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$1M deal for Trout is likely just a warmup

TEMPE, Ariz. — Mike Trout has his first seven-figure contract. Up ahead is what figures to be a nine-figure deal.

"It feels good," Trout said Wednesday after agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Angels.

The salary is the highest for a one-year major-league contract for a player not yet eligible for arbitration who wasn't coming to the big leagues from Japan or Cuba or wasn't required to have a larger amount because of the maximum cut rule. Ryan Howard earned $900,000 with the Phillies in 2007 and Albert Pujols with the Cardinals in 2003.

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.

Trout wouldn't talk about the possibility of a multiyear deal.

"I just go out there to play the game," he said. "If the money is where it's at, that's where it's going to be."

By agreeing to a one-year contract now, the Angels avoid having a long-term deal count toward their 2014 luxury tax payroll.

Trout, 22, has been arguably the best player in baseball in each of his two seasons, with a majors-best Wins Above Replacement of 10.0 in 2012 and 10.4 last season.

In other Angels news, outfielder Josh Hamilton will be sidelined for at least two weeks because of a strained calf muscle, but left-hander C.J. Wilson does not appear to be seriously hurt after getting struck on the head by a line drive in batting practice Tuesday. Hamilton, 33, struggled in his first season with Los Angeles, posting a 1.9 WAR that was his worst ever in a full season.

MLB BLASTS ARIZONA BILL: Major League Baseball issued a statement criticizing legislation in Arizona that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a few hours later. Senate Bill 1062 set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected the state to criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties.

The commissioner's office wrote that "as the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance. Those values are fundamental to our game's diverse players, employees and fans. We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders and national origins."

PAVANO RETIRING: Right-hander Carl Pavano is retiring after 14 seasons. Pavano, 38, hasn't pitched since June 1, 2012, because of injuries. He went 108-107 with a 4.39 ERA for his career and was an All-Star in 2004.

CARDINALS: Left-hander Jaime Garcia is unlikely to be ready to pitch at the start of the season, but general manager John Mozeliak wouldn't completely rule it out. Noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews did not find any structural damage in the pitcher's throwing shoulder.

MARLINS: Right-hander Henderson Alvarez will miss his first scheduled spring start Sunday because of a right shin infection.

METS: Left-hander Jon Niese is being sent back to New York for an MRI exam on his ailing pitching shoulder.

$1M deal for Trout is likely just a warmup 02/26/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:56pm]

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