Baseballer Mike Trout has signed the biggest ever contract in global sports history, worth $600 million over 12 years.
The blockbuster deal all but ensures the 27-year-old athlete will spend the rest of his career with the Los Angeles Angels, the Major League Baseball team that signed him in 2009 and where he made his debut in 2011.
The Australian sports writer John Stensholt says its a remarkable deal, considering baseball is a sport only popular in a few select countries including the US, Japan, Korea and some Latin American countries.
“The question is whether he can live up to this price tag,” he told Your Money Live.
“It’s a long, long deal and sports contracts don’t usually go that long. The best part for him it that it’s all guaranteed.”
Trout has played professional baseball for seven years and has won two American League Most Valuable Player awards while with the Los Angeles Angels and is a seven-time All Star.
He was set to become a free agent during the 2020 season, at which point his availability was expected to set off a frenzied chase potentially led by teams known to be some of the biggest spenders in the game.
Stensholt explained the concept of WAR (wins above replacement) – the measure used to work out how valuable a player is against the average player or a comparable player in the league.
“Trout is always well above that, he always has the highest number every year,” he said.
Some pundits believe those stats mean Trout is actually being underpaid relative to his performance value within the sport, making the $600 million price tag somewhat of a bargain.
“Obviously he’s got to stay healthy for a lot of that time. There’s already talk he will be in the Hall of Fame at the end of his career,” Stensholt said.
“His statistics are already comparable to a lot of the all-time great players already, in fact even better.”