Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Um…duh. Trout had to be mentioned first on this list because it would’ve been disrespectful if he wasn’t. Mere days after Harper’s deal with the Phillies became official, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Angels have considered offering the face of their franchise a 10-year, $350 million deal.
Based on what Trout has accomplished since 2012, this offer feels like more of a starting point than an end point. He’s racked up seven All-Star Game appearances, six Silver Slugger awards, the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year, and two AL MVPs. Oh, and five other top-five finishes in MVP voting (four second-place finishes).
As we mentioned in an article from earlier this winter, the best way to show how much better Trout has been than the rest of baseball is by looking at his fWAR. Here’s an excerpt from that piece:
Entering 2019, his fWAR is 16.9 wins greater than Joey Votto. The distance between Trout and second place is the same as it is from second place to 18th place, which is where Freddie Freeman is taking up residence (30.8 fWAR).
Trout will be pushing 30 years old if Los Angeles doesn’t lock him up prior to his walk year, and teams are more averse to these kinds of contracts for the second half of a player’s career. However, there are no signs of Trout slowing down — he’s actually getting better in some respects.
The 2018 season was his third 9.0-plus fWAR performance in the last four years and his third straight 20-20 season, along with setting single-season career highs in walk rate (20.1%), wRC+ (191), OPS (1.088), and hard-hit rate (44.4%).