The Los Angeles Angels are in an uncomfortable spot with Mike Trout. On one hand, he's the greatest Angels player ever and is still an elite player when healthy. On the other hand, Trout hasn't been healthy in years, has a ton of money and years owed on his contract, and is very clearly beginning to decline.
If Shohei Ohtani signs elsewhere, we can only wonder what Trout will want to do as time is running out for him to win in Anaheim. The Angels never finished with a winning record with Ohtani on the roster and haven't made the playoffs since 2014. That's Trout's only appearance. If he wants to win, could he ask out? If he does, is there a trade out there that makes sense.
Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report lists five trades he'd love to see come true in the 2023-2024 offseason. One of them sends Mike Trout to the Giants for a haul the Angels would really need to consider.
This Mike Trout trade sounds great but probably wouldn't be accepted by Arte Moreno
The biggest piece of the deal is, of course, Mike Trout who remains in California but moves north to San Francisco. The Giants tried desperately to add their new face of thefranchise last offseason with guys like Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa but failed. They then finished the 2023 season with a 73-89 record and fired their manager. Trout might not be the player Judge is anymore, but when healthy, he gives them that star.
To make Trout's money easier for the Giants to handle,the Angels would be eating roughly 35% of the amount remaining on his deal. Instead of the Giants owing him seven years for roughly $260 million, that number drops to $165 million. That AAV makes it much more worthwhile for the Giants to take this risk.
Eating money allows the Angels to capitalize on players they acquire. Kyle Harrison is one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball, ranking 20th overall according to MLB Pipeline. He's the Giants number one prospect and is already in the majors. The 22-year-old southpaw posted a 4.15 ERA in seven starts and 34.2 innings of work this season after his August promotion.
Carson Seymour isn't nearly as highly touted as he ranks 23rd on the Giants top 30 prospect list on MLB Pipeline, but he pitched well for AA Richmond this year and could be in the majors sometime in 2024. The Angels need pitching, and this trade gives them two legitimate pitching prospects including one blue chip guy.
The reason I believe this trade sounds nice but won't go through is because of Arte Moreno. The deal would require the Angels owner to not only eat $95 million to watch Mike Trout play against him, but he'd have to acquire the oft-injured Mitch Haniger who has two years remaining on his deal worth a total of $32.5 million. That's a whole lot of money to pay up to risk hoping that Harrison and Seymour turn into anything.
If it were up to me, this trade would be done. It gives the Angels the chance to completely reset and focus on rebuilding a lackluster farm. They get the value they'd need in a Trout deal, and don't even have to pay up half of the contract. Unfortunately, Moreno would likely refuse to spend that much money and Trout ultimately has a no-trade clause which at least publicly, he's said he has no interest in waiving.