Despite what is unequivocally accepted as a disastrous season, the Los Angeles Angels, despite the swirling rumors, aren’t looking to rebuild, which means Mike Trout isn’t going anywhere, and neither is anyone else regarded as a potential trade target.
The 33-49 Angels are 5th in the AL West, nowhere near contending for a top spot in the division or the Wild Card standings. They’re the biggest spending team there, but they have an incredible lack of balance in the roster, with Mike Trout quite often mentioned as someone they might move, considering their farm system isn’t among the best in the majors, and it just doesn’t seem they have the tools and pieces to bounce back without making major changes.
Arte Moreno doesn’t mind spending to build a winner, and the MO here isn’t to trade veterans for young talent, instead spend to acquire prospects. Billy Eppler, the general manager, doesn’t even think the team needs to enter free agency with “spend, spend, spend” on their mind. He might be overzealous in protecting the team that’s been assembled. Maybe he has a point. Injuries to Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney have taken their toll on their pitching.
Eppler tried to make it clear the Angels won’t be going after the $20 million, $25 million targets. They weren’t real contenders in the chase after the leading outfielders this offseason, or in the last few years, with their hole in left field. That may change this offseason, but as Eppler told the Los Angeles Times, I don’t believe that you have to make those investments to have a good team. I believe you can fish in the $2.5-million pool if it’s going to be a part-time, 60-65% player. Or you can invest $12 million in a full-time guy and be very happy with your results. However, if the opportunity comes, and there is a player that sets himself apart from the pack like none other, we do have the financial resources to go get that player.
Meanwhile, Mike Trout, batting .325 with a .999 OPS and hitting 17 home runs through 302 at bats, is constantly connected to teams like the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, who have no problem adding his huge contract on board. He’ll make $20 million in 2017, before it kicks up a notch to $34 million a year from 2018 through 2020.