The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim find themselves in a horrible situation. They’re a terrible team. They have horrible starting pitching, apart from Matt Shoemaker. Then there’s the sad state of the farm system which Keith Law claimed was “by far the worst system I’ve ever seen,” before the season started. But what makes the situation even worse is that they currently have the best player in baseball on their team.
So we’re obviously talking about Mike Trout. Trout is having another incredible year. He currently leads baseball with an fWAR of 5.8 and is slashing .319/.424/.567. Then there are the 19 home runs and 15 stolen bases. And he plays a great center field. His game seems to know no limits.
Now, how is it that having the best player in the game makes the situation worse? Well it puts the Angels in a lose-lose situation. If they trade Trout, they gave up the best player in the game for possibilities. They know what Trout is. And sure, they’re going to ask for a number of a team’s best prospects, but there is always a possibility that those players don’t pan out.
If they keep Trout, though, they’re easily wasting the best player in the game, and failing to cash in the one big money chip they have. If they traded Trout, there would definitely be a huge return, probably one of the biggest in baseball history. For a team with a dreadful farm system, that’s an enticing option. One that the Angels have undoubtedly considered.
In the end, the Angels have no winning option. Trading Trout would possibly provide enough of a return to turn their franchise around, but there is no replacement for Mike Trout. No one can do what he can, and no one is going to bring in the fans like he does. It’s also crazy to think a team would give up that kind of talent, but what other options do they have? Maybe it is in their best interest to trade Trout. Maybe a team values having a few good players, rather than one superstar. Ultimately, I don’t know what the Angels are going to do, or what the future holds for them. All I know, is that I’m glad that I’m not the one making that decision.
Stats courtesy of FanGraphs.