TEMPE, Ariz. — Mike Trout had no leverage.
The Angels simply could have renewed their All-Star phenom's contract and made him wait for big money, just as they did last season.
But the start of Trout's career is so beyond the norm that he left the Angels with no choice.
They extended his contract at a record amount, set themselves up to lock in the face of their franchise with a multiyear deal that still is being discussed and stayed below baseball's luxury tax threshold.
"There are performances that force you to break a rule," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said after Trout signed for one year at $1 million, hardly a headline-grabbing number in an era of $20 million-plus deals but still a record for a one-year contract for a player not eligible for arbitration.
"What Mike did for two consecutive years forced us to break a rule. There is nothing in the game that's hard and fast. His performance certainly merited treating him different than the others."
Trout's deal broke the record $900,000 contracts earned by Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols when they were in his position.
"It makes you feel good inside," Trout said. "Makes you feel like they want you here. It means a lot."
Trout would not comment on the prospects of a multiyear deal. Angels owner Arte Moreno told the Register recently the team was in discussions with Trout, and there have been reports of talks about a six- or seven-year contract worth $150 million or more.
It is likely that any multiyear deal will now begin in 2015, which means it would not push the Angels over the Competitive Balance Tax threshold for 2014. They are currently about $15 million under the $189 million limit.
Trout agreed to terms this year, while last year he was renewed.
A renewal occurs when the player doesn't agree, so the club essentially assigns him a salary.
The major league minimum is $500,000, so the Angels did not need to pay Trout any more than that. When they paid him just $510,000 last year, after his Rookie-of-the-Year season, the club said it had a formula it used to calculate salaries for pre-arbitration players, and it was based more on service time than performance.
This year, though, the club broke from its policy.
"This was a landmark," Dipoto said. "I think it's fitting. Mike has earned that. We're glad to provide that for him. He's certainly been an extraordinary player and there's no doubt that he'll continue to be that."
Trout said he was thankful the Angels extended for him.
"The Angels could have easily given me $550,000 or whatever, but they stepped up," he said.
Trout could be paid much more in 2014, though. If he does agree to a multiyear deal, even if the salary starts in 2015, he could be paid a signing bonus in 2014 that would not count against the CBT payroll.
If his multiyear deal changes his salary for 2014, though, it would count against the 2014 CBT payroll.
HAMILTON COULD MISS TWO WEEKS
Angels manager Mike Scioscia is not expecting to see Josh Hamilton in a game for at least two weeks, although he remains hopeful that the slugger will be ready for opening day.
Hamilton suffered a strained left calf during baserunning drills Tuesday, but Scioscia said he's optimistic that even if Hamilton misses a couple weeks of spring training games he can be ready for the season.
"He'll pick it right up," Scioscia said Wednesday. "He got a lot of the fundamental work out of the way. His arm is in good shape. He got enough work on the offensive end to build up some of the things he needs to build up."
Scioscia isn't ready to discuss the alternatives if Hamilton's injury drags into the season. The simplest alternative would be to have J.B. Shuck play left field.
"We have depth to absorb some things, but we aren't presented with that yet," Scioscia said. "We can't answer that till we get further along in the spring and see where we are."
C.J. Wilson was showing no ill-effects a day after he was hit in the head by a line drive while throwing live batting practice.
Wilson said he plans to throw a bullpen session Thursday, and if that goes well, make his spring debut Saturday in the Angels' second game.
Wilson said he knew he was not badly hurt immediately because he never lost consciousness.
"The doctor asked me how I felt I said, 'Well, let's see, I can still speak English, Spanish and Portuguese,' so I was cool," Wilson said. "I wasn't really worried about it."
Despite the scare, Wilson said he's not going to wear one of the new protective pitcher's caps because they are uncomfortable.
"They (stink)," he said. "They are terrible. Until they figure it out, no one is ever going to wear them. It would be easier to wear a first base coach's batting helmet. That's how cumbersome those (caps) are."