TEMPE, Ariz. -- Neither General Manager Jerry Dipoto nor agent Craig Landis would comment Sunday on a Yahoo Sports report that the Angels and Mike Trout are discussing a six-year contract extension that would pay the star center fielder something in the $150-million range.
Such a deal would make sense for Trout, the 22-year-old who has finished second behind Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera in American League most valuable player voting the past two seasons and is still a year away from salary arbitration and four years away from free agency.
It would secure Trout financially for life and allow him to hit the open market at 28, giving him another so-called “bite of the apple” as a free agent in his prime. But it would not make as much sense for the Angels, who are believed to be looking to lock up Trout for at least eight years or more.
Angels owner Arte Moreno said at the beginning of camp that he was “optimistic” the Angels would be able to secure Trout to a multi-year deal, but an extension, which would start in 2015, is not expected to be announced until after the start of the regular season.
That way, the Angels, who are pushing up against the $189-million luxury tax threshold for 2014, would not have to count the average annual value of Trout’s contract toward the competitive balance tax payroll until 2015.
Trout, already considered by many to be the best all-around player in the game, won AL rookie of the year honors in 2012 when he hit .326 with a .399 on-base percentage, .564 slugging percentage, 30 home runs, 83 runs batted in, 129 runs and 49 stolen bases.
He followed that with a superb sophomore season, compiling a .323/.432/.557 slash line with 27 homers, 97 RBIs, 109 runs and 33 stolen bases in 2013.
Trout declined to discuss contract talks when he arrived in camp.
“I know what you’re going to ask, but I don’t want to comment on contract negotiations,” he said. “I’m here to get ready for the season.”
He said later, "No comment, but I like how a lot of people are writing it. It's pretty funny."
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