ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mike Trout will wear a halo for another six years and get paid $144.5 million to do so.
The Angels finalized a deal with the 22-year-old two-time All-Star outfielder that will keep him in Anaheim through 2020. The deal will begin in 2015 and covers both of his arbitration years as well and delays free agency by an extra three years until he’s 29.
The Angels announced the deal Saturday afternoon during the "Fiesta Angels" event prior to the Freeway Series game against the Dodgers and ends months of speculation over what his next move would be.
"I would like to tell you that there was some map to go by but really we are in uncharted waters," said Angels owner Arte Moreno. "I told him we are in uncharted waters and what we want to do is make a fair deal and we had all of the proposals and we had all of their proposals. And really when we sat down, we were very, very close at the end.
"Both of us just kept inching toward the middle and that’s where we met."
Trout’s family said they didn’t read any of the reports that surfaced indicating that he might go elsewhere. They felt that all parties involved communicated effectively and kept things honest, which was all they asked for from the beginning.
"We didn’t read any of the stuff that was written," Trout’s father Jeff said. "It was a straight-forward process… It was a team effort by the Angels and us."
The yearly breakdown of pay has not yet been made known. Arguably the most valuable player in baseball, it was a team-friendly deal by a team that the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year feels has taken care of him since the day he was drafted. He’s comfortable in the organization and in Orange County and felt it was in his best interest to get a deal that provided longtime security.
"I love it here and that’s an opportunity for me to be here over the next seven years and it’s going to be a big jump in my life," Trout said. "Arte goes out and gets players, he wants to win. And I think that’s what I saw in this organization and every year since day one they have always treated me well."
His agent, Craig Landis, and Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto began talks at the conclusion of the 2013 season. Discussions began to heat up at the beginning of the year and those evolved into negotiations. Although he wasn’t worried about finalizing the terms before opening day, he is somewhat relieved to know that it’s over.
"It got a little nervous at times," Trout said. "When the owner comes out and puts up these big numbers like $33 million it’s hard to turn down. For security as well, obviously, because you never know what could happen. You could get hurt, you never know. Luckily I’ve been healthy my whole career and I’m going to go from there."
From the weather and beaches to the atmosphere at the Big A, Trout is happy to call this place home for another six years. But before he can settle down, it’s time for him to buy everyone dinner.
"We go out to dinner now and they’re just telling me, ‘We’ll wait, we’ll wait. Whenever you get that contract it’s time to start buying,’ " He said.