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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Why Mike Trout is likely to be traded after the 2017 season: simple, his salary increases 70% to $34 million.

Mike Trout is still a relative bargain. Trout is the best baseball player on the planet; August 7 he turned 25.

YearAgeTeamSalaryServTm(OpnDay)SourcesNotes/Other Sources
201321Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$510,0001.070contracts
201422Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$1,000,0002.070contracts
201523Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$6,083,0003.070contracts
201624Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$16,083,0004.070
201725Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$20,083,000
201826Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$34,083,000
201927Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$34,083,000
202028Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$34,085,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2021
Even though Trout's 2016 salary increased $10 million (167%) he was still being paid $5 million less than the Yankees are paying Jacoby Ellsbury, 32 on Sept. 11, ($21 million) for each of seven years (2014-2020).

In 2017 Trout gets another hefty raise: $4 million (25%). But then in 2018 Trout starts getting the really big bucks with a raise of $14 million (70%) to $34 million. That's when the Angels will try to convince Trout to let another team pay him. Trout has total control over whether he is traded and to whom.

$34 million may be more than most teams are willing to pay one player, even Mike Trout. Plus that team would also have to trade top minor league prospects. They may hope that Bryce Harper (24 Oct. 16) or Manny Machado (24 July 6) become free agents. Both are being paid $5 million in 2016, are eligible for salary arbitration in 2017 and can become free agents in 2019.

However, it's likely that their agents will have both Harper and Machado sign interim deals, as Trout did, that carry them through their age 28 season. That gets them big bucks for a few years and has them become free agents again while still in their prime and able to sign a contract for more years and much more money.

Mike Trout should be the target of any team with financial resources and ten new minor league prospects acquired for established veterans. And a little bit of nerve and a little bit of imagination; both are required. Hal Steinbrenner, are you paying attention?

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