Holy Mackerel! First Salmon, Now Trout

I have admired the career of Albert Pujols since his phenomenal rookie season. I admit, I wish he stayed in St. Louis. He just fit in St. Louis like Derek Jeter fits with the Yankees. Alas, it was not meant to be in St. Louis, and now we get to contemplate the Angels and their future with the all time great in their lineup. Just his mere presence makes the team a contender. CJ Wilson solidifies the rotation and their contender status even more. With the two time AL West Champion Texas Rangers adding the Japanese import, however, and with their devastating lineup, the Angels may not even be favored to win their division next year. While Pujols may be signed for ten years, clearly, at age 32 the Angels best hope for a return on their investment is to win it all in the first half of the contract. With that in mind, I bring your attention to Mike Trout.

Mike Trout is ranked in the top two or three on most lists of the top prospects in all of baseball. He is very young, and he is very good. Most likely, he is going to be a great player. He would be a great fit on most teams. The Angels are lucky to have him. If he was a year further away, or a year further along, however, they would probably be happier. Keeping him in the minors would be easy. If he was established as an everyday player, that would be easy. But Trout is neither of these. He would be a bit of a risk to start the season in the lineup. He is young, which would make him prone to slumps. Also, the Angels have a logjam in the outfield. With Pujols on board, Mark Trumbo, another good young player, is moved to the outfield. An outfield which already has Bobby Abreu, Peter Bourjos, Vernon Wells, and Torii Hunter. That’s five guys. Factor in the potential return from injury of Kendrys Morales, and the DH spot is taken as well. If only one of these guys could play third base, maybe the Angels problem would be solved. That’s why the thought of trading Trout may not be completely insane.

How about this for an idea: The New York Mets are a total mess right now. They are cutting payroll, and losing season ticket holders. They lost Jose Reyes to the Marlins, never making a formal offer. They are a team that has been on a slow but steady downward spiral since Pujols and the Cardinals beat them in the ’06 NLCS. They were sellers at the trade deadline and they have little chance of competing for a playoff spot in 2012. David Wright is their all star third basemen, and the face of the franchise. The Mets fan base probably would balk at a trade of their stud. In recent history, however, the Mets fans were happy with their return for Carlos Beltran, and upset that they lost Jose Reyes for nothing at all. Maybe they would understand about trading Wright. Especially if the player they got back in return was Major League ready, as Trout seems to be. The biggest hole the Angels have is at third base. Wright would be a huge addition to the Angels, solidifying 3B, adding even more star power to that lineup and making the Angels prohibitive favorites to win the American League Pennant.

I know, I know, Angels fans, you will not trade Trout for a one year rental. Ok, so how about the Mets agree to take back the contract of Bobby Abreu. Sound good? You know, Abreu, the guy you offered arbitration to so you’d get a draft pick as compensation, but then he accepted arbitration, and now is going to make a bunch of money and you don’t even want him. Does that help? While the Mets aren’t adding payroll, swapping Wright’s 2012 salary for Abreu’s probably doesn’t add more than the Mets can handle. And if you still aren’t sold, why don’t you add one of the Mets relievers. I doubt Mets GM Sandy Alderson would hold up adding a top prospect that the team would control for years to come for a relief pitcher that would be playing this year for a lousy Mets squad. So the Angels can shore up their lineup, their bullpen, and get rid of a headache in one fell swoop. Angels fans would certainly miss Trout, but you know, they can always invite him to the parade!

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