For the first couple weeks, it looked like the Los Angeles Angels were going to be competitive this season. But after injuries and a healthy dose of reality set in, they appear to be on track to miss the playoffs once again. The team simply doesn’t have the talent it needs just to compete in the AL West.
However, there is a way they could get it. The idea is a little extreme, but there is some sound logic to it— trade Mike Trout.
What? Trade the best player on the team? Trade arguably the best player in baseball? Absolutely— for two reasons. If they were to put Trout on the market, they could command a king’s ransom for him, and someone would pay it. With the pieces they could acquire, they could restock the farm system. They could possibly complete a rebuild in one fell swoop.
In time, they could end up filling many needs from the guys they could get in exchange for Trout. They may not look good in the process, but in the long run, it could be a genius move.
That is a pretty compelling reason, but they have another that is also pretty good. Trout’s contract ties him to the Angels through the 2020 season. Should they miss out on the playoffs this season and next, Trout will have made the playoffs just once heading into the final year of his contract and his tenth in baseball.
When asked recently how he’d feel about signing an extension if the Angels fail to make the playoffs for the next two seasons, his answer has to have the Angels front office worried. Trout acknowledged that he is taking it one game at a time and that he “can’t predict the future.” But he does want to make the playoffs, that’s his “mindset.”
It’s a nice, safe answer—but it does show that he could be willing to move on if the Angels can’t become competitive.
If there is any reason to believe that he could or will walk, they should trade him. Plenty of contending teams would be a hefty price tag even if it meant they just had him for one season. If he helped the Yankees or Dodgers win a World Series, the cost to acquire him would be deemed acceptable.
Since he wants to be in the playoffs, chances are good he’ll re-sign with perennial contenders (like the Yankees and Dodgers).
Could the Angels trade the best player in baseball, Mike Trout? Absolutely.