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#pounditThursday, August 5, 2021

Angels not going to trade Mike Trout despite Ohtani news

Mike Trout

The future is a little dim for the Los Angeles Angels, but that does not mean they’re about to drop everything and trade franchise player Mike Trout.

The Angels announced on Wednesday that they are recommending Tommy John surgery for two-way star Shohei Ohtani. The surgery would take Ohtani out as a pitcher for all of next season, though it’s uncertain whether he would be able to hit while recovering as a pitcher. That means the Angels’ best chance of contending for a playoff spot might not come until 2020, which is Trout’s last year under contract with the Angels.

In addition to Ohtani (who has not officially decided yet whether he will undergo the procedure), Blake Wood and Keynan Middleton (as well as free agent-to-be Garrett Richards) are also expected to miss the 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Given all those injuries, it’s hard to see the Angels contending next year. Rebuilding might make some sense, but GM Billy Eppler made clear on Wednesday that the team will not trade Trout.

That’s the right thing for Eppler to say, and he better stand by it.

Trout is a future Hall of Famer whom the Angels should try to keep as long as possible. They should try to re-sign him rather than push him out the door with a trade. It’s unfortunate that the front office has mismanaged the team so badly during Trout’s prime, but trading Trout while he’s still in MVP form would be unforgivable.


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