The Philadelphia Phillies have been one of the best teams in the majors these past two seasons, with consecutive trips to the NLCS and a World Series appearance in 2022. However, the ultimate glory has still been just beyond reach, alluding to their need to continue looking for ways to improve the roster.
In this respect, fans would theoretically be more than delighted if the Phillies could bring in a player who is a three-time AL MVP and nine-time Silver Slugger, especially when this player is named Mike Trout.
The question is, would such an addition even be feasible? Well, apparently it is, at least according to Michael Carpenter of Yardbarker.
The rationale behind a trade
Carpenter reasons the Los Angeles Angels need to seriously consider a total rebuild after losing Shohei Ohtani. And the next step for such a path means trading Trout and giving him the chance to compete for the World Series with a genuine contender.
In addition, even though Trout is owed just under $260 million between now and 2030 (including signing bonuses), we know the Phillies can afford it. They've been regularly in the top five of team payrolls in recent years, thanks to the owner John Middleton's deep pockets.
Carpenter is of the opinion that if money was even remotely an issue, the Phillies can help themselves by offering outfielder Nick Castellanos in return. However, where doubt starts to creep in, is when he then contends the Phillies should also offer some combination of their top prospects — four of which are in the top 100 overall — as well as other position players such as Justin Crawford and Aidan Miller.
Is the gamble worth it?
The reason for having doubts comes down to a combination of Trout's age and recent durability issues. He turns 33 during the upcoming season and has dealt with injuries in two of his three previous years.
Back in 2021, the two-time Hank Aaron Award winner only played 36 games, after tearing a calf muscle. Then last year he was limited to 82 appearances, as a result of a fractured bone in his wrist and subsequent lingering pain.
There will be those who believe Trout is worth it, and certainly, he's still one of the best players in the game when healthy. Consider that the season before last, he hit 40 homers — the third-most of his career — and 80 RBI in only 119 games, on the way to a .999 OPS and 176 OPS+.
However, the key phrase in that previous paragraph is "when healthy." At this stage in his career, do the Phillies really want to be giving up so much in return, while also being on the hook for substantial money between now and 2030?
Overall, we know there will be plenty of fans who believe Trout should be targeted, and he would boost the lineup and theoretically improve the chances of winning a World Series. However, for a team with as much money as the Phillies and with a general manager not averse to big trades, even this one seems too much of a risky gamble to take.