The Angels will get asked the same question until they get this team back on track, are you willing to trade Mike Trout to improve your farm system?
I know that’s the last thing you want if you’re an Angels fan, but it might be their only option to jump-start this team. He is under team control through 2020 and it might be that year before this team competitive again.
The Angels made some minor improvements to the team this offseason. They filled some holes with veterans like Cameron Maybin and Danny Espinosa and signed some candidates to round out the back-end of their rotation.
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Los Angels Angels.
2016 Win/Loss Record: 74-88
Key Additions: OF Cameron Maybin, 2B Danny Espinosa, 3B Luis Valbuena, SP Jesse Chavez, C Martin Maldonado, RP Kirby Yates, SP Bud Norris, SP Vincente Campos, RP Brooks Pounders, 2B Dustin Ackley, C Francisco Arcia, SP Manny Banuelos, SP John Lamb, RP Blake Parker, RP Yusmeiro Petit & OF Eric Young Jr.
Key Losses: SP Jered Weaver, 2B Johnny Giavotella, RP Jhoulys Chacin, C Jett Bandy, 2B Gregorio Petit, RP A.J. Achter, OF Rafael Ortega, RP Cory Rasmus, 1B Ji-Man Choi, OF Nick Buss, C Geovany Soto & RP Brett Oberholtzer
Interleague Schedule: NL East
Projected Starters: Martin Maldonado, C.J. Cron, Danny Espinosa, Yunel Escobar, Andrelton Simmons, Cameron Maybin, Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun & Albert Pujols
Projected Starting Rotation: Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Ricky Nolasco, Tyler Skaggs & Jesse Chavez
Closer: Huston Street
Fantasy Sleeper: SS Danny Espinosa – I know having Espinosa on your fantasy team isn’t exactly arousing, but if you’re in need of some power from your middle infield position, he’s a good option. He could hurt your team’s batting average, but he should be an everyday player. He would be a pretty decent fill-in backup on your team.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: None – For the second year in a row, I don’t really have an MLB-ready Angeles prospect to list. The Angels are just now starting to rebuild their farm system and really the only MLB-ready guys are pitchers Alex Meyer (who has been on the radar for years in the Twins farm system, but always fails at the Major league level) and Nate Smith (who doesn’t have the best stuff).
Team Analysis: The Angels had a nice run near the top of the AL West, but I think could be the worst overall team Mike Scioscia has managed. They aren’t horrible in the grand scheme of things, but the Angels have been willing to spend big to stay competitive. Their farm system is in shambles and now it is affecting their big league squad.
The Angels could change the direction of their farm system in two swift moves, trade Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons. Can you imagine the massive haul of prospects they could get for both of those guys? I honestly don’t know if a Mike Trout trade could even be possible cause I don’t know if a single team has enough young talent to pull off such a deal.
Los Angeles is clearly trending downward and unless they either trade Trout for a huge return and/or do the impossible and move the Albert Pujols contract, it will get worse before it gets better. I expect them to finish in the basement of the division this season.
2016 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 79.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2016 Projected Win/Loss Record: 73-89 (5th AL West)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.