This summer the Yankees did something they haven't done in nearly three decades: they sold at the trade deadline. New York traded veterans Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan Nova for a total of 12 prospects.
As a result, the Yankees now have one of the best farm systems in baseball. In fact, MLB.com prospect guru Jim Callis calls it the deepest system in the game. The Yankees have needed a youth infusion for a few years now and this season they finally moved in that direction.
"You don't accumulate all those prospects with the intent of keeping them all," the scout told me. "They have value and it makes complete sense to spin off four of five of them for Trout ... It's very much a Yankees kind of move and makes too much sense for them."
Now, just to be clear, the scout is only speculating about the Yankees and Trout. In fact, the scout goes as far as to say a trade has "zero percent chance of happening." Sorry to be a buzzkill.
But the idea here passes the sniff test, does it not? The Yankees are suddenly loaded with prospects, so why wouldn't they at least see if the Angels are willing to take some of them in exchange for the best player in baseball? Yankees GM Brian Cashman wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't at least make the phone call.
The Angels went 78-88 and had the fourth worst record in the AL in 2016. They have the worst farm system in baseball and few long-term big league assets beyond Trout. The situation is so dire. So dire it gives me anxiety. How are they supposed to turn this ship around?
Many folks have suggested the Angels should trade Trout for a huge package to kickstart their rebuild, and hey, it's not unreasonable. What's the right package? I have no idea. We've never seen a player like Trout -- the best player in baseball, only 25 years old, four years from free agency -- get traded. It's unprecedented.
The Yankees are one of the few teams with the prospect inventory to make a competitive offer for Trout. He'd fit right into New York's rebuild -- they're calling it a "transition," not a rebuild -- given his age as well. Plus it's the Big Apple. The Yankees are known for their big stars and they lack one right now.
The Angels have been adamant that they will not trade Trout and I believe them. For now, anyway. We'll see what happens if they fail to win 75 games again in 2017. Keeping Trout is completely justifiable. And if they do put him at the market, the Yankees have every reason to make an enormous offer.