There's Word Of Another Record-Shattering Baseball Deal In The Works
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Can a single baseball player really be worth $430 million? The Los Angeles Angels may soon find out.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The Angels are in the process of finalizing a deal to re-sign Mike Trout. If the center fielder commits, the $430 million price would set records. That would be his pay over the course of 12 years.
MARTIN: We asked another Mike, Mike Pesca - the Mike Trout of sports commentators - how the Angels star could command so much.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: So beginning with his first full season, when he was all of 20, Mike Trout finished second in the MVP race, second again, then first, then second, then first, then fourth, then second. It is unprecedented for a guy who is 26 - he's 27 now - to put together that body of work. By comparison, Babe Ruth finished in the top five a total of three times in his career. Mike Trout is off-the-charts, Hall-of-Fame good. Literally, if this guy retires tomorrow, he really should make the Hall of Fame just on his merits.
INSKEEP: Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but the Angels can hope.
PESCA: Mike Trout is a bargain at what they're paying him - an absolute bargain. Forget the sticker shock. The return on the investment is a bargain by anyone's metrics. What this does is it allows and, in fact, forces the Angels to build a great team, the team that Mike Trout deserves. You are not going to get as good a bargain with other free agents. It's just impossible because the value that Mike Trout's contract gives you is not easy to replicate. But that's OK. This can be a team that makes the playoffs for years to come.
MARTIN: Mike Pesca, host of Slate's podcast "The Gist" and author of "Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs In Sports History."
(SOUNDBITE OF ELEPHANT GYM'S "SPRING RAIN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.