The bidding war for Mike Trout will come in two stages, the first of which will be a trade. Yankees vs. Red Sox will look something like this.
Mike Trout is the best baseball player on the planet – agreed? Otherwise, you might as well stop reading now — one way or another, whether through trade or as a free agent, Mike Trout will top the scales of a bidding war that will make the one going on for the services of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado look like a school for GM kindergarteners.
We can assume both the Yankees and Red Sox will not let Mike Trout pass by easily. The money will be no object for either team. But before it becomes exclusively a money thing, the Angels will need to cross that precipice in which they decide – do I offer Mike Trout for a trade before free agency comes around in 2021, ensuring I get a maximum return, similar to the choice the Orioles made to trade Machado?
Or, do they off Mike Trout an extension in 2020, with the hope the money is enough, and he wants to finish his career in Anaheim? Or, do the Angels let it play out, entering the lottery themselves when Mike Trout reaches free agency. For the moment, the ball is in the Angels court, but as soon as mid-season in 2019 arrives, the pressure to trade Mike Trout will mount, especially if the Angels are out of the pennant race as predicted they will be.
The intrigue is this. Yankees fans understand the rivalry with the Red Sox extends far off the playing field. Even now, for instance, the Yankees are looking warily at the Red Sox who appear to have their eyes on two free agents, both of whom have previously been significant contributors to the Yankees bullpen.
The Red Sox, perhaps anticipating they will lose Craig Kimbrel to a team bidding a gazillion dollars, are locked in on David Robertson and Zach Britton. Losing either one is a blow to the Yankees, and it’s a more significant blow if they are consumed by the Red Sox.
The rivalry between the teams will be exponentially exploded, though, in a bidding war for Mike Trout. So, when the time comes, and picking from each team’s current roster, which players will each team offer in a trade with the Angels?
From there, I head to the Yankees and Red Sox top prospects lists. Since the Yankees (Ranked #16) have more quality in their farm system than the Red Sox (Ranked #28) according to Bleacher Reports, the Angels will need a minimum of three prospects from the Red Sox and two from the Yankees.
The Angels get to cherry pick at will. Otherwise, there is no deal. If the Angels get really ballsy, they can demand that half of Mike Trout’s salary of $34 million in the final year of his contract is paid by the team he is traded to.
Sound steep? Of course, it is. But again, we’re talking about the greatest and most talented ballplayer in our time. Mike Trout is the Joe DiMaggio, the Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and perhaps even the Babe Ruth of the 21st Century.
At the moment, this is all for fun and conjecture. But there will come a time when the Red Sox and Yankees become engaged in a bidding war for Mike Trout that not only is real, but a war fought in the deepest trenches of the rivalry between the two teams.
Til then, we get to watch the teams skirmish on the field in 2019. My prediction is the Yankees take the series 11-8, which is just enough to finish first in the AL East ahead of the Red Sox. Or, maybe not, because it’s baseball and you just never know…
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