The Angels signed outfielder Mike Trout to a one-year, $1-million contract on Wednesday, avoiding the rancor of the renewal process and setting the stage for agreement on a long-term extension later this spring.
By setting Trout's 2014 salary now, the Angels can start the long-term deal in 2015. That enables the Angels to avoid a luxury-tax assessment this season.
Trout, 22, finished second in American League Most Valuable Player voting in each of his first two full seasons. He and the Angels are discussing an extension reported in the range of six years and $150 million. That would allow the Angels to buy out his first three years of free agency and allow Trout to become a free agent at 29.
Craig Landis, the agent for Trout, criticized the Angels last year after they unilaterally renewed his contract for $510,000.
The Angels could pay Trout whatever they liked this year and last, because he has fewer than three years of major league service. If he and the Angels do not complete the long-term deal, Trout would be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time next season.
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