The Angels need to burn it all down. I mean everything. The walls, the floors, even the foundation needs to go. Blow everything up and start over because this is absolutely the worst franchise in Major League Baseball. The A's are the worst team but they have a plan. They are going to save money until they finally move to Vegas because they aren't going to invest in anything to do with the Oakland market. Is this about as evil as a plan can be in sports? Absolutely…but it is a plan.
I have no idea what the Angels are doing or what they are trying to do. They had three huge opportunities to trade Shohei Ohtani: 2022 Trade Deadline, 22/23 Off-season and the 2023 Trade Deadline. They stood pat every time. Meanwhile, they went 73-89 in each of those two seasons.
Don't forget, they also traded many top prospects (including their number 1) for a bevy of veterans like Lucas Giolito, Eduardo Escobar, CJ Cron and Reynaldo Lopez. You don't see many 89 loss teams mortgaging the future but that's the Angels. As an aside, they didn't fire their GM Perry Minasian. One wonders why brutal crime that man must commit to actually be let go.
They have roughly $150 million dollars on the payroll for next year after accounting for arbitration. Half of that is tied up in just two guys: Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. Rendon is a lost cause. He's owed a total of $115.8 million dollars over the next three seasons. He hasn't played 59 games in a season since 2019. I don't see any way you could trade him unless you were getting an even worse contract back or sending back a lot of money with him. The Angels just need to ride this one out.
It's different with Mike Trout. He's owed a lot more money ($259.7 million over the next 7 seasons) but there is still talent there. He's hurt all the time but unlike Rendon, he's productive when he plays. He did have 40 home runs in 2022. But his body is breaking down in real time (he hasn't played 120 games in a season since 2019) and if the Angels wait much longer, they might not be able to trade him at all.
It was rumored a couple weeks ago that the Phillies were looking to move Nick Castellanos. Our own General Smitty suggested to me that the Phillies should move him for Trout. I know it is Smitty saying it but disregard that. It does make a lot of fucking sense.
The Phillies lineup is deep enough to not need him in the lineup to win. They can survive just fine as long as they have Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner holding down the fort. Trout becomes this incredible bonus. His ability to still play the outfield at least a little longer helps as well if Harper plans to stay at first base. Philadelphia is a city that I think Trout would absolutely waive his no-trade clause for. He's from that area and is a huge Eagles fan.
I don't think it's that far from the realm of possibility that a trade looking like Castellanos and a prospect to the Angels for Trout and cash could happen. How good the prospect is depends on how much money the Angels are willing eat. This will not be an easy trade for Arte Moreno to greenlight but it has to be done. He never seems to want to waive the white flag even when it would help the franchise. Someone with that mindset is a terrible person to own a baseball team. You need to be able to pivot if the situation dictates that.
This is less about Mike Trout or even the Phillies. This is all about the Angels and what a disaster of a franchise they are. They have the worst farm system in baseball. The major league roster has been bad for years and now Ohtani is gone. It's only going to get worse and it's already terrible. The Astros, Rangers and Orioles have proved that bottoming out can be a successful path. Let the farm system rebuild and allow Moreno's greatest strength of willing to spend money to keep those homegrown players.
Mike Trout is the greatest Angel in franchise history. He also has played three post-season games in his entire career. The only way forward is starting over.