The Mike Trout contract renewal was proof that, at least with teams like the Los Angeles Angels, they won't pay a player unless they have to. According to the Los Angeles Times on March 2, the Angles rewarded Trout's rookie of the year performance by upping his contract to $20,000 more than league minimum.
According to Angels GM Jerry Dipoto, there were no negotiations involved. He said that, because Trout has less than three years service, they can pay him anything they want, and $510,000 is all they are willing to pay him. The league minimum is $490,000.
On the Angles side of things, one good year is not a reason to break the bank on a superstar. In 2012, Trout hit .326 with 30 home runs, 83 RBIs and 49 stolen bases. He wasn't only the rookie of the year, he was one of the best players in Major League Baseball. But, that was one year and his performance wasn't worth the Angels efforts to make him happy with a reward.
They don't have to reward any player for good performance.
The Angles need to save money anyway after spending $250 million on Albert Pujols, $126 million on Vernon Wells and $125 million on Josh Hamilton. These men have proven themselves over the years and, as far as the Angels are concerned, Trout isn't worth that to them yet.
Of course, if Trout continues to play at his high level, when he becomes eligible for arbitration, the Angels will definitely pay dearly for this low ball Mike Trout contract.