MLB pundit predicts Braves trade for Mike Trout at deadline

MLB: JUN 18 Angels at Royals

The Braves are in Chicago squaring off against the White Sox following their opening series against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Through four contests, Atlanta has won three games, including a series win against their division rivals. New acquisitions Chris Sale and Jarred Kelenic have looked the part early. The other Braves stars have flexed their muscles, and the newly bolstered bullpen shut down a potent Phillies lineup.

All is good in Braves Country, but it’s never too early to talk about the MLB Trade Deadline, right? I get it. It’s been one week of the regular season, but I just had talk about this.

Stephen Nesbitt from The Windup had a hot corner hot take that the Braves would trade for Mike Trout at this year’s deadline. Here’s what he had to say:

“Mike Trout … He will end the summer as an Atlanta Brave. He’s going to get traded to the Braves, and I say this because … Mike Trout is unhappy with the direction the Angels are going. They have given him an unbelievable amount of money. He’s going to be making $35.45 million buckaroos annually until 2030. He’s in line to make a bunch more money. He keeps getting injured.

However, he’s still a very good baseball player as evidenced by what happened on Opening Day, and the Angels are headed in the other direction. They didn’t try when he asked them to add more this offseason. They went ahead and did not do that.”

Trout hit a home run on Opening Day, but as usual, the Angels lost. The greatest player of a generation has never won a postseason game but constantly does things that take our breath away in the regular season, including this towering 473-foot bomb against the Marlins yesterday, which was his second homer of the night.

The Angels watched Shohei Ohtani walk this offseason after balking at multiple trade offers at the 2023 deadline. Instead, they were buyers and shipped prospects off in exchange for one last push for the playoffs.

It was delusional thinking from an embarrassment of a franchise. Having the two greatest players in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani and never winning as much as one playoff game is almost too incompetent to understand. As Nesbitt continues, I also imagine that Trout isn’t happy finishing out his career in a rebuild.

“I think Mike Trout is much more unhappy than he is letting on with the Angels. I don’t think he wants to stay here through whatever they’re going to be doing.”

Trout is earning a ton of money and is certainly happy/grateful to be able to collect a $35+ million check every year. However, I don’t think it’s bold to say that he’s not satisfied with just earning money at this point in his career.

For as high a level of an athlete as Trout is, there’s no way I can see him being content with never getting a real crack at October baseball. I could totally see him forcing his way out of Los Angeles, even if he’s never seemed even mildly displeased with the organization.

There are a couple of obstacles to a potential deal, though. For the Braves, is there even room for him? Not on the payroll, but on the actual roster. Alex Anthopoulos acquired Jarred Kelenic and Adam Duvall this offseason to platoon in left field, and both are off to great starts.

With Michael Harris in center and Ronald Acuna in right field, the fit isn’t obvious. Then, there’s the payroll situation. The Braves do have a lot of future flexibility with several notable contracts coming off the books in the coming years, but there’s no way Atlanta would take on the entirety of Trout’s contract.

The Angels would have to eat some of the $35-ish million annually through 2030, and I don’t see them doing that. If Los Angeles does eat some of his salary, then MAYBE the Braves would make the trade. However, I seriously doubt Atlanta is willing to part ways with some of its young pitching talent — A.J. Smith-Shawver, Hurston Waldrep, etc. — in exchange for an aging, injury-prone Mike Trout to bolster an outfield that is already full.

On the other hand, Mike Trout is the greatest player of a generation and is still the best outfielder in baseball if he’s healthy. If the Braves run into a string of outfield (or DH) injuries, I could see a potential trade if I close one eye and look really closely.

Realistically, the Braves will be making minor moves at the deadline to fine-tune an already-loaded roster, not making a blockbuster acquisition of Mike Trout. It’s fun to think about, but the logistics are just too wonky.

I do hope Trout gets traded to a contender, though. Baseball is starving for its brightest stars in October.

Photographer: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire
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