Discussing Mike Trout's Auction Price in 2014

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There has been some talk over the last few days of how big a contract Angel's outfielder Mike Trout would get once he becomes a free agent in a few years. Let's discuss how much he would fetch in a one year auction league this season.

In his Monday morning blog, ESPN's Buster Olney discussed how big a contract Angel's outfielder Mike Trout would fetch when he eventually becomes a free agent. His contract will certainly become an issue after the 2014 season, as he will be first year arbitration eligible and will easily break the first year arbitration salary of $10 million given to Ryan Howard several seasons ago.

Olney broke down the options the Angels have with Trout, including trading him. Yeah right, that won't happen.....yet. Considering that they have Albert Pujols with eight more years on his contract, earning $23 million in 2014, and his salary increases by $1 million per season through 2021 where he will earn $30 million. Then they have Josh Hamilton on board through 2017 at salaries of $15 million in 2014, $23 million in 2015, and $30 million in 2016 and 2017. They also have Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson signed to the same contract over the next three seasons: $16 million in 2014, $18 million in 2015 and $20 million in 2016.  So, yeah, maybe they decide to deal Trout, but I doubt that ever happens.

The second option is to go year to year with Trout through his arbitration years, but that is not a road you want to go down with the best player in the game.

The next option is signing him to a long term deal. Here is an excerpt from Olney's piece:

3. They could sign him to a long-term deal.

If the Angels go this route, of course, they can assume that signing him will cost a lot more than the $180 million that Moreno spent to buy the team a decade ago.

I asked a long-time agent who does not represent Trout what he might ask for in a negotiation for a multiyear deal, and he paused for a few moments, like someone savoring a good piece of steak.

"Why not do something that's never been done before?" he asked rhetorically.

What do you mean?

"Twelve years, $400 million."

No player has ever signed a contract guaranteeing $300 million. If what the agent suggests actually happened, Trout would simply skip over the hundreds-of-millions figure that starts with a "3" and just go right to the "4."

It seems insane. But it also seems possible, given that all of the usual negotiating rules for agents don't apply to Trout.

Trout will certainly become the highest paid player in the sport in due time. Until that time, I see Clayton Kershaw taking that title at some point this offseason.

This article got me thinking about how much Trout will fetch in some of the expert auction leagues next spring. The Tout Wars and LABR drafts are held in early to late March every year and are used by many auction league owners as the standard auction prices to use when participating in auction league drafts.

The auction leagues I participate in are NL-only and AL-only keeper leagues, so there is more inflation in these leagues than in the one year auction leagues like Tout Wars and LABR.

Last season, Trout was auctioned at $40 in the AL-only Tout Wars draft, second only to the $43 spent on Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera. I see that changing this season, because heading into 2013 auction drafts, some experts were of the feeling that Trout would regress from his outstanding rookie season in 2012. Now that we know that Trout basically duplicated his 2012 season in 2013, his price should increase in 2014 auctions. I could see him going anywhere from $44-50 this season.

In keeper leagues with hyper-inflation, Trout could exceed $60. I have never been in a league where a player fetched a salary with the "6" handle. I have seen Albert Pujols go for $59, and others in the mid-50s, but never $60, or higher.

How much are you willing to pay for a player who has done this in his first two seasons in MLB:

Year Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2011 19 40 123 20 27 6 0 5 16 4 0 9 30 .220 .281 .390 .672 89
2012 20 139 559 129 182 27 8 30 83 49 5 67 139 .326 .399 .564 .963 168
2013 21 157 589 109 190 39 9 27 97 33 7 110 136 .323 .432 .557 .988 179
3 Yrs 336 1271 258 399 72 17 62 196 86 12 186 305 .314 .404 .544 .948 166
162 Game Avg. 162 613 124 192 35 8 30 95 41 6 90 147 .314 .404 .544 .948 166
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2013.

So, how much will Trout be auctioned for in the one year experts leagues, like Tout Wars and LABR? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below, and in the comments section.

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