What the Angels rumors linking them to a pair of veteran outfielders means for Mike Trout's future

Moving Mike Trout to a corner outfield spot might be the best move for himself and the Angels.
Jun 16, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) throws
Jun 16, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) throws / Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels are a team that needs a lot of improvement if they want to be competitive in the 2024 season, but one area where they appear to be mostly fine is the outfield.

Taylor Ward is coming off a bit of an up-and-down season which ended in a brutal season-ending injury, but he's the team's left fielder when healthy. Mike Trout, despite a slight dip in his offensive production and his injury concerns, is still a superstar when healthy. Mickey Moniak broke out in a big way this past season and will look to back that up with another strong year. Having someone as talented as Jo Adell as the team's fourth outfielder can lead to good things too.

While the outfield has talent, injury concerns and unproven players like Moniak and Adell are reasons why the Angels would be wise to add another outfielder. With that in mind, the team was recently linked to a pair of veteran outfielders in Adam Duvall and Michael A. Taylor. While they'd both add necessary depth, if the Angels do actually sign one of them the question about what it means for Mike Trout and his future in the outfield is a real one.

What signing Michael A. Taylor or Adam Duvall would mean in regard to Mike Trout's future in the Angels outfield

Trout has been the Angels regular center fielder for over a decade now, and has always been a strong defender. Even this past season he ranked in the 84th percentile in outs above average according to baseball savant. He still has the ability to run anything down in center field when healthy. The problem is, he simply hasn't stayed healthy in recent years.

Trout was limited to just 82 games this past season and hasn't gone through a full season without missing more than 30 games since 2019. He's still a good center fielder, but moving him to a corner spot can perhaps increase the odds of him actually staying healthy for a full season. Let's face it, now more than ever the Angels need Trout. Ohtani is gone, and there just isn't much else around him to get excited about.

Signing a player like Michael A. Taylor who is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game would allow the Angels to move Trout over to left field. Duvall isn't quite as sharp defensively as Taylor, but can still play center field at least on occasion.

If Trout is willing to shift to a corner outfield spot, that could be the best for himself and the team at this stage in his career. Tracking down fly balls in center field every day might not be the reason he gets hurt every year, but it certainly doesn't help. Easing the load at least a little bit by moving him to left field could make a big difference in him appearing in more games for the Angels.