Fox Sports - The Angels, after losing ace right-hander Garrett Richards to season-ending Tommy John surgery, will not entertain the thought of trading center fielder Mike Trout.
The loss of Richards, combined with the continued absence of left-hander Andrew Heaney, will severely compromise the Angels' postseason chances.
General manager Billy Eppler, however, is adamant about keeping Trout rather than moving him for a haul of talent to boost the Angels' depleted farm system.
So this is the most obvious news of all time. Why it was even a question is preposterous. It's the equivalent of the Warriors trading Steph Curry or the Packers trading Aaron Rodgers. No matter how bad the Angels get they will never trade Trout. He is a once in a lifetime player.
The reason this is even a story is because the Angels are struggling. They are off to a disappointing 13-16 start and just lost ace Garrett Richards to Tommy John surgery. After winning 98 games in 2014 the team regressed to 85 last season and are now under .500 in 2016. While there is still time for the team to turn it around their current roster leaves a lot to be desired, especially without Richards.
Currently the offense ranks 23rd out of 30 in runs scored and the starting pitching staff ranks 21st in quality starts. While the overall team ERA is 14th that number figures to drop without their ace. What is concerning for Angels fans is that the team does not have much flexibility for immediate roster improvements. Over the past several years they have shelled out gigantic, long-term contracts for Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and CJ Wilson. They also traded their best prospect this past off-season for shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
Outside of being fucking incredible the other reason Trout isn't going anywhere is his contract. He is currently in the second year of a six year, $144.5 million deal, which is an incredible value for someone of Trout's caliber and age. Instead of going the Bryce Harper route and seeking a record setting deal as early as possible, Trout chose security. He is now set for life and although the Angels bought out his first three years of free agency, he can still become one after the 2020 season when he will be just 29 years old.
Without much budget flexibility the Angels will be hard pressed to make a quick turn around. It will take some savvy trades and signings by General Manager Billy Eppler to get the team back to the postseason. There are holes on this roster but trading one of the league's two best players is not the way to fill them.