3 players the Angels should trade to kickstart the post-Ohtani rebuild

With Shohei Ohtani gone, the Angels are better off rebuilding.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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You may have heard, but Shohei Ohtani has left the Los Angeles Angels to move across the freeway and join the Dodgers, signing a contract worth more than the GDP of seven countries. The Angels must now pick up the pieces and do what they can to remain competitive, a tall order considering the current state of the team and the fact that the A.L. West is home to the past two World Series champions.

The Angels haven't made the playoffs since 2014, and their last actual playoff win occurred way back in 2009. This is to say that even with Ohtani, the team never found any real success. A pivot in the way Arte Moreno does business is in order, and that means committing to a full rebuild.

Short of signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell, Josh Hader, and two or three premium bats, there isn't much the Angels can do to compete in the stacked American League next year.

General manager Perry Minasian has his work cut out for him, but where to start? The first step is identifying which players can grow from building blocks into franchise cornerstones. A rebuild will take time, likely at least three years, so which players will be entering their primes when the Angels are ready to be competitive, and which will be on the back nine of their careers?

Young Halos that have shown they may have staying power include Chase Silseth, Logan O'Hoppe, Zach Neto, Reid Detmers, and Nolan Schanuel, all of whom are 24 or younger. The Angels need to place an emphasis on their development, as well as the development of their top prospects, like Ben Joyce, Kyren Paris, and Jack Kochanowicz.

This needed emphasis on youth logically leads to the conclusion that veteran players should be on the move. Minasian can kickstart a rebuild by dealing older players for prospects that fit more with the team's updated timeline. Here are three that should be at the top of the list.

1) It's time to give Mike Trout a fresh start somewhere else

Before Shohei Ohtani tilted the baseball world on its axis, Mike Trout was the consensus pick as the best player in baseball. The five-tool centerfielder has put together a shoo-in Hall of Fame resume in Anaheim, following up his Rookie of the Year win in 2012 with 12 All-Star game appearances and three MVP awards.

Trout's ability has given Angels fans a reason to tune in year after year, but at 31 years old, it's difficult to see him being at the height of his powers when the Angels are finally ready to field a playoff-caliber team around him. It hurts to say it, especially after losing Ohtani, but the time is now to trade Mike Trout.

As the saying goes, the best ability is availability, and Trout, for all his talents, hasn't provided that in recent years. He's played in less than 45% of the Angels' games in the past four seasons as his time on the injured list has mounted, and conventional wisdom doesn't suggest that rate will improve as he approaches his mid-30s.

Trout has a no-trade clause, but the Angels need to approach him to see if he would be open to moving on. Despite a contract that still has seven years and nearly $250 million remaining, there's no doubt there would be deep-pocketed suitors willing to take a chance on such a generational player.

Moving on from Trout will signal once and for all that it's a new era in Anaheim. Trout has been brilliant for the Angels, but it's time to see what life is like without him.