Trout fits the Cardinals’ mold
If there is a superstar in baseball that embodies the Cardinal way more than anyone, its Mike Trout.
Trout is a name that baseball fans know, but does not carry the same flair or headlines that some of the game’s other stars do. He is a five-tool player who goes about his business as professional as anyone, and whenever he is on the field, produces like an all-time great.
Yet somehow in his twelve major league seasons, the Los Angeles Angels have only made the playoffs one time with this generational talent. Trout is a three-time MVP and three-time runner up, yet has only played three postseason games. If Trout came to St. Louis, he should expect to play in October every single year.
While a player like Juan Soto may command $45 million per year and his persona may be a bit loud for an organization like St. Louis, Mike Trout would come in at $35 million per season and bring a class act to the Cardinal clubhouse.
Depending on when this kind of deal would get done, Trout would slot in perfectly next to Goldschmidt and Arenado in the St. Louis lineup, and would be surrounded by whatever young guns remained after a blockbuster trade like that. Trout could lead St. Louis for the rest of the 2020s in the outfield, and his bat should translate as an elite DH late in his deal if his athleticism gives way.
The Cardinals may be able to get Trout at a pretty good value after the 2023 season or into the 2024-2025 range. Trout is almost 31, meaning that his value should decrease a bit in the next few seasons compared to a guy like Soto. Going after an aging superstar on a struggling ballclub with years of elite play ahead of him fits right with the Cardinals recent blockbusters.
There are increasingly more and more reasons why the Angels would consider dealing Trout now as well.