A name that comes up more and more in trade talks recently is Mike Trout, playing on a bad Los Angeles Angels team without very little young talent and problems all over. Trading Trout would mean losing one of the best players in baseball, but giving the franchise a future to start working on. The Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies look like teams capable of making that trade happen.
The Angels are 15-21, making the postseason just once since Trout’s emergence. Their pitching is a mess, they haven’t been able to win big despite Trout and they need a change, big time. Trading someone like Trout could provide it, because it seems that holding on to him isn’t going to make the team move forward. Trout, a four-time All-Star, is a one-time AL MVP, and has finished in the top two of the MVP voting in the last four seasons. Only 24, he has four Silver Slugger awards, batting .308 with a .970 OPS in the last four seasons, hitting 134 home runs.
This season? He has 8 home runs in 36 games, batting .306 with a .950 OPS. In short? He’s doing just fine, but if Trout wants to win and the Angels want to speed up their rebuilding process, as difficult as it is to give up on a player of his talent, Trout needs to move.
But where to? Anyone would love to have him, but not everyone can afford bringing him on. The Cubs have the best record in Baseball, but they also have the young talent, both in the farm system and playing in the majors to make any kind of deal happen. Everyone seems to consider Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Kris Bryant players the Cubs would be willing to move for the right player. And if Trout does hit the trading block, would the Cubs break up the good thing they have for him?
A team doing just as good right now are the Boston Red Sox. They don’t seem to have any weakness in their lineup, but if Trout really is available, they’d give up the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts and others for him. Trout would be huge at Fenway Park, and the Red Sox don’t have to worry about paying him the big money he’s earning (and it’ll be a lot bigger in the future): They have the cash.
Another team always willing to spend are the Los Angeles Dodgers. If this LA to LA trade does happen, it means the Dodgers would give up Joc Pederson and Corey Seager along with parts of their young pitching talent. But it’s worth it for Trout, right? It’ll be interesting to see if the Angels would do something like that with a team they share a market with.
Last but not least are the Phillies. They’re 22-15 this season instead of rebuilding and being the worst team in Baseball like last year, and while they’re focusing on young talent, it’s going to stop at some point. They landed a nice TV deal recently, and contending does mean spending a little bit of money on proven talent. Trout being only 24 sweetens the deal, and would give him the opportunity to play in ballpark he’d be great in, not to mention pretty close to his hometown in New Jersey.