Outfielder Mike Trout and the Angels agreed Wednesday to a $1-million, one-year contract, a prelude to a long-term deal between the young all-star and Los Angeles.
The salary is the highest in a one-year contract for a player not eligible for arbitration who wasn’t coming to the major leagues from Japan or Cuba, topping Ryan Howard’s $900,000 salary with Philadelphia in 2007.
Trout will become eligible for arbitration after this season and could become a free agent after the 2017 World Series. The sides are thought to be discussing an agreement through 2020 in the $150 million range.
By agreeing to a one-year contract now with the 22-year-old, the Angels avoid having a long-term deal count toward their 2014 luxury tax payroll.
Trout was voted AL Rookie of the Year and finished second in MVP voting in 2012, when he hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals. He was second again to Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in MVP voting last year, when he batted .323 with a .432 on-base percentage, 27 homers, 97 RBIs and 33 steals.
Trout had a $482,500 salary as a rookie and earned a $10,000 bonus for winning Rookie of the Year. The Angels renewed his contract last year for $510,000 — just $20,000 above the major league minimum at the time.