Mike Trout is on the verge of becoming baseball’s first half-billion-dollar man.
Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are close to finalizing a US$432 million, 12-year contract that would shatter the record for the largest deal in North American sports history, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
The deal was disclosed on Tuesday by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been finalized.
The contract would likely be announced by the end of the week, the person said.
Trout would set a baseball record for career earnings at about US$513 million, surpassing the about US$448 million that Alex Rodriguez took in with Seattle, Texas and the New York Yankees from 1994 to 2017.
“I’m pretty sure I ain’t paying one more dinner for him,” said fellow Angels star Albert Pujols, in the midst of a US$240 million, 10-year deal. “It’s well deserved. I don’t think there’s anybody in baseball besides him who deserves that.”
Trout’s latest deal would top the new US$330 million, 12-year contract between Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies, and Trout’s US$36 million average annual value would surpass pitcher Zack Greinke’s US$34.4 million in a six-year deal with Arizona from 2016.
Whether Trout’s contract is the largest in the world for a team athlete is difficult to determine. Forbes estimated that Lionel Messi earned US$84 million from Barcelona in the 2017-2018 season and that Cristiano Ronaldo earned US$61 million from Real Madrid, but precise details of their contracts are not known.
“You think about Angels, you think about Mike Trout,” Los Angeles shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. “You locked up the best player in the game. That’s a big first step to take. You can build off of that. That’s a good base to the house.”
Trout’s deal would include a signing bonus and supersede the US$144.5 million, six-year contract that had been set to pay him US$33.25 million in each of the next two seasons.
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