At some point, an MLB player will score a contract worth a half-billion dollars.
It's an absurd notion, but it's coming. And Mike Trout may be the man to cash in.
Heading into this winter, all eyes will be on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Harper is 25 years old and Machado is 26. Both are generational talents with sterling resumes.
That said, neither has performed at peak level in his contract year.
Harper has cracked 34 home runs but is hitting a ho-hum .246 for the Washington Nationals, who will miss the postseason.
Machado is slashing .296/.366/.541 overall, but his average (.267) and OPS (.824) have declined since a trade-deadline swap from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Both players will get paid. Neither is likely to crack the $500 million threshold.
What about Trout? You don't need his resume, but we'll supply it anyway. Between 2012 and today, he has made seven All-Star appearances, won a pair of American League MVP awards and amassed 63.7 WAR by FanGraphs' calculation.
The next-highest WAR totals during that span belong to Andrew McCutchen (36.3) and Josh Donaldson (36.2). Trout is almost literally lapping the field.
This year, he's launched 38 home runs and leads both leagues with a 1.093 OPS.
Oh, and the guy celebrated his 27th birthday on August 7. Technically he's just entering his prime.