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.

Find more MLB coverage, including in-depth MLB Draft coverage, here.

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