Angels owner Arte Moreno: “One hundred percent we are not trading Mike Trout.”

AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo

The Angels, by many accounts, have the worst minor league system in baseball. Outfielder Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball since the start of the 2012 season. It doesn’t take much, then, to see how trading Trout could help the Angels — who have not won a playoff game since 2009 — build for the future.

Owner Arte Moreno squelched that thought, as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Moreno said, “One hundred percent we are not trading Mike Trout. We’re not trading Mike Trout. It’s not even in the thought process. Yes, we want to win. But we’re not going to give up any part of what we’re going to do in the future by making economic mistakes right now.”

The Angels have drawn criticism by mostly standing pat this offseason, adding only Andrelton Simmons and Yunel Escobar. Essentially, to improve on last year’s 85-win total, they will need their existing corps to make gains on last year. Trout signed a six-year, $144.5 million extension with the Angels in March 2014. If the Angels don’t reach their potential this year, they might not during Trout’s tenure given the state of their farm system. And that would be a tremendous waste of Trout.

Trout, 24, finished second in American League Most Valuable Player Award balloting for the third time in the last four seasons, losing out to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson. Trout hit .299/.402/.590 with 41 home runs, 90 RBI, and 104 runs scored. Per Baseball Reference, he has accrued 37.3 Wins Above Replacement over the last four seasons, easily the best mark. The next closest is Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen at 26.4. If Trout were to be made available in a trade, the Angels would have the attention of 29 other teams.

[graphiq id=”68pKUowS7fn” title=”Mike Trout Career Batting” width=”800″ height=”408″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”Mike Trout Career Batting | PointAfter”]

Gallegos agrees to $11M, 2-year contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said Monday before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.