Despite all the rumours floating around, Mike Trout ain’t going nowhere. (Photo courtesy of Julie Fennell)
It’s understandable that at this time of year there’s going to be plenty of rumours floating around about potential trades and free agency speculation. Just yesterday I read that the short list of teams interested in Carlos Beltran apparently includes the Blue Jays. Which is completely bogus if you ask me. Toronto has already announced they’re trying to get younger, faster, and more athletic, so why on earth would they replace Jose Bautista in right field with the one guy who’s older and slower than he is? On top of that, Beltran made it perfectly clear several years ago when he choose not to sign with the Blue Jays, that the reason was he didn’t want to subject his body to the artificial turf at Skydome. I doubt his stance regarding the turf hasn’t changed much since then, especially considering that this time around he’s even older and nearly 40.
Of all the over-the-top rumours that have been floating around since the season concluded, probably the most harebrained has to do with all this talk of Mike Trout being traded. Earlier in the season, the rumour was that Trout would be traded to the Cubs…this time around, rumour has him going to the Yankees. Let me make this perfectly clear, Mike Trout isn’t going anywhere, and he certainly isn’t going to the Yankees, so keep on dreaming.
Given how poorly the Angels did in 2016, the bounty of prospects they’d get in return for a player like Trout might seem awfully tempting. But with four years remaining on his contract, the Angels still have plenty of time to build a winner around the best player in the game before his contract expires at the conclusion of the 2020 season. If the Angels still happen to suck by the time Trout’s contract is within a year of expiring, only then should they consider trading him. Until then, enough of all this speculation about where the best player in baseball might be traded to.
Just like the Edmonton Oilers never should have traded Wayne Gretzky back in 1988 when he was still the greatest player in hockey, the Angels shouldn’t trade Trout now. There’s a reason why teams don’t trade away the best player in their respected sport, because whether you’re the worst or best team in the league, you still have the best player as your cornerstone to build around. So what if the Angels are losing now, the only player in that organization still keeping people interested in the Angels is Trout.
I understand for a lot of people, it’s tempting to wonder what Anaheim could get in return for a player like Trout. The number and quality of young players (mostly prospects I would imagine) for Trout would be staggering…but even then, they’re still prospects with no guarantee of the type of player they’ll be in the majors or whether they’ll even make it to the big leagues. Back when Toronto traded Roy Halladay, as incredibly disappointing it was to see Toronto’s best player moving on, we thought for certain the return of three high-end prospects would make Toronto a better team in the long run. But as we now know, seven years removed from the Halladay trade, that deal most certainly did not work out for the Blue Jays, with those three prospects playing a total of 39 games for Toronto. Anaheim, you hopefully don’t need to hear it from me, but hold onto Trout as long as you can and try to build a winner around him over the next three years. If you don’t eventually build that winner with Trout, only when his contract is within a year of ending should you consider trading him, because the haul you’d get for him now is probably about the same you’d be getting three years from now anyway.