In light of the recent news that Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno is looking to sell the team, you’re going to be seeing a lot of articles with headlines such as the one above.
Some of them may seem far-fetched, as Mike Trout, a 10-time All-Star and three-time MVP, is most likely not requesting a trade to the Kansas City Royals or Colorado Rockies anytime soon (although stranger things have happened. )
Trout requesting a trade to an organization such as the Houston Astros does not seem completely impossible, though. The Astros are bursting at the seams with talent—both young and old—and have won three American League pennants in five years. Houston doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, and are always in the race for another World Series championship.
Who wouldn’t want to be a member of a team who prioritizes winning?
After all, Trout has been a part of the Angels organization since he was selected by them 25th overall in the 2009 MLB Draft at 18 years old.
“I’m still trying to process it,” Trout said of the potential sale of the team.
While he’s had outstanding success across his 12-year career, solidifying himself as one of the best players in his generation, the Angels have not.
Sure, they struck gold with Shohei Ohtani, but have been involved in a number of failed trades and free agent signings (Albert Pujols, Justin Upton, and Anthony Rendon come to mind.) Their farm system also ranks 30th overall in MLB, meaning there’s not a whole lot of hope for the future of the club. Above all, Trout tasted the postseason just once, in the 2014 ALDS, when the Angels were swept by the Royals.
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To the shock of many around the baseball world, Trout signed a mega contract in 2019, a 12-year deal to stay in Los Angeles for $426.5 million. Sure, it’s hard to turn down that kind of money, but with the Angels’ failure to build a winning team around him, it was surprising he’d want to spend the rest of his career there.
However, part of Trout’s deal was a full no trade clause, meaning he would essentially be in control of his destination, should he decide to escape Los Angeles. So, out of all 30 MLB teams, why would Trout request a trade to Houston? Aside from their winning ways, the Astros are in need of a center fielder.
Jake Meyers had an up-and-down year in 2022. When he returned from injury in June, he started out hot, slashing .314/.333/.471 with an .804 OPS, a home run and 10 RBI. In 26 games since July 15, though, Meyers has batted just .176/.228/.243 with a .471 OPS and four RBI. It’s hard to justify a level of play that low, although Meyers is only 26, and just made his major league debut in 2021.
Still, the Astros need an upgrade in center field, and it’s difficult to think of a better one than Trout. Injuries have held the 31-year-old to just 488 plate appearances across the last two seasons, but Trout is still one of the best in the game. He is a career .303 hitter, and is the active career leader in on-base percentage (.416), slugging percentage (.583), and OPS (.999). 334 career home runs and 868 RBI aren’t too shabby, either.
Certainly, every team in MLB would like to have the eight-time Silver Slugger on their team, but the Astros have the means to lure him in. A winning culture is something Mike Trout has never been a part of in his career, and he ‘d have the best shot at contending as a member of the Houston Astros.
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