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US baseball star set to sign €379m deal - the most lucrative sports contract ever

Mike Trout, 27, has agreed an eye-watering 12-year extension with the LA Angels.

Trout: widely regarded as the best player in baseball.
Trout: widely regarded as the best player in baseball.
Image: John Cordes

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL player Mike Trout is poised to sign the most lucrative contract in sports history after agreeing a 12-year contract extension worth more than $430 million (€378.7m) with the Los Angeles Angels.

ESPN reported that Trout — widely regarded as the best player in baseball — is set to shatter the $330m record deal agreed between Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month.

The deal also tops the $365m 10-fight contract which world middleweight boxing champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez agreed with broadcaster DAZN last October.

Trout, 27, was set to become a free agent after the 2020 season when his current six-year, $144.5m contract expires.

The new contract adds 10 years to his existing deal, which contains no opt-out clause, reports said. The Angels did not immediately confirm reports of the deal.

The mega-extension makes Trout the first player to sign a contract worth more than $400m.

The deal also comes after a close season which has seen several massive deals. In addition to Harper’s $330m move to the Phillies — the highest dollar-value contract in baseball until now — Manny Machado had also moved to the San Diego Padres for $300m over 10 years.

Prior to that, Giancarlo Stanton had been the only player to boast a $300m contract with his 13-year, $325m extension signed in November 2014 with the Marlins. Stanton later moved to the New York Yankees.

Trout’s deal will also make him baseball’s highest paid player, in terms of annual salary, averaging out at around $35.83m.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke was the previous highest-paid player, pocketing $34.4m in his current deal.

The contract extension emphatically lays to rest any questions about Trout’s future.

Harper had drawn accusations of tampering after saying earlier this month he planned to call Trout to urge him to join the Phillies when he entered free agency in 2020.

Trout however has decided his future remains in southern California, where he has flourished since being selected as the 25th overall pick in the 2009 Draft by the Angels.

In the intervening period, Trout has won rookie of the year honours and was league MVP in 2014 and 2016, amassing 240 career home runs in seven full seasons.

- © AFP, 2019

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