After Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout had the best rookie season in the history of the game last season and almost won the AL MVP award, the Angels rewarded him by giving him a measly $20,000 raise. Trout will make $510,000 this season.
"I mean, my time will come," Trout said, taking the high road even as his agent blistered the team for not being "fair." "I just have to keep putting out numbers and concentrating on one thing, and that's getting to the postseason."
The Angels have given Albert Pujols a $240 million contract and signed Josh Hamilton to a $125 million contract. The team's payroll will be over $150 million this season.
During his historic rookie season, Trout hit ".326 with 30 home runs, 49 steals, 129 runs, a .564 slugging average, .399 on-base percentage and .963 OPS." He also made spectacular plays in the outfield, like this one at Camden Yards in Baltimore, which was arguably the catch of the year last season.
Like in the NFL, where superstars like Seattle's Russell Wilson and San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick have to wait until after their third seasons to get new contracts, the collective bargaining agreement between the players union and MLB does not allow Trout to be eligible for arbitration until after the 2014 season and free agency until after the 2017 season. The Angels, under the collective bargaining agreement, did not even have to give Trout a salary increase.
Regardless, other players like San Francisco's Buster Posey and Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel received raises of over 40% after rookie seasons that were not as good as Trout's. Trout's was 4%.