TEMPE, Ariz. -- It turns out the Angels don't have to wait until Opening Day for Mike Trout to put pen to paper on a long-term extension.
The Angels don't want the average annual value of Trout's potential new extension -- still under negotiation -- to affect their Collective Balance Tax (CBT) payroll until the 2015 season, which would keep the club from blowing past the $189 million luxury-tax threshold this year. But the Angels recently confirmed with Major League Baseball that they don't have to wait until after Opening Day to sign Trout for that to be the case.
As soon as Trout's compensation for 2014 is finalized, his average annual value on a long-term deal won't count against the CBT payroll until the following season.
The purpose for the change was to guard against teams going through an entire Spring Training without signing a deal because of wariness over the CBT, and then having a potential injury at camp derail that contract.
For Trout, 22, it eliminates an awkward scenario in which his deal is agreed upon early in spring and he can't talk about it for weeks.
The Angels are currently in the process of agreeing with their pre-arbitration, zero-to-three years service-time players, and a deal with Trout -- not eligible for salary arbitration until 2015 -- could get done soon. After that, he can sign an extension at any point. Nothing, however, is imminent -- despite a report Sunday from Yahoo! Sports that the Angels and Trout are working on a six-year, $150 million contract.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he isn't worried about the expectations of a large contract, or even the speculation surrounding it, affecting Trout on the field.
"He hasn't flinched," Scioscia said Monday. "He's very grounded. He has everything sorted out the way a young player has to have everything sorted out with his priorities."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.