The first thing I want to say here is that this is all pure speculation. I do not have any “insider knowledge”, nor do I expect the Angels to move Mike Trout in any of the coming years. With that being said, here’s why they should.
First things first. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. This is a fact. While there are a lot of elite players and some top level talent around the league, Trout beats them all. I said in my recent post detailing the Red Sox spring training outlook: that there should be Mike Trout, and then the next play under him is the best in baseball. Trout is just so good that he can merit having his own category. He has played in the MLB for six seasons, and has been an All Star and Silver Slugger award winner for the past five. The only season he didn’t win either award was his first, and that was because he had only played 40 games. He was rookie of the year, and is a two time MVP. Trout just makes an impact. The problem with Trout is that his team makes no impact. The Angels have finished in first place only once in the past 6 years, and were eliminated promptly in the first round. They just don’t have a team that is a contender. In my eyes they are wasting Trouts prime years, and they should make a trade that would help their team in the long run.
The Angels have the worst farm system coming into baseball this year according to Bleacher Report. Dead last in all of baseball. This isn’t what you want to hear if you are also not much of contender in the first place. You’re supposed to be able to use your farm system to help the major league club. Having the worst farm system in baseball isn’t going to help you. The Angels need help at all levels, so I looked at some teams that could help them.
New York Yankees
The Yankees have one of the most stacked farm systems in the league right now. After the trades they made this past offseason and the ones they made during the season, they have enough players for all of us to have a top prospect. Top tier talent is abundant throughout all levels of their farm system, and the Angels could get a nice haul to restock their multiple farm levels. The Yankees would get Mike Trout, and he would be a huge asset to their team. I know this is obvious, but although the Yankees are a very good team this year, their outfield is lacking. They have some average players, but no one who really turns heads. Not only will Trout be able to help the team by just himself, but the players around him will play better too. Hitting is contagious and Trout does a lot of it.
The Astros are my number two possibility for a few reasons. #1 being that they are currently a World Series contender, and someone like Trout could propel them all they way. They are #5 in this years power rankings, with a really good chance to win the A.L. West after finishing third, second and fourth in their last three seasons, respectively. Houston is a very solid team right now, and a bat like Trouts could help put their lineup into the upper tier. Minute Maid Park is also a pretty good hitters park, and as we all know Trout can hit. He would flourish there. The Astros also have the #7th ranked farm system in the MLB, with plenty of prospects for the Angels to plug in at various levels of their own system. Both teams would benefit from a trade.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The 2017 Dodgers team comes in ranked #4 in this years power rankings. They are a very, very good team and are one of the N. L. teams that can giving the reigning World Champions, the Chicago Cubs, a run for their money for the N.L. World Series spot. They have a pretty great outfield as it is, headlined by Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson, and adding Trout to that duo would make for a fearsome 3 spots in that lineup. All three can hit for power, and steal bases. Like all the other options, the Angels would obviously benefit from the wealth of prospects they could get for trading Trout.
So as I stated before these are all pure speculation. I just took a look at which teams could benefit from getting Trout (which is honestly all of them, except maybe the Red Sox as they have probably the best outfield in baseball) and teams that could afford the trade with prospects that may help rejuvenate the Angels’ barren farm system. There was no need to get into specifics, as there isn’t just one position where the Angels need help. If they needed a shortstop to be a complete team, or perhaps some pitching, then I would have highlighted teams that could provide the needed prospects. The Angels are really in a tough spot and need all the help they can get. Trout is a world class player and will undoubtedly be in the Hall of Fame. They have to figure out how they are going to approach the rest of their time having Trout. He becomes a free agent in 2020, and will go for big time money. Bryce Harper enters free agency after the 2018 season, and will be making hundreds of millions of dollars and probably getting one of the biggest contracts in the History of the MLB. Trout is better than him. Teams looking for outfielders will have to be smart with their money. They can go in for Harper, or go in for Trout a couple years later. Tough decision as whichever team wins will be out of a lot of cash. It will be a huge signing, and I can’t wait to see what happens with the best player in baseball.