We've already discussed a Mike Trout trade before, but today I'm looking to flesh out some of the scenarios for the Cardinals provided in this article. Trout is due nearly $250MM over the next seven seasons. Moving a contract that large is always a difficult prospect. Trout's recent injuries make it all the more difficult. He hasn't eclipsed 140 games since 2016. Since the beginning of the 2021 season, Trout has missed over 200 games!
Now, nobody is questioning the greatness of Mike Trout. When on the field, he continues to be one of baseball's premier players. He still makes the All-Star Game every year and continues to produce gaudy numbers. However, he just isn't on the field enough. We also now know that he has a serious back condition. Though it isn't hampering now, it should at least give evaluators some additional caution when projecting their future performance.
We actually do have some precedent for this type of move. Giancarlo Stanton, Robinson Canó, and several others were traded while on gigantic contracts. The best comparison for Trout is probably Stanton. He was traded by an incompetent franchise (the Marlins are much better these days), he was owed well over $250MM, he was coming off of an elite stretch, and he carried some injury concerns. Stanton was several years younger and had a few additional years of control, but the general circumstances are strikingly similar. They're similar enough that we can begin to model a Trout deal off of the Stanton deal.
The Marlins officially traded Stanton and $30MM to the New York Yankees in exchange for Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Jose Devers. Neither Devers nor Guzman were highly rated prospects, and Castro was a solid but unspectacular regular who was entering his ninth year at the MLB level. Perhaps landing Trout will require a bit more due to his incredible pedigree, but his injury history and his age present major concerns that will absolutely impact his value.