Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout has heard the speculation that his team may need to trade him, but he’s not buying it.

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Trout Not Buying Trade Speculation

Thursday, May 12

Speaking to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, Trout explained his reaction to any talk of a trade: “I just laugh about it. I love where I’m at. I love Anaheim, the stadium, the organization and obviously the teammates. Teams go through injuries. That’s the way it is.”

It’s worth noting the Angels have never said they are thinking about dealing Trout. Speculation arose last week when some analysts, like FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron, broached the topic in light of the injury to Los Angeles ace Garrett Richards:

Trading Mike Trout would not only bring back an incredible return in young talent — imagine the package the Dodgers could put together — but would also allow the team to admit that it’s time to pivot, focusing on loading up with as many young players as possible, spending big on international free agency and the draft instead of throwing $15 to $20 million at another pitcher at the end of his career who might not be good enough to help anyway.

In theory, the Angels would have valid reasons to consider trading Trout. Injuries have hurt the team already this season.

Richards likely needs Tommy John surgery, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Andrew Heaney is on the 60-day disabled list, C.J. Wilson hasn’t pitched this season with a shoulder injury and Andrelton Simmons is expected to miss two months after undergoing thumb surgery.

They are in an awful position with horrible contracts—Albert Pujols is owed $165 million from 2016 to 2021, per Spotrac—and no farm system to help out. ESPN.com’s Keith Law wrote the Angels had “by far the worst system I’ve ever seen” in the eight years he has been ranking minor league talent.

All of those factors paint a bleak picture of what the future looks like in Los Angeles. Trout is the one trump card the Angels have. He’s 24 years old, signed through 2020 and should be able to hold his MVP-level performance for the duration of his contract.

Trout is the kind of player every franchise wants to build around, but if there is no one else to help him, his skills are being wasted on a team going nowhere.

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