MLB Insider: Grading the likelihood the Angels trade Mike Trout

Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Angels
Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Angels / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

A recent report suggested that the Los Angeles Angels could trade superstar outfielder Mike Trout. A trade is highly, highly unlikely, per FanSided MLB Insider Robert Murray.

This past weekend, a report surfaced from Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the Los Angeles Angels would be open to trading superstar outfielder Mike Trout on one condition: that he wants to be traded.

“The Angels, perhaps for the first time, are open to trading All-Star outfielder Mike Trout if he indicates to them that he wants out,” Nightengale wrote. “Trout has exclusive no-trade rights and said recently that he wants to have a private conversation with the front office and ownership about their direction.”

A trade involving Trout, 32, would send shockwaves throughout baseball. He’s among the top-3 players in baseball and a lock to be a Hall of Famer, perhaps even first ballot. He has dealt with injuries in recent seasons and will miss 80 games this season with a TK injury. But his slashline in 13 major-league seasons – .263/.367/.490 with 368 home runs, 940 RBI, 206 stolen bases, three MVPs and 11 All-Star appearances – put him in a class of his own.

How likely is it for the Angels to trade Mike Trout?

But a trade is unlikely for a multitude of reasons. First, Trout is extremely loyal. He signed a 12-year, $426.5 million contract through the 2030 season with the vision of retiring with the Angels. He wanted to be in Anaheim, and all indications are that he wants to remain with the franchise. Perhaps that changes if team owner Arte Moreno informs Trout that he’s opting for a multi-year rebuild. But Moreno, aside from a historic teardown in mid-August, has always avoided rebuilding and prefers to be competitive.

Besides, Trout’s contract makes him really, really difficult to trade. There are few teams that could take on his $426.5 million contract. His injury history will certainly give some teams pause, not to mention the extensive haul of prospects that it will take to pry Trout and the remaining six seasons left on his contract away from Moreno.

Trout also holds leverage on any potential destination with the no-trade clause. He can dictate where he wants to be traded if he indeed wants to be traded. The obvious potential destination would be the Philadelphia Phillies; he grew up in the area and has Eagles season tickets. But the Phillies already have a bloated payroll and while team owner John Middleton has indicated that he wants to compete and will spend whatever it takes to make that happen, a Trout trade could prove too challenging.

Ultimately, while the rumor mill will constantly be churning, a Trout trade feels unimaginable. Expect him to stay in Anaheim for the foreseeable future.

Grading the likelihood: highly, highly unlikely.