If Los Angeles Angels’ iconic outfielder Mike Trout decides to force a trade in the coming winter, both the Yankees and the Phillies stand as the most likely contenders, says Jon Heyman of the New York Post. However, the Yankees might want to exercise caution; they’re already burdened with several unfavorable contracts. Adding Trout’s remaining deal to the roster could exacerbate their fiscal woes.
Trout’s Luxury Tax Salary: An Elephant in the Room
Trout is on the hook for $35.5 million in luxury tax salary until he hits free agency in 2031 at 39 years of age. Ideally, the Angels would aim to offload Trout, even agreeing to absorb some of his salary in a bid to reset their team and potentially add promising prospects. Given Trout’s recent injury history—three seasons with 82 games or fewer played—offloading him might be the most sensible route for the Angels.
Comparing Apples to Oranges: Trout vs. Harrison Bader
Were the Yankees to acquire Trout, they’d essentially be getting the antithesis of Harrison Bader: an offensively elite outfielder with an injury-prone track record. Trout’s stats for the current season include just 82 games played, a .263 batting average, a .367 OBP, and a 133 WRC plus. While Trout would undoubtedly add firepower to the Yankees’ lineup when fit, the question remains: is it wise to invest in a player with known durability issues?
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Yankees’ Prospects on the Angels’ Radar
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman should ideally be shopping for younger talent with robust health records. According to Zachary Rotman of HaloHangout.com, the Angels could set their sights on several Yankee prospects, such as Oswald Peraza, pitching sensation Drew Thorpe, and the likely 2024 MLB debutant, Will Warren.
Should the Yankees Give Away Their Top Prospects?
One could argue that the Yankees should scoff at the Angels’ lofty asking price. The Angels are, after all, attempting to shed a hefty contract while trading away a player who hasn’t managed to stay healthy for even half a season. Peraza is on a hot streak, currently boasting a nine-game hitting streak as the Yankees’ 2023 regular season nears its end. Drew Thorpe shows immense promise with a 1.48 ERA across 30.1 innings, and Will Warren, despite some struggles in Triple-A, still exhibits potential that the Yankees are hesitant to relinquish.
Trout’s Injury History: A Cautionary Tale
While Mike Trout’s name and resume come with considerable cachet, his recent lack of productivity due to injury should not be ignored. The Yankees have been burned by similar mistakes in the past, falling into the trap of acquiring players who, despite their talent, can’t consistently contribute to the team. So, the real question remains: should the Yankees really gamble on another high-risk, high-reward scenario?