The St. Louis Cardinals are the Perfect Trade Destination for Mike Trout

National League All-Star Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals talks with American League All-Star Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels during the 2022 Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Dodger Stadium on July 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
National League All-Star Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals talks with American League All-Star Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels during the 2022 Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Dodger Stadium on July 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Aug 24, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) is congratulated by designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) after hitting a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) is congratulated by designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) after hitting a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

What is Trout’s value on the trade market?

Although Trout has never indicated he will ask for a trade out of Anaheim, the superstar may quickly reconsider now that Ohtani is as sure as gone and ownership is in flux. The 31-year old has a no-trade clause, meaning he can control his destiny in any trade package.

This alone limits what kind of value the Angels could get from a Trout trade. They cannot just take the best package available, as Trout can veto any offers. This also makes the pool of teams more limited as well, despite being locked into a long-term deal. St. Louis would likely be one of the few teams who Trout would consider.

Then comes the tricky part for the Angels. Trout still has 8 years, $296.8 million remaining on his contract, locking him up through his age 39 season. Although Trout’s bat should age well and he would likely play competent defense even late in his 30s, his recent struggles with injuries and uncertainty surrounding his back makes Trout a risky acquisition. Since 2017, Trout has played in just 67.5% of the Angels games.

No matter how good of a player he is, the best ability is availability, and clubs will use this concern, plus the large contract, to lessen the cost of the superstar even further.

The Angels would likely look to go down the path of the Arenado trade, where St. Louis got the Rockies to eat $50 million of his contract in that deal. It is doubtful they get a package as thin as what the Rockies got for Arenado, but it also wouldn’t be much larger either. Arenado was going on his age 30 season, had remained healthy thought his career, and outside of the pandemic shortened season, showed no signs of decline.

Looking at the potential teams that could deal for Trout, it is doubtful the Angels would send him to the Dodgers unless they offered something that blew all other offers out of the water, and their cross-town rival will likely be targeting Ohtani anyways. The Padres lack the payroll flexibility and prospects after the Soto trade, and the Yankees’ involvement would likely depend on an Aaron Judge extension.

There are plenty of teams that would at least call about Trout, but when you look at all the options, St. Louis rises to the top. Here is what the Cardinals could offer to the Angels.

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