Where to start on Mike Trout, 40.6 career WAR, 2 time MVP, 2012 ROY, 5 time all-star, career .306 hitter. While there is no denying Mike Trout is on a whole different level than every one else in the MLB. Since Mike Trouts first full season in 2012 he has completely dominated, finishing in top 2 for MVP voting and leading the league in WAR every year. Not to mention Mike Trout is only 25 years old. Mike Trout truly is special.
While Mike Trout completely tears up the league, his team does not. The Angeles other than Trout are a complete mess. The Angels have no players on the MLB.com top 100 prospect watch. The future for the Angels looks bleak and unless the Angels begin to make some big moves the Angels will be destined to fail. I took a poll on my Twitter page and 75% of the voters said that the Angels should consider trading Trout…
Now don’t get me wrong, the idea of trading Trout is crazy, but a good one. The asking price for Jose Fernandez last off-season was Corey Seager and Julio Urias and more from the Dodgers, and that was for a yes dominant pitcher but one with a bad history of injuries and an incoming free agency. Which leads to the asking price for Trout.
When comparing Jose Fernandez’s asking price, you begin to wonder what could it be for Trout and if any team could even afford him…
This leads to the perfect match, the Chicago Cubs. A team primed to be in contention for years, with a hole to fill in Center Field with the loss of Dexter Fowler. Not to mention the Cubs are overflowing with young players and could likely afford Trout.
Below are 3 Mock Trades for Mike Trout with the Cubs
Kyle Schwarber — Javier Baez — Eloy Jiminez
Mike Trout —
Jason Heyward — Kyle Schwarber — Javier Baez
Cubs Get: Mike Trout
Kyle Schwarber — Addison Russell — Eloy Jiminez
When looking at these, the second and third may be stretches but the first should theoretically hit the spot. It gives the Cubs the best player in the league in a position they are weak. It gives the Angels a stud DH in Schwarber, and key building blocks in Baez and Jiminez.
Cubs potential line-up after trade:
1: Ben Zobrist (2B)
2: Kris Bryant (3B)
3: Mike Trout (CF)
4: Anthony Rizzo (1B)
5: Willson Contreras ( C )
6:Addison Russell (SS)
7: Jason Heyward (RF)
8. Split of Szczur, Almora, Jay (LF)
Look at the 2–4 in this line-up. Could you immagine as an opposing pitcher having to figure out how to get around Bryant, Trout and Rizzo all in a row, it would be horrifying. While the trade of Mike Trout seems very very unlikely, its something that both teams should consider in the best interest of their clubs.
With the start of baseball inevitable, here is my way-too early MLB projections for the 2017 season.
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Girardi
Girardi is preparing for his 10th season with the New York Yankees. Unlike the typical Yankees roster filled with overpayed veterans (still does but not to extent in recent years) this roster is filled with an overflow of young prospects and great young talent. Expect Girardi to take full advantage of this young roster with at least one big impacting deadline deal, and bring the Yankees back to the playoffs led by Gary Sanchez.
NL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon
Joe Maddon, the manager of the Chicago Cubs looks to repeat as manager of the year in 2017 with the Cubs once again being undoubtably the best team in baseball once again. Joe Maddon will look to ultize his young and powerful roster to its full potential once again. Although taking heat with the usage of Aroldis Chapman in the World-Series Maddon will but that behind him again and look for another great season of Cubs baseball.
AL Rookie of the Year: Andrew Bentintendi
Andrew Bentintendi, former 7th overall pick from the University of Arkansas, also top prospect in baseball looks to carry over the hype from his quick stint he had with the Red Sox in 2016. Bentintendi hit .295/.359/.476 with 2 home runs in 105 at-bats in 2016. You should expect to see a break out year from the 22 year old alongside Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley in the outfield.
NL Rookie of the Year: Dansby Swanson
Dansby Swanson, former first overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last off-season Swanson was shipped to Atlanta for Shelby Miller, and oh boy should Arizona be regretting that by now. Shelby Miller completely fell apart in 2016 while Swanson only grew. Swanson who like Bentintendi was a late call-up in 2016 who hit .302/.361/.442 in 129 at bats. While his biggest competitor in Alex Reyes of the Cardinals has just informed the baseball world that he will miss the entire 2017 season, picking Swanson was an easy choice here.
Al Cy Young: Corey Kluber
Corey Kluber, a 30 year old RHP for the Cleveland Indians. Nicknamed “Klubot” for his robotic and emotionless persona on the mound. In 2016 Kluber led the Indians to the World Series and started game 7 (only to lose in extra innings) Kluber finished 2016 with a 3.14 ERA in 32 games started. He struck out 227 batters with a WHIP of 1.06. Kluber finished third place in the Cy Young voting in 2016 but should expect a little more out of his 2017 campaign.
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
Oh Clayton Kershaw, has dominated on the mound ever since making his debut in this league. It seems as every year he is an easy pick for Cy Young with his mind blowing preformances on the mound. Kershaw is entering his age 28 season. In 2016 he finished with a 1.69 ERA that is correct a 1.69 ERA although yes, he had only pitched 149 innings that is still an incredible feat. He also struck out 172 batters while only walking 11. Kershaw has finished in the top 5 for cy young voting every year since 2011 which is incredible. Kershaw for 2017 NL Cy Young seems to easy to pick…
AL MVP: Mike Trout
Like Kershaw, Trout completely dominates baseball every single year. What Mike Trout has already done in his career is spectacular. So much to say that at the age of 25 his combined WAR is already ahead of 12 hall of famers! Thats right, he is only 25 years old too. Trout has finished in the top 2 for MVP voting ever since his rookie year in 2012. In 2016 Trout hit .315/.441./.550 with a 10.6 WAR. Mike Trout currently sits on a whole different level as his competitors and easily deserves this recognition.
NL MVP: Nolan Arenado
Like Mike Trout, Arenado will be entering his age 25 season, but this year he will get the recognition he deserves. Arenado has slugged his entire career and has played arguably the best defense for a third basemen in the league currently. Arenado has led the league in Home Runs and RBIs two years in a row and has yet to crack the top 4 in MVP voting. Arenado does play in Colorado which does help, but you cannot take away from his mind blowing stats. In 2016 Arenado hit .294/.362./.570 with 41 Home Runs and 133 RBIs. Arenado will look to 2017 to bring him the MVP recognition he deserves.
The Chicago Cubs, 2016 World Series champions look to 2017 to further their success. Below are some headlined moves from the 2016–2017 offseason.
Key Departures: Aroldis Chapman, Dexter Fowler, Jason Hammel, David Ross, Jorge Soler and Travis Wood.
Key Arrivals: Wade Davis, Jon Jay, Eddie Butler, Brian Duensing, Koji Uehara and Brett Anderson (Some could say Kyle Schwarber)
Although on paper the Cubs off-season seems to be pretty unproductive with marquee names such as Chapman and Fowler leaving, which will hurt. The addition of Wade Davis sets the closer role and the Jon Jay signing will make for an interesting split role between Jon Jay and Albert Almora Jr. in center field. While most imagine Schwarber or hopefully Heyward can fill in at lead off to help replace the production of Dexter Fowler.
2016 Record= 103–58 (first in NL Central)
2017 Projected Record= 101–60 (first in NL Central)
2017 Projected Line-up:
Kyle Schwarber (LF)
Kris Bryant (3B)
Anthony Rizzo (1B)
Ben Zobrist (RF)
Willson Contreras (C )
Addison Russell (SS)
Javier Baez (2B)
Jason Heyward (CF)
Note that this lineup does not include Jon Jay or Albert Almora Jr. The Cubs will utilize splits to the max this year with so many options, for example Javier Baez is not the everyday second basemen as well as you cant expect Zobrist to play Right everyday leading to openings in the outfield for these 2 players.
2017 Projected Rotation
** Note do not expect the Cubs to use a 6 man rotation to start the year he would just fill in as the next man in.
2017 Projected Bullpen
Closer= Wade Davis
Setup= Cj Edwards
Setup= Pedro Strop
Setup= Hector Rondon
Relief= Justin Grimm
Relief= Brain Duensing
Relief= Rob Zastryzny
2017 Bold Predictions
Continues to be the best team in baseball
Jason Heyward rebounds and puts together a great campaign
Team aqcuires Chris Archer at the deadline
Tommy La Stella is traded away at the deadline
Kyle Schwarber completely mashes and finishes top 15 in MVP voting