The 3rd Man In

Time for the Angels to rebuild, trade Mike Trout


In baseball, a team either wants to consistently be in World Series contention or sitting at the bottom of the pack, rebuilding and developing their farm system for future, consistent success. Stuck in mediocrity is where a team never wants to remain.

For the last seven seasons, the Los Angeles Angels have been stuck in purgatory. With ageing, overpaid veterans and one of the worst farm systems in the game, there’s little chance the Angels will pass through the pearly gates in the next few seasons.

Because of this, it’s time for the Angels to follow the Chicago White Sox recent plan and rebuild. While they have few players that are attractive to other teams via trade, they do have the best player in baseball in two-time MVP Mike Trout.

While some might wonder why they’d trade the best player in baseball, the Angels aren’t winning with him, so they should do whatever they can to field a winning club without him.

This means trading Trout for a haul of prospects to rebuild the farm system, which would potentially set them up to consistently compete at a high-level in the future.

One team that would make an ideal trade partner with the Angels is the New York Yankees, who have one of the best farm systems.

At only 25-years-old and under team control through 2020, Trout is a perfect fit for the Yankees. A New Jersey native, Trout has finished in the top two of the MVP voting in each one of his first six full seasons in the majors and is on his way to being one of the greatest players in baseball history.

In return the Yankees would need to give up a massive package of young talent. But it would be worth it to acquire a new face for their franchise and a superstar, who is just entering the prime of his career.

Here’s a package the Yankees should consider giving up to acquire Trout:

• Luis Severino, RHP: Severino isn’t a prospect, after spending the last two seasons in the majors, but he’s just 22 years old with frontline starter potential written all over him. Despite his potential, his role moving forward with the Yankees is unknown.

After posting a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts in 2015, Severino was brutal in the starting rotation last year, recording an 8.50 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in 11 starts. But in the same appearances out of the bullpen in 2016, he had an outstanding 0.39 ERA, allowing only eight hits in 23 1/3 innings.

• Clint Frazier, OF: Acquired from Cleveland at the end of July, Frazier is the Yankees No. 1-ranked prospect and is expected to make his major league debut in 2017. The No. 5-ranked prospect in baseball by, Frazier has above average power and has a strong arm that profiles well in center field or right field. He does need to improve his plate discipline, but it’s gradually improved over his four minor league seasons.

• Gleyber Torres, SS: Acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the end of July, Torres is the Yankees No. 2-ranked prospect. Only 19 years old, Torres reached Class A-Advanced last season and could reach the majors as soon as 2018. Ranked by as the 17th overall prospect, Torres is a well-rounded player who uses the entire field and could hit around 20 home runs in the majors one day.

• Blake Rutherford, OF: The Yankees first-round pick in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Rutherford was one of the most advanced prep outfielders in last year’s draft. He has the potential to hit for average and power. As of now, he figures to play center field in the majors and is the Yankees No. 5-ranked prospect.

• Domingo Acevedo, RHP: A 6-foot-7, 190-pound right-hander, Acevedo is one of the hardest throwing pitchers in the minors, reaching 103 mph last year and consistently sitting in the high-90s. He has frontline starter potential if his can improve his below average slider. At 22 years old, he’s regarded as the Yankees No. 8-ranked prospect, but only pitched at Class A-Advanced last season.

• James Kaprielian, RHP: Regarded as a safe prospect in the 2015 draft class when the Yankees selected the righty with the 16th overall pick out of UCLA, Kaprielian had a shot at making his major league debut in 2016. But he ended up only making three starts at high Class A, after getting shut down due to inflammation and soreness in his elbow. In late June, Kaprielian was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon, but didn’t require surgery.

He did pitch 27 innings in this year’s Arizona Fall league, posting a 4.73 ERA and 26 strikeouts. If he can replicate his early 2016 success, when he went 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 18 innings, he might make his big league debut in 2017. He’s the Yankees No. 9-ranked prospect and is a strong bet to become at least a No. 3 starter.

With the dramatic deals completed this off-season, like the White Sox securing three pitching prospects (including two of the best in all of baseball) in return for outfielder Adam Eaton, this is a bargain for a future Hall of Famer, who is just entering the prime of his career.

If the Angels want a chance to compete for a World Series crown within the next five to 10 years, they need to trade Trout and start the rebuilding process. Although they are taking a major risk by acquiring six young, unproven players, this could be the move that sets them up for a competitive future.

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  1. Pingback: Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Sale, Eaton, Chapman, Hill, Sox, Yanks, Astros - MLB Trade Rumors

  2. What the ....

    December 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    What the %@^K

    Sweet Baby Jesus, no…

  3. Johnny Ringo

    December 10, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Sure, but then the Yankees are almost immediately in the Angels position. And, not sure the Yankees would want to give up so much pitching.

    • rtnboyfrnd

      December 11, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      In 2014 the Angels had the best record in baseball.. This guy is obviously a Yankee fan who dreams of having Trout on his club. The Angels are NEVER going to trade Trout! The Yankees haven’t made the Playoffs since the last time the Angels did which was 2014. With our starters Heaney and Tropeano due back in 2018 and only Pujols and Trouts contracts on the books the Angels have plenty of resources to be competitive going forward..

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  5. George Kaplan

    December 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    It’s a good start, but I think you rushed to finish the article and left off Sanchez, Mateo and Andujar.

    But as much as you want to see Trout in pinstripes prior to 2021, the Angels are under no dire financial constraints, his contact has already paid for itself (using WAR for last 3 years of this deal alone), the team still draws 3M a year, and Eppler is working his plan. Trout has full NTC and expressed no desire to be anywhere else–understandably, he likes playing 50% of his games in SoCal.

    I’ll let myself out. Clearly, you’re still dreaming.

    • Dan Zielinski III

      December 10, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      I could care care less about who Trout plays for, but if the Angels want to actually compete for a World Series they can’t do it with the roster and farm system they have right now. Plus, do you actually see Trout resigning after 2020? If not, then why would they keep him and let him walk for nothing?

      • Lawrence Portwood

        December 10, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        Trout isn’t going anywhere! I am a lifelong (40 years) Angels fan and have seen plenty of “can’t miss” prospects MISS! I would personally MURDER the entire front office if they were to trade Trout for anything but the ENTIRE Chicago Cubs roster and I know i am speaking for the entire fanbase as well! We dont give a **** about the fan FANTASIES of other teams…we have the best player in baseball and it will stay that way until his current or NEXT contract ends! Period.

        • Dan Zielinski III

          December 10, 2016 at 11:12 pm

          As an Angels fan, how do you expect the team to get better then with one of the worst farm systems and overpaid, aging veterans?

          • George Kaplan

            December 11, 2016 at 2:19 am

            “Overpaid, aging veterans”?

            Pujols, and…who? You made that descriptive plural, so clearly you have deep research on the team and know it intimately. I’m sure your analysis isn’t limited to what you heard one day on sports talk radio, right?

            Just so you know: The rotation currently is both under 30 and team control (except for Nolasco). Escobar is 33 (and on last year of VERY affordable deal), Simmons is 26, as is Cron. In the outfield, Trout and Calhoun are both well on the good side of 30, Maybin will turn 30 around Opening Day.

            If Street (age 33) doesn’t bounce back from injury, he will be on his last season with the team at $10M, and Andrew Bailey was signed to return to the pen at age 32 (inexpensively). Otherwise, bullpen arms are home grown and mid-20s.

            If you’re going to critique the team, take the time to know what you’re discussing. Don’t fall back on lazy internet shorthand and mythology.

        • Jeremy Alves

          December 11, 2016 at 7:44 am

          Well, enjoy losing every year and then end up empty handed when Trout leaves.

          • Lawrence Portwood

            December 11, 2016 at 11:40 am

            Everyone is so sure Mike Trout will leave when he hits 30…unless he is a bald faced liar about his love for the entire organization and not oicturing himself anywhere else then you like most with baseless opinios, dont know what you are talking about!

            Next, the Angels were gutted last year by pitching injuries. Without losing FIVE starters to season ending Timmy John surgery or injury, they DO NOT have a losing record. We have Mike Trout for 4 more seasons and stupid contracts have either fallen off or will in the next year “just in time” to get all of those still young pitchers back and see what they got or get some arms through other means along with an already solid core of youth. This is a roster that needs health and a couple pieces…no more! I have noticed East Coast know-nothings have the sharpest critiques for the Angels yet they can’t name any non-Trout players besides maybe Pujols and Calhoun. The Angels will be good to very good in two years.

          • George Kaplan

            December 11, 2016 at 12:46 pm


            “Well, enjoy losing every year…”

            NYY 255-231
            LAA 257-229

            Both teams last post-season appearance 2014
            NYY lost Wild Card
            LAA lost ALDS

            It’s perfectly OK not to comment if you don’t know the facts.

        • John

          December 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm

          You are typical angels loser fan!! You rather lose trout at the end of his contract and only get a round pick.. don’t you want more than 1 championship title?

          • Lawrence Portwood

            December 11, 2016 at 3:24 pm

            Nothing typical about me at all…i have forgotten more about the game than you will probably ever know and I know you dont trade one of the best 5 players who ever lived when you have him for no fewer than 4 years. Its called “the long view” and you either have it (i do ) or you are stupid and easily panicked (you and most typical Yankees fans do) and you dont! Prospects dont mean shit compared to proven major league Super Nova stars like Mike Trout. The Angels will be an excellent team WITH him in the next two seasons regardless…that you dont see this means you are clueless on the matter.

      • George Kaplan

        December 11, 2016 at 1:36 am

        You realize he’s signed for the next 4 seasons, right? How awful were the Cubs 3 years before they won the Series? The Royals? Teams can make dramatic swings in just a couple of seasons.

        There are a lot of games to play before that contract is up, and no urgency to make wholesale changes such as you fantasize about. As stated before, attendance is still strong, TV deal is lucrative, and team is very healthy financially (as compared to teams like Diamondbacks which make big signings, then regret it a season later).

        Is there an owner or GM out there who wants his legacy to be he traded away a sure Hall of Famer?

        It really doesn’t appear you’ve thought this through at all.

  6. Matthew J Mcellistrim

    December 10, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Totally stupid article…dumb as it gets

  7. MattD

    December 10, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    I agree the Annels could at least look into trading Trout, but that package wouldn’t get it done. You’d have to add some major league players to that. This is Mike Trout, not Chris Sale.

    As a fan I’d like to see Trout get traded to a good team so I’d watch him play more often, but I doubt a team would put together a package to make it happen.

  8. Mary Ann

    December 10, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    NO WAY- Yanks would never give up their 6 best prospects for 1 player- I’d rather keep the kids

    • George Kaplan

      December 11, 2016 at 1:53 am

      Rest easy–the Angels wouldn’t make that trade, either.

      This is just one of those Internet sports memes with writers pretending they know the value of players, then try to stack a bunch of young, unproven talent on the other side of the scales and pretend the deal is balanced.

      Trout has produced roughly 10 WAR per season for the last 5 years. Of the 6 or so prospects listed, half will flame out or never recover form some injury, another 2 will be average or just above average, and the one remaining might be very good, but doesn’t replace 10 WAR–collectively, they don’t rise to that level.

      Remember that Jesus Montero was, at one time, a “can’t-miss” Yankees prospect, was considered by Cashman to be untouchable. Every prospect is nothing more than potential, which hasn’t been tested by MLB-level competition (Aaron Judge, anyone?). Just because they look promising in AA ball doesn’t mean they’ll play a day in the bigs as anything more than a replacement player.

  9. Greg L

    December 10, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Honestly I can’t see them parting with Torres, not with his upside. I think the yanks will try to avoid parting with him at all costs. I also see Frazier and Rutherford sticking around as well. I could see them parting with Mateo and maybe even Judge if they could avoid parting with Torres.
    I know Yankee fans won’t like this part, but if the Yankees could headline a Trout trade with Sanchez and be able to hold onto Rutherford and Frazier at the same time. Think about the Yankees outlook on Sanchez: if he develops into 75% of the caliber of Trout, the Yankees would be thrilled, so why not trade for the best player in the world. I agree with the rest of the players on your list, Kap, Sev, Acevedo, along with Sanchez, and Mateo.
    Thanks -Greg

    • Dan Zielinski III

      December 10, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      I agree with your thoughts on Sanchez, but the Angels would likely try to get the most players with All-Star upside who have some risk than taking less to get Sanchez, who has only has a brief track record of success. Torres is a great player and might be what is needed to get any type of deal like this done. But, I also don’t believe Mateo is that far behind Torres in regards to potential. Thanks for reading!

      • George Kaplan

        December 11, 2016 at 2:34 am

        “All-Star upside”?? Did you read your original proposition?

        You put forth a package of basically under-25s who have never seen the inside of an MLB locker room. Where is the “All-Star upside” in your own proposal?

        You’re packaging a group of young men who have advanced maybe to AAA, some only to AA or lower. Potential is attractive, but potential guarantees nothing. Your idea is a bucket of potential will be enough to complete a trade for the consensus best player in the game.

        You’re not dealing with Oakland or Miami, buckling under the weight of an onerous contract. You’re dealing with a cash-generating franchise with a strong fan base, which can easily afford Trout’s contract. The team wanted more guaranteed years, but Trout’s agents wanted him hitting free agency at 30, which is very smart.

        Much as you might like to have Trout play for your favorite team, you fell far short in presenting an offer which would be considered longer than 5 seconds.

  10. Kurt

    December 10, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Thats a joke. Try Jorge Mateo, Gleyber Torres, Severino, Bird, Judge, Frazier, and Sanchez for Trout, Simmons, and Calhoun.

    • George Kaplan

      December 11, 2016 at 2:21 am

      That’s a dial tone you’re hearing.

  11. Hittsrays

    December 10, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Seems really, really, really underwhelming. Essentially it’s a #3 starter/bullpen arm, 1/2 a season of Aroldis Chapman, 1.5 seasons of Andrew Miller, a 1st rounder who can’t be traded yet, an A+ pitcher with elbow problems, and your 8th best prospect.

    Trout’s one of a half dozen greatest players ever, with 5 years of team control. He’ll get the Yankees 40-50 wins that they otherwise wouldn’t have over the next half decade. Sanchez, plus all of those, can’t get him.

    I don’t think the Yankees have enough young talent to muster this trade.

    • John

      December 11, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      For your information. The Yankees have the best farm system in baseball and if they want to get trout the will do it just like sale but it doesn’t make sense for the organization to give up all of the players when you can get him on the free agency.. by the way mike trout is a Yankees fan!!! Sorry.

      • Lawrence Portwood

        December 11, 2016 at 3:17 pm

        Mike Trout is not and never has been a “Yankees” fan. He was a Derek Jeter fan but his team was always the Phillies! You should read more before commenting.

        Btw, you know who he has been a HUGE fan of the past 8 years? The Angels! Lol! Wishful thinking, Yankee fan!

  12. bill neftleberg

    December 11, 2016 at 1:22 am

    thats insane the Yankees would never do that, too much cost controlled talent going to the Angels in that seriously lopsided trade.

    face it the angels will be wasting trouts career because they are a mediocre team with few prospects and too much $$$ tied to declining stars

    the Yankees according to most reports will probably end up with Harper in 2 years since he has said he grew up dreaming he’d be a Yankee. Trout is better, but not 6 top prospects better. Cashman is no fool. he’ll just tell his p0rotege Billy Eppler to call him back when he sobers up.

    The sad thing for Angels fans is that Trout himself will keep you semi competitive so you wont acquire the type of prospects youll need to really improve and youll be an 85-88 win team for the next 7 to 10 years….not good enough to really win and not bad enough to really rebuild.

    the end result….enjoy trout he’s about all you’ll have for the forseeable future

    • George Kaplan

      December 11, 2016 at 7:25 am

      First of all, I don’t think you followed the dynamic of this column. The original column was predicated upon the idea that the Angels *should* trade Trout, and here’s what the columnist thinks is a fair trade. The replies were to point out the sense of equity in the trade proposal was sorely lacking. As one person here pointed out, this is not the same as a trade for Chris Sale.

      Secondly, the Angels aren’t soliciting any trade proposals for Trout. That doesn’t mean that GM of team X doesn’t inquire–he wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t–but Eppler has been clear the Angels have no desire to trade Trout, and certainly no need.

      Thirdly–“and too much $$$ tied to declining stars”…who? You wrote “stars”, plural. Besides Pujols, who? Don’t subscribe to lazy internet memes and ravings of blowhards on sports talk radio.

      • bill neftleberg

        December 16, 2016 at 9:02 pm

        pujols isnt owed a 155 million anymore george? and he certainly doesnt track to get better going onto his age 37 season

        Tim lincecum isnt a declining star either I guess, nor is Jered Weaver which is why eppler hasnt resigned them,
        Street is 33 and nolasco is 34, both heaney and Richards are coming off serious injuries. and yet you seem to think that that Pujols contract doesnt matter

        and yet Keith law calls Pujols deal the worst contract in the game. and the Angels the worst minor league system in all of baseball

        George you are in some serious denial if you cant see the truth

        • George Kaplan

          December 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm

          Oh, do keep up.

          Contracts: Linsecum was a $2.5M flyer. Hardly a budget-buster. Nolasco is costing them $8M, for a veteran in the rotation; Chavez is $5.5M, the rest aren’t close to Free Agency. Simmons is $8M, Escobar is $7M, both less than a replacement player. Street is $9M, much less than the prices being claimed by relievers this winter.

          The team has Pujols and Trout making 25% of 2017 payroll between the two of them. Hurts that Hamilton still paid one more year, but then he’s gone. These fat contracts to “declining stars” you fantasize about don’t exist in quantity and aren’t an issue for 2017. The team will be in excellent place to make a strategic move in next year’s free agency (but not for Harper or Machado).

          Second, the origin of this sad thread was the blog’s host coughing up a hairball and passing it off as a suggested trade between Yankees and Angels. Consensus here is (A) the offer proposed is woefully, laughably inadequate, and (B) if the Yankees DID trade the compensatory amount of talent it would gut their farm and be incredibly foolish.

          So, to recap: “Angels burdened with fat contracts on aging stars” is a lazy, ill-informed canard; the proposed trade on this site is a sad joke; and the Angels have no incentive to trade Trout when team revenue is strong and the last 14 years have seen 3M+ attendance.

          Besides he has a full NTC and stated last year he had no desire to play elsewhere. His best friend and his mentor are both on this team. He’s apparently very happy where he is.

          • bill neftleberg

            December 16, 2016 at 10:35 pm

            155 million for the next 5 years of Pujols iis indeed burdensome and he is a declining star, just because tou chose to ignore him doesnt mean it isnt true.

            second, let me quote the baseball america 2016 handbook to you:

            “disclaimer: Side effects of reading through the entire Angels top 30, may Induce drowsiness and an upset stomach. The Angels have an emaciated farm system devoid of impact talent, with mostly spare parts who at best could fill in as role players”

            John Sickels who runs a the critically acclaimed site Minor League Ball has said the Angels farm system is the worst he’s seen for any organization in the 11 years he’s been keeping rankings

            he hasnt released his 2017 anhgels system report yet but here is what he said last year

            “UGHHHH: The Angels get a special category of badness all their own.

            30) Los Angeles Angels: The best Angels prospect, catcher Taylor Ward, wouldn’t be a top ten guy in most systems. Trades gutted an already very weak system and this is now a complete from-the-ground-up rebuild project. There’s no way to spin it: this may be the worst system in recent memory. Overview, click at your own risk. 2015 Rank: 28th

            so there you have it george, 2 very well respected independent sources who basically say you dont know your ass from a hole in the ground. you’ve got no pitching and no reinforcements coming for the forseeable future and youre still paying Josh Hamilton $26M, this year, not to play for you. and yet you dont see him as a declining star…..yeah right.

            you really are clueless george. you probably are unaware that you have only 5 players under contract for 2018, yet those 5 players are contracted for $95M

            Mike Trout 26 CF Vet $34,083,333
            Albert Pujols 37 DH Vet $27,000,000
            Andrelton Simmons 28 SS Vet $11,000,000
            Huston Street 34 RP Vet $10,000,000
            Ricky Nolasco 35 SP Vet $13,000,000

            perhaps George, you need to take your blinders off. pujols, hamilton, Street and Nolasco are in decline and they are being paid $76 Million THIS SEASON. You may not wish to admit it, but those are the facts.

          • George Kaplan

            December 17, 2016 at 2:13 am

            You kids are so darn cute when you toss around words you don’t understand, like “facts”.

            Your straw man 2018 payroll missstates Street and Nolasco, since each is a team option year (ask a baseball fan to tell you what that means), with buyouts of $1M each. Oops!

            $11M for a will-be 28 year old Simmons is to be an example of paying a player in decline? You’re just too funny. Simmons has outperformed his deal each year to date, and barring injury, no rational fan of the game would say at 28 he would be in decline. 4.2 WAR last year = $34M value, so no reason even a slightly down year wouldn’t easily beat an $11M salary.

            Likewise, Trout would easily beat his 2018 salary with a season even lesser than what he’s done the last 4 years. It’s universally acknowledged that Pujols’ deal will be a beast for the next 5 years. But besides that one contract, there is still none of the fat contracts on players in decline that someone on that sports talk show you listen to once claimed. It’s a shame that we truly are entering a post-fact era, where emotional beliefs are valued more highly than facts and provable data.

            One bad contract in 2018–and don’t think I didn’t notice you tried to move the goalposts by changing to 2018–but otherwise contracts are under control. With Hamilton off the books, the team looks to spend money on free agency next Winter, when the anticipated 2017/18 class is up for bids. Eppler has a plan, and he’s working it.

          • bill neftleberg

            December 17, 2016 at 6:36 am

            except george, you have nobody worth a damn in your system to replace Nolasco and street. you have what is considered by far the weakest farm system in the game. as John Sickels says:

            “The best Angels prospect, catcher Taylor Ward, wouldn’t be a top ten guy in most systems. and not one pitcher on your current staff had even 10 wins last season

            and before you say Garret Richards will win 10, listen to your own manager:

            “You’re not going to see Garrett throwing 220 innings next year,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I hate to put a floor on (the innings) and hate to get into a range right now, but I can tell you that we are going to be very, very careful with where Garrett is and make sure that he rebounds and maintains his stuff. if he pitches 100 innings so be it, thats why we brought Nolasco in”

            so I think its pretty obvious that Nolasco is getting his option picked up regardless. At least your manager thinks so at any rate.

            good pitchers go for 20-25 million nowadays how will you afford that with Trout and Pujols already in your roster?

            skaggs has pitched less than 50 innings since his Tommy John Surgery, Shoemaker is 16-23 since his fluke rookie year, so just who do you see giving them quality innings if not Nolasco?

            Heaney, Skaggs, Richards, Tropeano are all either coming back or on the verge of having Tommy John Surgery. or didnt you know that…., Nolasco is the one truly healthy guy they got

          • George Kaplan

            December 17, 2016 at 8:29 am

            You care an awful lot for someone who says he doesn’t care at all.

            The pearl-clutching about the farm system is overblown. Is it important? Sure. But teams have gone into the postseason with poor or diluted farm depth–the Yankees have been in that position–and had good years to follow. Other teams have had tremendous depth on the farm but poor success at the MLB level. Every team strives for a balance.

            Eppler is walking a more difficult line that, say, the White Sox, who are serving notice they will probably perform poorly for a few seasons as they swap veterans for highly-appraised young talent. That’s a bold move, but one which can be done with an eye towards contending in a few years. The Braves plan on a coming-out party in two years with a new stadium. The Cubs also did this very successfully.

            But Eppler is looking to do this on the fly, build up the team without a fire sale. This clearly takes a couple of years, as obligations from his predecessors (Wilson, Hamilton, Weaver, etc) have had to drop off the books. But he has cleared the decks and prepared for shopping opportunities next Winter, while making smaller, strategic trades along the way (Escobar, Simmons, Espinosa). 2017’s team has strengthened defense up the middle as a means of shortening the days for the starters.

            You are so focused on a “need” for the Angels to trade Trout (which he probably wouldn’t approve, etc), but what you repeatedly fail to understand is that an equitable return would be too costly to the other team. Trout would command a higher return than either Sale or Eaton, for example, and no GM is going to give up more excellent depth for Trout than the Nats did for Eaton or the Red Sox did for Sale–assuming that team HAD that quantity of excellent depth in the first place.

            Every “this is a trade package I’d propose to get Trout on Team X” post has a built-in governor in the mind of it’s author, often with the idea that some player is “untouchable”. As soon as that concept enters the thinking, it is doomed to be one more exercise in public wanking.

            Adam Eaton is a good player, affordably signed on a vey team-friendly deal. Mike Trout is a transformational player who may come along once in a fan’s lifetime. He’s only 25. Take what the White Sox received for Eaton and double that, and maybe you’d be on the right track. Doubtful any one team has enough young talent, probably a multi team trade would be necessary. The cost ultimately would be too dear to any GM working a plan, as the amount of young talent lost would obliterate the long-term plan for any GM. That’s why such a trade won’t happen.

            Again, the trade the Marlins made for Cabrera with the Tigers is the cautionary tale for any GM with an asset like Trout: The Marlins ultimately wound up with nothing, while the Tigers played in the postseason for years. And good as Cabrera was then, his metrics at that time pale to Trout’s. The amount of pain the acquiring team would have to feel means an equitable trade will never happen. Period.

  13. bill neftleberg

    December 11, 2016 at 1:54 am

    wow i just looked it up to be sure 4 of the 5 rankings i found on line had the Angels as dead lat in prospect rankings

    and Pujols is owed big money for 5 more years….. Poor Trout

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  15. Fezz

    December 11, 2016 at 7:48 am

    nah I’d not want to see that deal. keep filling the system with impact kids, stay the course on this rebuild, and get under the penalty limit on salary, so in 23 months when Machado and Harper are free agents you can sign both of them to fill in around all the kids that should be ready to land in the Bronx in that same 23 months from now. the course the team is on right now will produce a contending team for 10-12 years starting in 2018. there’s no reason to blow that all up for Trout at this stage. they’re not a CF away from dominating the league.

  16. Sun singh

    December 11, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Yankees are on the right track. I’d rather build a new trout than buy one.

  17. Big Bambino

    December 11, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Yeah when pigs fly… No way the yankees are that stupid to give up all those top tiered prospects and then still have to pay all of the 30 million dollars per year for 4 years of trout before he becomes a FA again. Yankees are on the right track and will be back where they belong on top of baseball before trout is on the open market. Then can try to sign him if they want to at that time and would only cost a draft pick instead of half of our farm now as you have suggested… LOL

  18. bill neftleberg

    December 17, 2016 at 1:06 am

    if trout wishes to play on a perennial loser at that point its fine. I really dont care one way or the other. my only point is that the angels may decide that its better to trade him and jumpstart the rebuild as the White sox have done.

    the angels have too much money tied up in players on their downside, with little to replace them with. rebuilding a barren farm system takes time and money….. will the Angels spend money while the team loses local interest as the Dodgers keep winning, while the Angels flounder as a bottom feeder in the Al west? that is the question

  19. bill neftleberg

    December 17, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    to back up my previous comments, jeff Sullivan of fangraphs was asked this question in the daily chat today:

    “Sean: why aren’t angels a fit for quintana?

    Jeff Sullivan: Literally nothing to trade for him”

    that says volumes about the state of the angels prospects. I dont care one way or another about Trout staying or leaving and he may genuinely love being an Angel, however if the talent base is so poor that he’s destined to be an Island of talent in a sea of mediocrity, doesnt it make sense that he MIGHT CHANGE HIS MIND… that doesnt make him a liar. nobody likes working hard and feeling unappreciated or unrewarded. if he’s still looking for a ring by the time he’s a free agent, he just might walk.

    • George Kaplan

      December 18, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Quick! Look behind you! A little to the left–no, further back–see it?

      It’s the point. You’ve missed it. Again.

      Even if we were in some parallel universe in which you were correct that the Angels MUST trade Trout, the issue remains: No GM is going to part with the talent required to obtain Trout.

      Eaton and Sale are both good players, but the key attribute of each is that they are affordably signed, relative to each’s production. In those two deals, we saw the GMs of the Red Sox and Nats including players heretofore considered “untouchable”.

      Neither of the returns of players received by the White Sox would merit a call back from Eppler if that was an offer. In Trout, one finds a player who is affordably signed (again, relative to production) for four more years, is only 25 now, and is already a two-time MVP on teams which were not AL champs. As a player, he is so multidimensional that he brings more to his team than either Eaton or Sale. He has remarkable speed, but if his speed was hobbled due to injury, he can still hit for power and contact. His arm is only slightly above average for CF, and that has long been considered the weakest part of his game–so each year, he has worked on strengthening his arm, and has become better with both power and accuracy with his throws than when he came up.

      He’s an excellent young man with an exemplary work ethic and an unbelievable skill set. Those of us who have watched him nightly for the past five years know how much better his game gets each season, and he is just now entering his “prime years”. Any GM would want him, but not at the cost of decimating his farm system. Eppler is certainly not going to trade Trout for three magic beans, which is largely the proposal laid out in the original post above. He doesn’t NEED to make that trade (as the Marlins did with Cabrera), so the offer presented has to be too good to pass up. That’s a realm no other team’s GM would enter.

      That’s why the trade wouldn’t happen. Let it go.

      • bill neftleberg

        December 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

        no george, you miss the point, completely.

        I could care less if Eppler decides to keep trout, in fact I prefer if he does.

        fact: the angels are completely bereft of talent outside of Trout and Pujols according to basically every qualified source which is Dan’s point, unfortunately you are in denial as to this

        fact: your starting pitching staff has been decimated by arm woes and theres no replacements in sight, and with Pujols and Trout making max money there isnt much left in the budget to pay them if there were.

        fact you won 74 games last year and while your competitors in the AL WEST have improved the Angels have not so you could very well win fewer than 74 this year

        Eppler was brought in to improve the team, and with no talent on the horizon nor money available to recruit free agents… Eppler may decide he has to trade Trout. That isnt a given of course but whether you like it or not it is an option. and Billy Eppler doesnt give a rats ass what you think.

        Also you totally ignore Trouts wishes in this. Maybe he does not wish to waste his entire career on a team with little to no chance to compete for a title, perhaps Trout doesnt care about winning, I dont know him so I wouldnt venture a guess one way or another on that. But I do know that Billy Eppler has to consider the possibility that he could lose Trout if he lets him reach free Agency.

        common sense says Eppler will try to extend Trout, but if Trout isnt willing to do that what then? Whether you like it or not george, in that situation Eppler wILL trade trout, Eppler will have no alternative. Which is the final fact you ignore.

        my whole argument is that the yankees would never consider such a trade because they desparately want to reset their luxury tax and now is the time they can do so with Arod Sabathia and others off the books after this season, they have $95 million coming off. which will entitle them to a rebate on revenue sharing estimated to be in the area of $50 million, according to MLB.COM. and thats on top of resetting their penalty from 100% to zero

        I realize you have no clue or interest in basic facts but perhaps you need to educate yourself. Dan understands the economics of baseball, you clearly do not. Dan clearly sees the precarious position the Angels are in and once again you clearly do not. having no prospects worth a damn and little in the way of ready finances is not a good situation especially with your pitching staff in disarray.

        but go ahead george continue to deny the obvious and keep your head buried in the sand

        • George Kaplan

          December 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm

          You sure go on and on for someone who says he doesn’t care.

          Let’s make this simple, as I suspect you have real attention span issues: No team in MLB can/will offer enough in return to make a trade for Trout viable.

          Dan’s suggested trade was ludicrous. Every suggestion is, because each grossly undervalues Trout.

          You come from a sense of righteousness, believing there is no path forward for Eppler which doesn’t include trading Trout. That is negotiating from weakness and the way one gives away the farm. That is a textbook example of terrible business. Eppler is too smart for that, which is why you’ll never be confused with Eppler.

          There is no economic problem with the Angels franchise. Moreno shot himself in the foot with the Hamilton deal (which he reportedly pushed for, thinking this would be the LH bat to hit behind and protect Pujols in the lineup–if only…). That pain ends with the last pitch of the 2017 season. By the first day of the offseason, the team will be about $125M under the tax. If they pick up option on Nolasco, that will add $13M, and the base of contact renewals and arbitration hearings will cut into that as well. But the team will have plenty to spend on the best free agent class in years, and no longer forfeiting #1 picks as in past years.

          This is more choreographed than Fred and Ginger. Eppler is working his plan–that you don’t understand that would surprise no one after reading through your rankings above. His goal is 2018, which will coincide with the last three seasons of Trout’s current deal. Heaney and Tropeano will be back from TJ surgery, Skaggs will be one season removed from same. With Shoemaker and Richards, the band is back together; if there is a deviation from that plan, there will be plenty of financial resources to remedy the situation.

          I appreciate that you don’t get any of this, because you don’t know the team, the players, or even the nuances of the business. You just have this popular meme that says ” bad farm team = no success”, and you use it like a cudgel, trying to bludgeon others into believing you know something.

          So remember all this 12 months from now when Eppler is free to move about the cabin and starts making a big impact. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you, because God knows I’ve tried my best.

          I’m done with this.

          • bill neftleberg

            December 18, 2016 at 8:50 pm

            have fun then george, because you’ll see how wrong you are. I truly hope you can hang on to trout, because your plan depends on multople pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgeries, and no help from your minor league system

            when the lynchpin of your rotation is a 34 year old career 500 pitcher
            like Ricky Nolasco and 4 Tommy John Recovrees you’re in trouble

            and you should learn to read, nowhere in this thread have i said the Yankees should make that trade, in fact I said the Yankees would be foolish to even consider it.

            it would cost them upwards of half a billion dollars in luxury tax penalties over the life of Trouts contract and 6 top 100 prospects.
            the yankees would need to be insane to make that deal.

            but keep making things up. I was only defending Dans thought process, which if he could do it (I dont think eppler can, because the yankees wouldnt consider it) is a good one.

            the White Sox traded arguably their 2 best players because, much like the Angels, they saw they were going nowhere fast. they unlike your angels acted with vision…. I could care less if you trade Trout, in fact i prefer you dont, because as long as the Angels keep him, then he will not be a factor in the playoffs for at least 4-5 years…

            trust me Trout is great, but he alone cannot carry the load of dreck on the angels to the playoffs….. by himself. Dan in his wisdom sees that, you on the other hand think otherwise.

            a look at the standings at the end of the 2017 season will show who was right…..and im pretty sure youll be the one making excuses

  20. bill neftleberg

    December 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Dan, thats the one thing you missed in this article.

    the luxury tax implications, the yankees are about to reset their luxury tax, acquiring trout would forgo that for the life of Trouts contract effectively costing the yankees half a billion dollars.

    not only is their luxury tax penalty reset from 92.5% to 0, they will also get a rebate from MLB on past revenue sharing estimated to be upwards of $50 million and they will be able to reduce future payments with the improvements to yankee stadium.

    you probably werent aware of those things because you were writing from an Angels perspective, but it is well known to most yankee fans because cashman has kept the fans informed. so as you can see it makes no sense for them financially to acquire Trout until 2018 at the earliest even if they desired to.

  21. bill neftleberg

    December 26, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    george Kaplan just for you

    MLB Minor League System Rankings – The Ugly

    30. Los Angeles Angels

    Hard to argue any other team here, frankly. The Angels had an arguably historically bad minor league system entering the 2016 season. They’ve made some solid draft picks in 2016 that could turn into players.

    Elite prospects – Not a single Angels player will appear on my top 125. One was even considered.

    System depth in legit prospects – There are maybe two or three guys who profile as legit rotation starters or full time major league hitters in a lineup in the system right now, which is by far the worst of any system.

    Proximity to majors of legit prospects – Right now the best prospects the Angels have are primarily 2015 and 2016 draftees. Perhaps a few will make appearances in high minors in 2017 from those draft classes.

    System reputation – On top of poor talent all around, the system has struggled to develop the raw talent that has come into the system. A prime example is Kaleb Cowart, who has been highly regarded for some time due to his raw tools, and he never has taken that next step.

    Top 5 Born 1991 or since (age 25 season this year)
    1. Mike Trout
    2. Tyler Skaggs
    3. Andrew Heaney
    4. Cam Bedrosian
    5. Matt Thaiss

    • George Kaplan

      December 27, 2016 at 9:04 am

      God almighty, you are dim.

      You keep harping on the lack of depth in Angels farm system. Never disputed, though I think there is too much weight given to chances in 2017 and 2018 being weighed down by farm system. Number of players over 30 is smaller than those under; injuries can happen to any player, but there are few with high mileage on this team.

      The point–first, last and always–is that NO team would offer the return required to obtain Trout in a trade. Not the Yankees, Braves, or any other team some hometown fan decides can be done with some inadequate package of players in the minors he no longer regards as “untouchable”. It isn’t a necessity for the Angels, but–keep reading this next part over and over until it breaks through to your consciousness–there are very few teams with the depth in the minors (both in quality and quantity) to offer in exchange for a player of Trout’s talent, and the few which DO possibly have the depth aren’t going to gut their farm system to make such an offer. No responsible GM/President would do that to his franchise.

      The impetus to all of this was the laughably weak suggested offering in the original post, a proposal which wouldn’t even get the call returned.

      IF Eppler was to solicit offers, the level of pain on the other team would be prohibitive. And he’s shown no interest in any trade for Trout, even publicly saying he has assured Trout that the team is NOT trading him.

      Anything can change, sure. But there is no team which can or will pay the price required to leverage such a deal. That’s why all of this is just stupid click-bait wanking by bloggers. Whether or not YOU think the Angels should do it, the rational minds within its front office have their own ideals, armed with greater knowledge of their own farm system, and those of the other teams, than you have.

      So your continuing to go to the well with yet another other bloggers’ analysis of the Angels’ farm system reinforces the fact you are arguing a case with yourself. Yes, the Angels’ farm system is thin, we all knew that before you kept returning with new “evidence” of this. Sky is blue, water is wet, all of this isn’t in dispute. But the trade you believe “must” happen WON’T happen for the reasons stated here repeatedly.

      Reading: It’s fun for the whole family. Try it sometime.

      • bill neftleberg

        December 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

        george youre the one who is dim, you still miss the point,though at least you finally admitted the angels system is weak and wont be able to help the big club in 2017 or 2018,
        considering your pitching staff is very weak and you were far under 500 this year with no reinforcements in sight the likelihood is youll be far under 500 for a number of years. so why would trout stay and waste his career? he’s not stupid he can see the cupboard is bare, its as plain as the nose on his face
        you dont have to trade him, but Trout will be frustrated, and he will grow resentful. he will see harper and Machado get big money and his resentment will fester, and then when his contract is up he will leave. and youll get nothing. thats dans point, that is what you ignore.
        yes trout loves the Angels right now, but they are paying him well and hes young, but after 2 or 3 years of being a bad team with no real hope that will change. no great player likes playing for nothing,they all want to win…especially as they grow older. you keep saying it wont happen but just watch.
        The Angels are a mediocre team, they have no real talent on the way, and Trout and Pujols will keep them from being bad enough to draft high enough to get any, thats a recipe for long term mediocrity. you refuse to see this but Eppler does……he’ll deal Trout before he walks for just a draft choice. and it will be for alot less than 6 top 100 MLB ranked prospects

        • George Kaplan

          January 1, 2017 at 8:18 pm

          You cured my insomnia. Thanks.

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