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If Angels' Mike Trout is disappointed, he'll probably get over it

AL rookie of the year Mike Trout's contract was renewed by Angels for $510,000, and his agent cried foul. But history suggests any bitterness will soon dissipate.

March 03, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Mike Trout's contract was renewed by Angels for $510,000.
Mike Trout's contract was renewed by Angels for $510,000. (Mike Stobe / Getty Images )

TEMPE, Ariz. — History shows that whatever resentment Mike Trout and his agent feel toward the Angels after the team unilaterally renewed the star outfielder's contract for $510,000 on Saturday will dissipate in time.

Adrian Gonzalez had his contract renewed for $380,000 by San Diego in March 2007, and a month later he signed a four-year, $9.5-million deal. Ryan Braun was renewed by Milwaukee for $455,000 in 2008, and two months later he signed an eight-year, $45-million deal.

Jered Weaver's early negotiations with the Angels were contentious. He sought a $10-million bonus after being drafted in 2004 and held out for a year before settling for $4 million. His contract was renewed in 2007 for $385,000, $5,000 over the major league minimum.

The Angels ace got over it. He signed a team-friendly five-year, $88.5-million contract in 2011.

"It stings a little bit — you do some good things your first year, you want to get rewarded," Weaver said. "But you learn from the veteran guys, this is the process. You have to earn your stripes. You take it with a grain of salt, go out and perform, and everything will take care of itself."

There have been no talks about a long-term contract between the Angels and Trout, the 2012 American League rookie of the year who batted .326 with 30 homers, 129 runs and 49 stolen bases last season.

Some are concerned that Saturday's renewal, which agent Craig Landis said "falls well short of fair," could affect future negotiations, perhaps even alienate Trout enough that he bolts when he becomes a free agent in 2017.

But Trout was already putting the renewal, which is for $20,000 over the minimum salary, behind him Sunday.

"My time will come," said Trout, who was hitless in three at-bats in a 4-2 exhibition loss to a Chicago Cubs split-squad team. "I just have to keep putting up numbers and concentrate on one thing, getting to the postseason."

Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto expressed confidence he won't have a disgruntled leadoff batter when the season starts.

"Mike is a great kid — he's wired the right way," Dipoto said. "We have every faith in his desire to be a great player. He's going to go out there and bust his tail."

A bigger concern might be Landis' public acknowledgement that Trout is disappointed he won't be the team's primary center fielder this season after playing Gold Glove-caliber defense there in 2012. Peter Bourjos is expected to play center, with Trout playing left and center.

"I'm a center fielder, obviously — that's my main position," Trout said. "But as an outfielder, I should be able to play all three. I'm just happy to be in the lineup."

Would Manager Mike Scioscia make a lineup decision to placate a player that wasn't necessarily best for the team?

"What's best for the team is what's best for the player," Scioscia said. "Mike is going to be a center fielder, no doubt. We understand that's his position. But right now, his versatility is going to make us a better team."

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