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

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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=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/68pKUowS7fn” link=”http://baseball-players.pointafter.com/l/16589/Mike-Trout” link_text=”Mike Trout Career Batting | PointAfter”]