Posted by Schumpeters-Ghost
I do doubt the Angels would move Trout, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, or at least shouldn’t consider it. History has shown that the #2 prospect doesn’t always turn into one of the best players. The Patterson/Pujols example I cited was a bit extreme, but clearly what would have looked like a lopsided deal for the Cardinals would have turned into a lopsided deal for the Cubs.
And looking back, how many of these other deals would have looked bad one way, and then benefited the team getting the lower ranked prospect:
2000: #2 Pat Burrell for #37 Lance Berkman
2002: #2 Mark Prior for #38 Miguel Cabrera
2003: #2 Rocco Baldelli for #54 Zack Greinke
2004: #2 BJ Upton for #52 Adrian Gonzalez
2006: #1 Delmon Young for #49 Ryan Braun or #50 Andrew McCutchen or #57 Jered Weaver
2007: #2 Alex Gordon for #43 Joey Votto
Hindsight is 20/20, and high profile prospects are rarely dealt for each other. Heck, even young major leaguers are. The Delmon Young/Matt Garza trade was a rare swap of high profile younger players with years of control and anger issues. It’s a tough call to make as a GM, but being the #2 prospect is no guarantee of being even an average Major Leaguer. This position has been held in the past by the following luminaries: Ben McDonald, Andujar Cedeno (RIP), Todd Van Poppel, Brien Taylor, Ruber Rivera, Paul Wilson, along with the names above. Cooperstown beckons!!
Certainly, there have been some successes as well, such as Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Paul Konerko, and Felix Hernandez. But if the Angels were to be able to get a high profile star player who better fit their needs, it is not necessarily a bad idea.
In reality, the only way they might do it is if Boston sweetened the return, although by how much is anybody’s guess.
As for Hunter, while the Angels would undoutedly prefer to move Wells, don’t overvalue Torii’s leadership. First of all, the leader of the Angels is Mike Scioscia, end of argument. Second, are you questioning the leadership skills of Youkilis? Or the heart and intensity of Youkilis? Really? If I asked you to quantify why you think Hunter was a more valuable leader, you couldn’t. Neither could I. And third, the Angels have an overcrowded outfield. And while hill points out the WAR advantage over Boston, it is probably worth noting they cannot get the offense (Trumbo) or the defense (Callaspo) on the field at once. WAR can be skewed by small sample sizes, as one or two good plays can give a misleading UZR that has not had the chance to right itself. And Youkilis would really only relegate Callaspo to the bench, since Trumbo is more useful in the outfield, so any offensive benefit he gives to the WAR is not going to be displaced. What would get displaced is the negative contributions from Vernon Wells.
I do think the Angels would love (or at least, should love) to trot out a Trumbo-Bourjos-Trout outfield everyday, as opposed to the revolving door they have been using all season long. And while Wells has easily made an excellent case for being benched and removing himself from the equation, Hunter has not, and yet he still stands in the way of that outfield.
The Angels will probably keep Trout. After all, he is the most publicized and highest ranking prospect since Brandon Wood. Say, if they could turn back the clock, think the Angels might want to deal 2006 #3 prospect Wood for #76 Jay Bruce?