Star center fielder Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are finalizing the largest contract in professional sports history, a 12-year deal worth more than $430 million that will smash previous records and could keep the greatest player of his generation with the Angels for the remainder of his career, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN on Tuesday.
Trout, who has won two American League MVP awards and finished second four times, will receive an average of nearly $36 million a year, topping Zack Greinke's previous record average of $34.4 million with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The $430 million-plus total is more than 30 percent larger than the $330 million deal Bryce Harper signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on March 2 and bests boxer Canelo Alvarez's deal with DAZN by more than $65 million.
Trout, 27, was due to be a free agent following the 2020 season, at which point he was expected to set off a frenzied bidding war among the largest-market teams in the game. The clamoring already had begun, with Harper lobbying for Trout to join him in Philadelphia, 45 miles from Trout's hometown of Millville, New Jersey.
The Angels will nullify that possibility by ripping up the final two seasons of his six-year, $144.5 million deal and replacing it with the new 12-year deal through the 2030 season, sources told ESPN.
A generational talent with an unparalleled set of skills among his peers, Trout has put together arguably the greatest start to a career in baseball history. In 1,065 games, he has slashed .307/.416/.573 with 240 home runs, 648 RBIs, 793 runs and 189 stolen bases. No player in history has put up more wins above replacement through his age-26 season than Trout's 64.3.
"It's well-deserved," said teammate Albert Pujols, who signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Angels in 2011. "I don't think there's anybody in baseball besides him that deserves that [contract]. Trout is the best, and the numbers speak for itself.
"I got mine in my time, and [I'm] just really excited, really pumped up for him and his family, for his mom and dad ... just real exciting. To sign and be here hopefully for the rest of his career is gonna be pretty special, too."
While the Angels' past forays into long-term contracts have not paid off -- their deal with Pujols and a five-year, $125 million deal with Josh Hamilton are considered albatrosses -- the possibility of losing Trout was simply too daunting to not complete a deal.
Joked Pujols of Trout: "Pretty sure I ain't paying one more dinner for him."
Trout casts his lot with an organization that has made the playoffs just once during his eight major league seasons -- and was swept in the first round when it did. Los Angeles' bustling farm system and the ability for owner Arte Moreno to parlay a $3 billion local TV deal into higher payrolls gave Trout enough security to lock down a deal through his age-38 season.
"Made [him] a Halo for life," teammate Kole Calhoun said Tuesday. "That's what he wanted, obviously. Great day for Angels fans."
After joining the Angels as the 25th pick in the 2009 draft, Trout blitzed through their farm system and debuted at 19 years old during the 2011 season. He established himself as a star the next season, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award and finishing second in the MVP voting for the first of two straight seasons. He won the award in 2014 and 2016 and finished second again last year, arguably his best season yet, in which he slashed .312/.460/.628 with 39 home runs and 79 RBIs in 140 games.
"Trout is one of those players that come probably once every in 50, 100 years in the game," Pujols said.