Angels' Trout takes high road on salary, position
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout figures if he keeps producing like he did during his historic rookie season, he'll be in line for a handsome raise soon enough.
The Angels renewed the contract of the AL Rookie of the Year for $510,000 on Saturday, just $20,000 above the major league minimum, prompting an angry response from Trout's agent.
While Craig Landis said the renewal "falls well short of a 'fair' contract," Trout took the high road before a morning workout at the Angels' spring training complex on Sunday, repeatedly insisting that "I'm just happy to be in the lineup."
"I mean, my time will come," Trout said before a team meeting. "I just have to keep putting out numbers and concentrating on one thing, and that's getting to the postseason."
Trout had a base salary of $482,500 last year, when he hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals. Trout was the run-away choice as the AL's top rookie, earning a $10,000 bonus, and finished second to Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in MVP voting.
Trout has 1 year, 70 days of major league service, which the Angels historically have place more weight upon than performance in renewing contracts. Teams are allowed to renew the contracts of unsigned players on their 40-man rosters from March 2-11.
There were 22 players whose contracts were finalized by the Angels on Saturday. The highest salary of those players went to first baseman and outfielder Mark Trumbo, who will make $540,000.
Trout likely will be eligible for arbitration after the 2014 season.
"During the process, on behalf of Mike, I asked only that the Angels compensate Mike fairly for his historic 2012 season, given his service time," Landis said in a statement. "This contract falls well short of a 'fair' contract and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process. Nonetheless, the renewal of Mike's contract will put an end (to) this discussion."
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, will make $750,000 this season under terms of the five-year deal he signed through 2015.