The Angels are four games under .500 and their pitching staff has been hit with injury after injury. Their farm system is the unanimous pick for the worst in the game. The smart money is that their competitive window is totally closed for the foreseeable future. They happen to have the best baseball player on the payroll. Add those things together and it’s not hard to imagine a Mike Trout trade being discussed.
But Angels GM Billy Eppler said Wednesday that there has been no discussion. He’s received zero trade offers for Trout, he says, and there have been no internal discussions on the matter. Of course if there had been he wouldn’t say so, but let’s take him at his word for now. Fans and the media have been chatting about a Trout trade, but actually baseball decision makers have not.
Makes sense to me. If the Angels even hinted that they’re open to a trade the box office would crater. Meanwhile, if you’re the first team to come to the Angels with an offer, you had better come big. It’d be far better to wait the Angels out some and start the discussions when they can less-plausibly claim they’re not interested. That could be at the deadline, but I suspect it’d be more likely in the offseason when people have more time and space to be creative and, perhaps, multiple teams could be involved.
That is, if you even plan to trade Trout at all. He’s not old and, for his talent level, he’s not too expensive, even though he’s on a long term deal. It’s not unreasonable to think that he could still be part of the next good Angels team, even if it takes several years for the next good Angels team to come along.