Opening Day, Mike Trout and 2014 Season Expectations

Happy (full) Opening Day. First a comment on the Mike Trout contract, also known as the “perfect deal” for both sides. The Angels and Mike Trout nailed it. Six years at $144.5 million is the dream scenario for both sides. The length and terms of the deal are optimal. For those who think the deal should be longer, I would argue that each of the next two years would be priced at $40 million per year, a price that the Angels were well advised to avoid. The reason the Angels could get Trout to agree to a deal at this relatively modest commitment is because they are giving him the opportunity (actually gift) of re-pricing himself at the young age of 29. For a player of Trout’s caliber (or at least what most people expect Trout to be), hitting the free agent market at 29 vs. say 31 years old, could be worth $100 million or more to Trout. I’m not suggesting he will necessarily get $50 million per year, but he is much more likely to get a longer term deal as a 29-year old versus as a 31-year old. In the end, the Angels maximize the return on their investment by keeping it to six years. Yes, Trout may walk after this contract ends and some may argue that the Angels lost the opportunity to make him a lifelong Angel. I would argue that the price of doing so would not be worth the risk.

Here are my picks for the 2014 season:

  1. Division Winners–Angels, Indians, Rays in the AL; Dodgers, Cardinals, Nationals in the NL
  2. Wild Cards–Royals and Red Sox in the AL; Giants and Braves in the NL
  3. World Series–Cardinals over the Angels
  4. Cy Young Winners–David Price and Madison Bumgarner
  5. MVP’s–Mike Trout and Joey Votto
  6. Top Story line of the year–a big bounce-back by the Angels, driven by another MVP year by Trout, a resurgence by Pujols and a real contribution from Josh Hamilton
  7. 2nd biggest story line–The Cardinals young pitching dazzles the NL. The Cardinals could win 105 games this season, on the strength of their great young arms

 

 

3 Comments

OK, Vince, but one thing: what kind of season is Willie Bloomquist going to have?

Hi, Vince
I’m on page 191 of your book, ‘Diamond Dollars’, struggling with it but learning. I agree with your evaluation of the Trout deal for both sides.
As for the evaluations, being a Yankee person, it would be foolish to agree to the above. Games are played in the field and all kinds of things happen. If predictions ere correct before seasons started how come the Red Sox came in last two years ago and first last year. Or take the Nationals, the Rangers or take anyone. There are too many sure predictions when such certainties really don’t exist.

Reblogged this on ballparkprints.com and commented:
A baseball analytics blog from Vince Gennaro, president of the Society for American Baseball Research and author of Diamond Dollar$: The Economics of Winning in Baseball

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