The Athletic pitches Angels-Mike Trout trade scenario with unexpected west coast team

It may seem implausible at first, but LA trading Mike Trout this season isn't as crazy as it sounds.
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Throughout Mike Trout's tenure with the Los Angeles Angels, there have been tons of half-baked schemes and proposals trying to find a way for X team to add the generational talent to their roster. Before his $430 million extension back in 2019, fans and writers alike tried to convince themselves that Trout could really move on from LA in free agency or via trade. When Ohtani left for the Dodgers last offseason, many openly wondered if Trout would demand a trade even though there was virtually no chance of that happening.

However, the decision calculus when it comes to Mike Trout's future has changed considerably over the last year or two. The Angels look like they could be headed for a painful roster retooling if not a full-on rebuild, and the oft-injured Trout is owed over $37 million a year through the 2030 season.

Even if Trout stays healthy after he returns from his knee injury, there is a real discussion to be had about the Angels potentially trading for him.

The Athletic's Tim Kawakami seems to agree with that sentiment as not only does he think that the Angels could entertain trading Trout, but he thinks the Giants should go all-in and try to get a deal done.

Could the Angels entertain trading Mike Trout to the Giants?

Now, this isn't some harebrained scheme concocted by a sports radio host somewhere who took a few too many hits to the head during their college football days. Kawakami is a respected San Francisco beat writer who understands the weight of his words and knows the game of baseball. The fact he is throwing this possibility out there does add some legitimacy to the idea.

Kawakami's argument is pretty persuasive honestly. While he acknowledges the odds are low that the Arte Moreno-owned Angels will move Trout, he argues that they should given where they sit as an organization and with the likelihood that Trout is likely in the decline of his career. Where things get interesting is his case for the Giants trading for him.

He argues that the only real chance of the Angels trading Trout is if they can find a team that can actually take on his contract which, if Trout is actually in decline, could be an albatross around LA's neck for years. $37 million a year is a lot for any team to absorb, and with the Dodgers' spending spree last offseason (and the fact that the optics of sending Trout across town to join Ohtani would be awful) and the Yankees trying to keep Juan Soto around, the Giants are a logical and deep-pocketed landing place. They would be buying low on him and there would be a lot of risk, but Trout definitely fits the bill of the big-name bat the Giants have coveted for years.

The issue, ultimately, is what the Angels would even want in a Trout trade. If they primarily want payroll relief, they would have to settle for what would look like a pretty subpar prospect package because of the uncertainty surrounding Trout's health long-term. The problem there is that it is somewhat dubious that Moreno would let the front office actually invest all of those savings in the roster. If they would be willing to take on some of his salary, then the prospect return could help set the Angels up for the future.

It is kind of crazy to say it, but maybe trading Trout this season isn't as farfetched as many previously made it out to be.

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