Assuming Shohei Ohtani decides to leave the Los Angeles Angels this offseason, the team has plenty of work ahead of themselves to get back into postseason contention. Considering the fact that they won just 73 games despite Ohtani winning an MVP award and have gone through eight straight losing seasons despite having arguably the two best players in baseball during that time period in Ohtani and Mike Trout, many have suggested a rebuild is how this Angels team can get back on track.
A Mike Trout trade would certainly signal a rebuild larger than one the Angels have ever gone through with Arte Moreno in charge. It's highly unlikely the Angels commit to a Trout trade, but if they were to do so, the Phillies seem like a logical option.
Philadelphia is a team trying to win now and just so happens to be around where Trout is from. With Trout having a no-trade clause in his contract, the Phillies are one of few teams it feels logical that Trout would even accept. Dave Schoenfeld of ESPN (subscription required) believes Trout and the Phillies are a match, and came up with a proposal he believes would get a deal done.
The LA Angels would need more to send Mike Trout to the Phillies
In this deal, the Angels send the Phillies Mike Trout in exchange for two of Philadelphia's top prospects, Nick Castellanos, and $5 million per season shaved off Castellanos' contract. On the surface, this seems like a solid deal. Two top prospects and a decent outfielder while the Angels get off of Trout's contract sounds alright, but when diving a bit deeper it just doesn't feel like enough.
Castellanos would be a part of this deal for the money. He's owed $60 million over the next three seasons and would essentially be the guy the Phillies are looking to replace in order to add Trout to the mix. Since the Angels would be rebuilding, he'd just be a guy they plug into the lineup without much of a future. He's not the main focus of the deal.
The prospects the Angels would be adding to the mix are Justin Crawford and Griff McGarry, Philadelphia's third and fifth-ranked prospects per MLB Pipeline. Again, sounds great, but feels a bit far from it when diving deeper.
The most appealing prospect Philadelphia would be sending is Crawford who is a center fielder coming off an excellent first full season of professional baseball. He was a first round pick in 2022 by the Phillies and could be their center fielder of the future. He has the chance to be a really solid player, but is just 19 years old and has played just 18 games in A+ ball. We have no idea how he'll progress through the upper minors and is still a couple years away at least from the majors.
Griff McGarry was at one point in time a top three prospect in Philadelphia's system, but has had all kinds of problems throwing strikes. He's walked 6.1 batters per nine in his minor league career, and walked 7.5/9 this past season. Issues with command raise serious questions as to whether he can be a big league starter.
Trout's massive contract and injury concerns are real reasons why trading Trout would be a good idea, but the Angels won't just give him up for the sake of giving him up. It's hard to imagine the Angels moving him for massive question marks and a player with no future in Anaheim, even if it does save them some money. These players have potential, but the Angels would want more.