[Editor's Note: an earlier version of this article forgot to include the Baltimore Orioles. Honestly though, would Mike Trout really have passed an Orioles physical? This has been fixed. You can now continue taking this satirical article very seriously.]
Earlier today, it was announced that Garrett Richards would require Tommy John surgery. To compound matters, Andrew Heaney is rehabbing in hopes of avoiding that same surgery, C.J. Wilson is already on the disabled list, and Jered Weaver is throwing changeups for fastballs.
Earlier today, Grant Brisbee broke just how hosed the Angels are down in a lot more detail. In it, Brisbee breaks down all the avenues the Angels potentially have with such troubling news. He playfully suggests 'trading Mike Trout' as one of the options, elaborating thusly:
"Get out of here. There is roughly a 100-percent chance that Trout will outperform every single prospect he's dealt for over the next five years, even if you add their contributions together into a single number."
Let's set out a few rules for this though before we jump in. There have to be a couple caveats. First, the deal has to be fathomable to happen immediately and one that would make both the Angels and the other team presumably more competitive this year as well as in the future. That means that no, the Los Angeles Dodgers would not include Clayton Kershaw in the deal.
Second, we'll sort by teams that work, teams that work slightly less, and the rest of the teams that definitely want Trout on their roster. Teams that work will be teams that need a centerfielder and also boast the depth to make a suitable offer. Teams that work slightly less may not be contending this year or have some other lump that deters them from making a formidable offer. And the other group is everyone else because your team needs to be in here and your GM wants Trout on his roster no matter what.
Third, players on the disabled list are able to be traded for the purposes of this. Pretend everyone is healthy. Except for Richards and Heaney... Because then this doesn't work.
Lastly, all deals are for Trout and nobody else. All you get is the 24-year old that hits like Miguel Cabrera, fields like Mookie Betts, and gets paid like Nick Swisher. That's all.
We'll start with the least likely teams and work in reverse.
Teams that want Trout and could put together a cute offer
Chicago White Sox
The deal: Adam Eaton, Carlos Rodon, Carson Fulmer, Tim Anderson, Spencer Adams, Adam Engel, and Trey Michalczewski
The rationale: The White Sox don't have a whole lot to offer so, unfortunately, Rodon would have to be part of the deal. The problem is, this deal is still so bad that the Angels would probably expect Chris Sale instead. These two teams just have no chance of working one out.
Likelihood: 0 percent. You don't even get a decimal, Southsiders.
The deal: Hyun-Soo Kim, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, Hunter Harvey, Dylan Bundy, Jomar Reyes, and D.J. Stewart
The rationale: Losing Adam Jones would be much too detrimental to the future competitiveness of the Orioles. Kim seems pretty expendable, and acquiring Trout would mean Joey Rickard could be relegated to bench duties. The problem for the Orioles though is that their rotation is already bad, and losing Gausman -- even though they've been without him for most of the season -- wouldn't be ideal. But that's what it would cost to acquire Trout. If you caught the Angels feeling charitable.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. If that's actually what it cost to acquire Trout, the Orioles should do it yesterday.
The deal: Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Brandon Finnegan, Jesse Winker, and Jose Peraza
The rationale: The Reds get rid of all those players they don't want or need. The problem is, the Angels get a bunch of players they don't want or need either. Plus they'd run into salary issues. And Finnegan is the best option to help the rotation?
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Maybe the Reds could retain some salary and raise their odds a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a decimal.
The deal: Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, Jake Thompson, Nick Williams, Mark Appel, Cornelius Randolph, and Jorge Alfaro
The rationale: By avoiding dealing J.P. Crawford, the Phillies have to deal their next five-best prospects. And honestly, none of them help the Angels now. With the Phillies a bit of a surprise team, part of me wonders if they could stay competitive if this deal actually happened.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. As curious as I am, this deal is too heavily stacked against the Angels. Where's Cole Hamels when you need him?
The deal: Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, Chad Bettis, David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, Raimel Tapia, and Antonio Senzatela
The rationale: Carlos Gonzalez is held out of the deal because the Rockies would be trying to become competitive finally. Oh my... And I just wet myself thinking about Trout in Coors Field.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Just way too many question marks coming over as prospects. Good but, like Brisbee said, there's virtually no chance that any of these player become Trout.
The deal: Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte, Arodyz Vizcaino, Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, Ozzie Albies
The rationale: The Braves are in rebuild mode, so let's offer all their roster players worth anything. Let's try to keep the farm system together. Wait. Why would a rebuilding team want Trout?
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. That's cute.
Toronto Blue Jays
The deal: Kevin Pillar, Michael Saunders, Aaron Sanchez, Anthony Alford, Conner Greene, Sean Reid-Foley, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The rationale: This deal is laughably bad. Sanchez is a pretty key piece of the rotation for the Blue Jays at the moment, but Trout would make up for that. If Guerrero hits his upside, maybe he's three quarters of Trout. And that's optimistic. Extremely optimistic.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Bad. This deal is bad. Fun. But bad.
The deal: J.D. Martinez, Cameron Maybin, Daniel Norris, Michael Fulmer, Derek Hill, Christin Stewart, and Steven Moya
The rationale: Martinez is the best outfielder on the Tigers right now and he makes no sense for the Angels. Zero. But Justin Upton and Anthony Gose make even less sense. That's negative sense; a paradox of sense if you will.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. It still feels like a fantasy baseball trade from that manager that always bugs you, doesn't it?
Kansas City Royals
The deal: Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson, Danny Duffy, Raul Adalberto Mondesi, Kyle Zimmer, Miguel Almonte, and Bubba Starling
The rationale: With Trout on the team, Cain presumably becomes expendable. Of course, retaining both would be in the best interest of the Royals. But there's just no way the Angels could do that. Pitching prospects aplenty make the deal pretty good, and Duffy can presumably be a rotation piece.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Feels light. Still. By a lot.
The deal: Leonys Martin, Taijuan Walker, Franklin Gutierrez, Alex Jackson, Edwin Diaz, Drew Jackson, and Tyler O'Neill
The rationale: This is a fun exercise because it really shows you which teams could plausibly not insult Billy Eppler and the ones that couldn't even try to table a deal for Trout. Methinks this deal would go into the 'insult' pile.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Do I really have to do this for every team?
The deal: Marcell Ozuna, Adam Conley, Tyler Kolek, Josh Naylor, Jarlin Garcia, Stone Garrett, and Kendrys Flores
The rationale: It's really hard to imagine a trade involving Trout that doesn't also involve Giancarlo Stanton. But that wouldn't make sense for the Marlins if they wanted to stay relevant this season. Instead, the Angels would get a very good centerfielder, a potentially very good starting pitcher, and their top five prospects. And it's still way too light of a deal.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Now feels like a good time to remind you that Trout wins his team 10 games per season.
Tampa Bay Rays
The deal: Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr., Alex Colome, Blake Snell, Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames, and Garrett Whitley
The rationale: This isn't the Rays business model. The Angels would be hinging an awful lot of Colome's ability to start, which might have already been eliminated as an option.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. It's cute though. Very cute.
San Diego Padres
The deal: Matt Kemp, Jon Jay, Colin Rea, Manny Margot, Javier Guerra, Hunter Renfroe, and Austin Smith
The rationale: Why even try? This deal is bad. Maybe the real A.J. Preller could do better, but he'd have to retain salary if he Kemp returned back to Los Angeles -- but the American League side this time.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Yeah, no.
The deal: Ryan Braun, Taylor Jungmann, Rymer Liriano, Orlando Arcia, Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, and Trent Clark
The rationale: Every other deal sees an outfielder going back to the Angels. Braun is that outfielder. The problem is, even with Trout, the Brewers would need Braun in that outfield to be competitive. Even further, the pitching has been brutal for the Brewers this season, and Jungmann seems like the best option. These just aren't good options for the Angels.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Oh that is a cute deal, look at David Stearns, I just want to pinch his young, nubile cheeks. He's trying.
The deal: Byron Buxton, Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, Max Kepler, Tyler Jay, Jorge Polanco, and Adam Walker
The rationale: The Twins lack roster depth as it is, and this deal taxes them quite a bit. Especially the rotation. The upside of Buxton is pretty tantalizing but wait... The upside of Buxton is still somewhere much lower than Trout. Did we go through that already?
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. I know you love prospects, but nah.
San Francisco Giants
The deal: Matt Duffy, Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan, Christian Arroyo, Tyler Beede, Phil Bickford, and Lucius Fox
The rationale: Blanco is secretly quite good at baseball, but the lack of a good outfielder in return means the Giants would likely have to part with two of them and Duffy plus prospects. This deal isn't terrible, but doesn't help in pitching at all.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Pretty interesting though.
New York Yankees
The deal: Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Greg Bird, Jorge Mateo, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez
The rationale: Absolutely no rotation help is hopefully balanced out by one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball. Ellsbury and Gardner don't do a great job of helping the Angels immediately -- especially not their salary situation -- and the rest helps reload their farm system.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. You forgot how good Trout was for a second there, didn't you? Well snap out of it.
The deal: Billy Burns, Chris Coghlan, Josh Reddick, Sean Manaea, Franklin Barreto, Matt Olson, and Joe Wendle
The rationale: Yeah, you weren't expecting this deal to be good were you? Well. It isn't.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. DOZE PROSPECTZ DOE.
The deal: Gregory Polanco, Jung-Ho Kang, Jeff Locke, Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, Josh Bell, and Harold Ramirez
The rationale: David Freese slots in for Kang, Ryan Vogelsong slots in for Locke, and Trout and McCutchen form the best outfield a team has ever seen. Glasnow looks like he's major league ready for the Angels too.
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. Lots of good prospects, but there's no way the Angels are getting Trout-level production back in return.
The deal: Carlos Gomez, George Springer, Collin McHugh, Alex Bregman, A. J. Reed, Kyle Tucker, and Daz Cameron
The rationale: You know, it's not that long ago that starting a deal with Gomez could have got you an awful lot on the trade market. That time has past though. Assuming McCullers comes back healthy, the Astros could presumably survive without McHugh. If you call what they're doing now 'surviving.'
Likelihood: 0.1 percent. A rounding error keeps this one from going to 0.2. Seriously. This is science.
Teams that kind of work
The deal: A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings, Jake Lamb, Braden Shipley, Archie Bradley, Socrates Brito, and Alex Young
The rationale: Brandon Drury becomes the Diamondbacks' starting third baseman and everything else stays the same. Pretending that Pollock is healthy, this deal is pretty good. We'd have to imagine a Diamondbacks club that's playing without Pollock though -- which is what they're doing right now -- and I wonder how that would go? Probably a little bit like the Angels' season has gone. Well, at least they can hang their hopes on their starting rotation...
Likelihood: 0.2 percent. We moved the needle.
The deal: Michael Taylor, Tanner Roark, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Giolito, Trea Turner, Victor Robles, and Erick Fedde
The rationale: While the Nationals don't have a great outfielder to give back -- trading Bryce Harper makes no sense -- they can put together a pretty nice group. Stephen Drew would have to take over second base duties and this addresses a lot of needs for the Angels.
Likelihood: 0.3 percent. Now if the Angels could just trade back for Trout, their team would be pretty good.
St. Louis Cardinals
The deal: Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, Jhonny Peralta, Matt Adams, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, and Luke Weaver
The rationale: Well dang this is a pretty alright deal right here. But what do the Angels do with Peralta when they get him? Andrelton Simmons is the one fielder that is immovable on that team. The Cardinals would have to put Jeremy Hazelbaker permanently in right field which is a small price to pay for having The Best Player In Baseball in centerfield. Unfortunately, this deal doesn't answer the Angels' rotation prayers. At least not this year.
Likelihood: 0.4 percent. Are we sure this measuring scale is scientific?
New York Mets
The deal: Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Harvey, Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, Dominic Smith, Amed Rosario, and Brandon Nimmo
The rationale: The Angels reload the outfield nicely and maybe acquire an ace, assuming Harvey returns to Harvey levels. If Zack Wheeler comes back from Tommy John to full effectiveness -- which is a big ask -- the Mets may not even miss any of the players listed. Too bad the Angels can't consolidate Cespedes and Lagares into one player though... You know, kind of like Trout.
Likelihood: 0.5 percent. That looks like a big pile of nope.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The deal: Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Julio Urias, Jose De Leon, Grant Holmes, and Cody Bellinger
The rationale: Trout slots in for Pederson, Hernandez might be a better player than Pederson anyways, Ryu seems to be the most expendable option to help the Angels -- presuming health -- and that package of prospects is excellent.
Likelihood: 0.6 percent. Yeah, this doesn't seem all that scientific.
Boston Red Sox
The deal: Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Yoan Moncada, Anderson Espinoza, Andrew Benintendi, and Henry Owens
The rationale: This is the exact deal from the Brisbee article. We sort of used this as the rubric for all other deals. Seven players needed to be included, immediate help and good farmhands needed to come over. For the Red Sox though, this means either Brock Holt or Josh Rutledge are the starting shortstops for the rest of the season. It also means the Angels get no immediate pitching help other than Owens who the jury is still out on.
Likelihood: 0.7 percent. Mmmmmmno.
The deal: Carlos Carrasco, Michael Brantley, Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier, Brady Aiken, Mike Clevinger, and Francisco Mejia
The rationale: Oouuuuuu that's a nice package. Tyler Naquin would move over the Brantley's left field spot with Trout in the lineup. The Angels probably have their eyes set on Francisco Lindor, but the Indians have no plans on starting Jose Ramirez at shortstop for the rest of the season. This does an okay job of answering the Angels' rotation need, but parting with any more starters would hurt the Indians too much.
Likelihood: 0.8 percent. I thINK WE GOT A WINNNN-no
The deal: Prince Fielder, Martin Perez, Joey Gallo, Lewis Brinson, Dillon Tate, Luiz Ortiz, and Michael Matuella
The rationale: Whenever he's healthy, Josh Hamilton presumably needs a spot to play, so he gets the DH spot with Fielder off the roster. The Angels get some much needed help to their farm system, but if Perez is really the best the Rangers can offer for rotation help then this is less than ideal for them.
Likelihood: 0.9 percent. Yeah, I'm positive you're just increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point arbitrarily now.
Teams that might actually work
The deal: Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Kyle Schwarber, Gleyber Torres, Duane Underwood, Billy McKinney, and Dan Vogelbach
The rationale: This deal could actually do it and the Cubs wouldn't even feel the loss other than in depth and in the farm. They'd be acquiring a 10-win player that would push Dexter Fowler into a corner outfield spot for bench players and a fraction of their farm which includes three top-100 prospects. Bench players that would immediately become roster players on the Angels and prospects that would make the farm system the apple of Keith Law's eye.
Likelihood: 1 percent. Still nah.