Package Two - Considerable Cash
Angels Receive: OF Dylan Carlson, LHP Cooper Hjerpe, INF Masyn Winn
Cardinals Receive: OF Mike Trout, $120MM
This represents a middle scenario. Here, the Angels buy a couple of intriguing prospects from the Cardinals in Hjerpe and Winn. Both have plenty of control and will cost nothing, freeing up tons of payroll for the Angels. They'll also receive Dylan Carlson, a talented outfielder who has struggled to find his footing at the big league level. Carlson has felt like an excellent change-of-scenery candidate for the last year or so, and this deal would give him the chance for a fresh start.
Since posting an OPS of .780 in his first full season, Carlson has taken incremental steps back each season, with his production bottoming out in 2023. He may not have much time left to prove his worth in St. Louis. We speculated he might be shipped out at the deadline to help the Cardinals acquire starting pitching, but the team opted to hold on to him for the remainder of the season. With the emergence of Richie Palacios late in the 2023 season, some are wondering whether the Cardinals still need to roster Carlson for the 2024 season.
In this scenario, the Cardinals would be parting with a lot of young talent and taking on an incredibly risky contract. The Angels would thus likely be forced to send back a large sum of cash. $120MM feels about right, but these things are difficult to judge, and the Cardinals may expect even more money to help cover Trout's gargantuan deal.