Record Breaking Contract for Mike Trout; What This Means for Professional Sports

Published on March 20, 2019

This offseason all eyes were on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado as anxious baseball fans loomed to see the destinations, in hope it would be their favorite team.

With Spring Training around the corner, it became more evident that the world would soon know where some of the best young stars in baseball were going to be playing next:

Manny Machado: San Diego Padres

Manny Machado was the first to make a move, he signed with the San Diego Padres on February 19th to a 10-year $300 million-dollar contract that also includes an opt-out clause after the fifth year. This contract put Machado second in the largest contract in baseball history, behind Giancarlo Stanton, who signed with the New York Yankees last season for 13 years and $325 million dollars. At 26-years old, this was a very large contract deal for the third baseman out of the Dominican.

But, What About Bryce Harper?

This news had many people thinking if this was the contract signed, what kind of money would Bryce Harper be making? Harper, at 26, is the same age as Machado, but with a National League Rookie of the Year in 2012, and a National League MVP in 2015.

Flying to Philly

Just over a week later February 28th, the most anticipated signing of the off-season chose his next destination of the Philadelphia Phillies. Bryce Harper signed a 13-year contract for $330 million dollars which put him as the front-runner for the highest-paid player in baseball history ahead of Stanton.

Mike Trout Signs The Largest Deal In MLB History

As if the off-season wasn’t exciting enough, the Los Angeles Angels dropped a major deal on March 19th with Mike Trout that left every sports fan gasping for air. The deal was a staggering $430 million over a span of 12 years, which is by far the highest paid athlete in professional sports history. This broke the previous record by boxer Canelo Alvarez’s $365 million agreement with DAZN. Trout was due to enter the free agency in the next season of 2020.

There isn’t much debate that Trout has been the best player in baseball and certainly the most consistent during the young center fielders’ career. At the age of 27, he already has an American League Rooke of the Year in 2012, American League MVP in 2014, and his second American League MVP in 2016. The scary aspect is that he’s just now entering the prime of his career.

Mike Trout is a talent that is far above his peers; looking at the numbers he has arguably one of the greatest starts to a career in baseball history. No player has ever had more wins above replacement through his age than Trout with 64.3. His averages going into the 2019 season are: 0.307 batting average, 1,187 hits, 240 home runs, 648 runs batted in, and 189 stolen bases.

The Highest Paid Athletes by Sport Annually
  • MLB- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: $35.8 Million
  • NBA- James Harden, Houston Rockets, John Wall, Washington Wizards: $42.3 Million
  • NFL- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: $33.5 Million
  • MLS– Lionel Messi, Barcelona: $84 Million (2018)
  • NHL- Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers $12.5 Million
What Does This Mean for Sports?

Why do professional athletes make so much money?

The constant rise in players’ salaries is attributed to the success and popularity that they provide to the consumer. The amount of money that they bring in because of endorsements, jersey sales, television viewers, and ticket sales. People are watching them because they’re great at what they do, and it’s a marvel to watch.

Every year the sporting events are bigger, better, and more luxurious than the previous year all for the consumer to spend more money.  These actions allow the athletes to achieve record shattering deals and continue make more money each year.

Although I believe that athletes such as Machado, Harper, and Trout don’t come along very often and should be expected to be some of the top paid athletes.

Don’t expect anything less than athletes to be paid more money each year across multiple sport platforms.

Taylor Lee is a former Sports Editor at Grit Daily. With over ten years of experience in the business realm including an MBA from Grand Canyon University, Taylor focuses his writing in the fields of sports, music, and business. His other interest include being outdoors, cigars, and fine bourbons.

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