ESPN’s Keith Law set off a firestorm of articles this week when he suggested that the only way the Angels could fix their broken farm system would be to trade Mike Trout.
I’ve been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I’ve ever seen. They traded their top two prospects in the Andrelton Simmons deal and had no one remotely close to top-100 status. They need a big draft this year to start to restock the system or we’re going to start talking about whether it’s time to trade Mike Trout.
Law’s comment sparked quite a bit of controversy. Here’s a sample of the reactions to that idea:
Look, the point is that it’s almost impossible to trade Trout for what would be an acceptable return in 2016. He’s not just a long term building block, he’s practically the damn building. He’s the closest you can get to having a one-man team.
The problem here is that never in the history of the game has a player of Trout’s ability and age been traded. No one has had the kind of start to his career that Trout has had, and acquiring a player of his ability at this stage of his career would require so much of the acquiring team that they would almost certainly balk.
And just imagine the haul that trading Mike Trout would bring in for the Angels! They could be set up for a generation by dealing a once-in-a-generation talent. If the Angels were to include Mike Trout in a trade package, not only would they be able to fill out some holes in the major-league roster in the hopes of fielding a competitive team in the short run, but they’d also be able to stack the cupboard in the minors for years of winning baseball to come. I can’t even begin to speculate on what kind of players Mike Trout would net the Angels, but off the top of my head, I’d look to either the Colorado Rockies or the Baltimore Orioles. Start with Nolan Arenado or Manny Machado and work downward through the minors, picking and choosing a set of position players to fill out the 2018 World Series Champion Angels roster.
Trout isn’t going anywhere, even if the Angels fall on the hardest of times. Their farm system might be a mess, and there might be 100 years of darkness yet to come, but Trout will stick around because absolutely nothing else makes sense.
It’s possible they could do this without trading Trout. Garrett Richards and Calhoun, assuming they have good years in 2016, could both net very nice prospect packages if the Angels chose to move them.
The bet here is Richards and/or Calhoun would be more likely to be moved than Trout if the 2016 season is a failure, but it’s not out of of the question the Angels could consider the drastic move of trading Trout in order to load up quickly on young talent.
Here’s the dirty secret that has gone unmentioned in all of this pandemonium of baseball writers. . . It’s the first full week of February. The Superbowl was less than a week ago. Sports writers have NOTHING to talk about. They get paid when they write, even when there is nothing to write about. The outlandish headlines created by the suggestion of trading Mike Trout are exactly what these click bait websites need. No one in an official baseball capacity is thinking of trading Mike Trout. You’ll notice in Law’s original column he said the Angels could start rebuilding their farm system this year OR find themselves with the need to trade Trout.
Everybody calm down, real baseball stories will be here soon.