Analyzing The Mike Trout Extension Talks

What Would An Extension Look Like For Angel’s CF Mike Trout?

All of the talk surrounding the Angels and their star outfielder, Mike Trout, discussing a possible 6-year $150MM extension has made me wonder what an actual extension might look like for Trout.

mlb_trout_05In order to do this, I’m going to compare him to LHP Clayton Kershaw. Why? Both are by far the best at their craft (Trout being the best position player and Kershaw being the best pitcher.)

Since it is impossible to compare their stats to one another, I’ll use WAR (Wins Above Replacement) to compare Kershaw’s new 7-year $215MM extension to what Trout might be worth in an extension. Kershaw received his extension after a 2013 season that saw him lead all major league pitchers in WAR, as he was essentially worth 8 wins above a replacement level starting pitcher.

Mike Trout has less time in the big leagues, with only 2 years 70 days of major league service time, so I’m going to use his average WAR from the last two seasons instead of his WAR from 2013 alone. In that span, Trout has averaged 10.05 WAR.

The AAV of Clayton Kershaw’s extension is $30.7MM, so the Dodgers are essentially paying Kershaw $3.9MM for every win he is worth above a replacement level starting pitcher. Since Trout is worth about 10.05 WAR, this would mean that the AAV of Mike Trout’s extension should be right around $39.25MM.

292183-mike-troutIf the Angels are able to sign Trout to the rumored 6-year, $150MM extension, they would be getting a steal. According to these statistics, Trout would actually be worth $235.5MM over that span.

This doesn’t take into account the fact that the Angels can renew Trout as a pre-arbitration eligible player for right around $1MM this season and take him through the arbitration process the following three seasons, but should this cost the star outfielder over $80MM?

This also doesn’t take into account the fact that Trout’s value is only going to climb as time passes, because as Trout ages, each win a player is worth above replacement level players will only continue to climb as well.

Either way, it’s a good bet to say that he will be the first player to sign a contract worth at least $300MM, whether it be now or a couple years down the road. He could also be the first player to have a $40MM contract AAV.

Matt Stein is a season-credentialed media member covering the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also assisting with coverage of USF Athletics. He attended the University of Tampa and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Sport Management.