Yankees favorites to land Mike Trout if he asks for trade

mlb: cincinnati reds at los angeles angels, yankees, mike trout
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are already entangled in a maze of hefty contracts. Adding 32-year-old star outfielder Mike Trout, with a contract set to run through 2030 at $35.5 million per season, could further complicate their financial puzzle.

Swapping Bad Contracts: The Giancarlo Stanton Quagmire

Currently shouldering a $98 million luxury tax salary related to Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees would likely need to juggle bad contracts or have the Los Angeles Angels absorb a significant slice of Trout’s financial pie to make this potential transaction feasible.

No-Trade Clause and Likely Destinations: Trout’s Choices

However, let’s not forget that Trout comes with a full no-trade clause. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, if Trout were to seek an exit, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Yankees would be top on his destination list.

The Yankees’ Injury Quandary: Trout’s Fragile State

Trout, despite his formidable talent, has a spotty injury history. He’s only graced the field for 82 games this season, yet still boasts a .263 batting average and a .367 OBP, not to mention 18 homers, 44 RBIs, and a 133 wRC+. But here’s the catch: The Yankees would have to prepare for Trout missing a considerable chunk of each season due to his chronic back issues and other past injuries. He’s played over 100 games just once in the last four seasons, which adds a layer of risk to any deal.

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The Potential Upside: Trout’s Capabilities

On the flip side, Trout hit 40 homers last season with a .283 batting average, a .369 OBP, and a .630 slugging rate across 119 games. If he manages to stay fit for the postseason, he could fill a glaring gap in the Yankees’ outfield. Essentially, he offers a blend of Harrison Bader’s durability with elite offensive skills—making him impactful whenever he is available.

The Financial Equation: Crunching the Numbers

The big question revolves around whether the Yankees would be willing to theoretically shoulder half of Trout’s contract until its expiration in 2030. If the Angels agree to cover half, the Yankees would owe $17.75 million—essentially replacing Luis Severino’s outgoing contract and costing even less than what Josh Donaldson is leaving behind.

Pure Speculation: Reality vs. Rumor

It’s crucial to note that all this remains in the realm of speculation. Neither the Angels nor Trout have entered negotiations about a potential trade, making the whole idea more of a hypothetical exercise at this point.