move down the list, you slowly start to imagine someone getting on-base at a Barry Bondsian-clip for just one season. Or maybe Billy Hamilton finally gets on base enough and steals 130 bags. And, hey, Bob Gibson might’ve finished the 1968 season with a 1.12 ERA, but maybe Jacob deGrom can do it, right? Eh … maybe not: ” Jacob deGrom had a 1.70 ERA last year, the third-lowest since Gibson; if you turned his four worst outings into scoreless starts, it would only get him to 1.16.” There’s a lot of fun to discover in this one – check it out.
  • Speaking of records, this is all-time home run graphic is absolutely mesmerizing:

  • Rough news out of Detroit, as starter Michael Fulmer (2016 AL Rookie of the Year) is heading for Tommy John surgery. He’s already gotten two opinions, including Dr. James Andrews, but is still seeking a third. His career has been so weird. After bursting onto the scene as a future top-of-the-rotation pitcher, the Tigers often dangled Fulmer in trade rumors (despite his youth, talent, and cost control). And yet somehow, none of the rumors ever really grew legs. Which makes you wonder if there was just something easily scout-able about the way he pitches that left teams weary of this exact outcome. Well, at least he’s still young and TJS returns are fairly successful nowadays.
  • Following the 2017 season, Mookie Betts rejected an eight-year/$200M extension from the Boston Red Sox, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. For a time, that seemed like a mistake – especially considering the 2018 and 2019 offseason ice-outs. But since then, “Betts has won the MVP and was central to a championship last year and just witnessed an offseason in which Manny Machado received $300 million, Bryce Harper $330 million and now Mike Trout $430 million.” Sherman thinks that was a good move for Betts, who figures to get the next biggest contract after the 2020 season … if he’s not extended first. For what it’s worth, Betts will play 2019 as a 26-year-old and 2020 as a 27-year-old. So whichever team signs him for 2021 will get two seasons before he turns 30. So if he keeps up his performance (relatively speaking), I think breaking $200M should be easily doable.
  • The MLB Players Association may be thrilled to see all these major deals lately, but they still have their (justifiable) concerns: “In an industry that’s growing, seeing upwards of two-thirds of the payrolls being lower than what they were last year is a concern,” union executive director Tony Clark said while visiting Pirates camp Tuesday.
  • Reminder: Craig Kimrel (arguably the greatest closer of the past decade) and Dallas Keuchel (the 2015 AL Cy Young and a five-time Gold Glover) remain unsigned.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami