It has become commonplace for the Mike Trout trade rumors from the Los Angeles Angels to commence during a Major League Baseball offseason. Most recently, David Schoenfield, an ESPN senior writer, authored a piece that proposed a trade between the Philadelphia Phillies and Angels that would send the 11-time MLB All-Star to Philadelphia.
A native of Vineland, New Jersey, it would be a homecoming for the outfielder, who is a Philadelphia sports fan.
Schonfield proposed the following players involved in the deal:
Angels receive: OF Nick Castellanos, OF Justin Crawford (Single-A, Clearwater Threshers), RHP Griff McGarry (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley IronPigs), $20 million in cash.
Phillies receive: OF Mike Trout.
Los Angeles general manager Perry Minasian continues to insist that the outfielder is not available in a deal. Even if the club decided it was open to trading the 32-year-old, it doesn't appear that this would be enough of a haul to get the Angels to consider trading Trout.
A more believable offer would consist of the Phillies offering a younger player with playing experience at the Major League level, such as Johan Rojas or Bryson Stott. The Angels should also inquire about the availability of players such as Orion Kerkering or prospect Andrew Painter.
If the Phillies were all-in on acquiring Trout, two of those four players would need to be involved in a deal. For Phillies fans, that may appear to be a steep asking price, but those are some of the players on Philadelphia that Los Angeles would be considering in exchange for him.
With Shohei Ohtani potentially leaving the Angels, Los Angeles would be rebuilding if they were also to trade Trout. Justin Crawford has done well at Single-A in Clearwater, but Griff McGarry struggled with Lehigh Valley.
Trading for Trout doesn't make sense for the Phillies
If Trout were available, the Phillies better be prepared to trade away some of the young talent on both their Major League roster and their minor league system. While Philadelphia would be getting an elite, proven talent and a Hall of Famer, the acquisition doesn't make much sense for them.
In addition to Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, and most recently, Aaron Nola, the Phillies would be taking on another substantial contract of a player in Trout around the same age (early 30s). The Angels' outfielder has a no-trade clause on a deal that doesn't expire until following the 2030 season.
Trout has become more injury-prone since 2016, the fourth consecutive year in which he played at least 157 games. 2023 marked the second season in the last three in which he played in less than 100 games.
Trout's slash line of .263/.367/.490 was the lowest since he was promoted by the Angels to the Majors in 2011. Considering he was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2012, his line this year was the lowest of his career.
Taking into account the injuries and some of his statistics, could a decline be happening? If so, how does that benefit the Phillies? Why would they be interested in trading for a player when they don't have as big of a weakness as at other positions on their roster? Adding to their bullpen is more of a priority at the moment if they don't want to use José Alvarado as their closer.
While the addition of Trout would get fans excited about the potential of him hitting in the lineup, the trade that Schoenfield proposed in his article doesn't appear to be enough to get Trout to the Phillies.
If Trout was available in trade, Philadelphia should consider how much better off they would be, particularly in the future, considering his injury history. The organization needs to consider how much of their young talent they would be willing to part with considering that the cost to acquire him would be plentiful.
The Phillies don't necessarily need another superstar in their lineup. They also need young, quality players to set them up well for their future.