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  1. Its not really fair to Trout, but he probably should go back to Triple-A for financial reasons.

    If he tears it up their, I suppose I really can’t argue with him getting the call up but here is how i look at it, in the case of a 20-21 year old, Franchise level talent.

    1) Is he undeniably big league ready? In this case, with the minor struggles during his call up, the answer is basically no.

    2)Are you in absolute win now mode and he’s better than all other options in a major whole? Apparently not.

    3) how does it look financially? This is a bit sad, but there are two things to think about here. One is that the older and more seasoned he is when his arb clock starts ticking, the more quality you get out of your team controlled years. Two, the later they come up, the less money they can expect to get out of their free agent years due to others being able to buy their peak years.

    How would the brewers be looking right now if they had let fielder develop an extra year in the minors? They’d have paid him way less up until this point, have him around for an extra year of his peak while they were capable of contention, and the odds he’d have gotten 214 million if you cut out one more of his top years are just way lower. He’d cost fewer years till 36 and probably get less AAV.

    Comment by Jesse — February 2, 2012 @ 9:23 am

  2. Wells is coming off a down season and I really don’t think he should be knocked so much for just 1 year. In 2010 he had a 126 wRC+. While he’s never had the best plate discipline, I highly doubt he will continue with a sub 4% walk rate.

    While the Angels would likely be a better team with Trout in the line-up, it may be worth it to keep him in the minors and delay his arbitration clock, especially with so many large, almost untradable contracts with players who are still capable of being solid regulars.

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — February 2, 2012 @ 9:25 am

  3. I actually don’t think trading Peter Bourjos is indefensible. Far from it actually. While his defense is a luxury, there is a homegrown, younger option in Mike Trout who offers oodles more potential offensive upside with more years of control.

    I don’t get what the rush is with Trout anyways. Sure, he was already too much for the Texas League as a veritable baby, but I don’t see the harm in beginning him in the PCL & letting him really get comfortable. Although overall usage might have played into his offensive performance, Trout did seem overmatched at the MLB level in 2011& he should be playing just about every day (something which might not occur in the OC immediately in 2012).

    Comment by Stan Gable — February 2, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  4. I tend to agree.

    Comment by Stan Gable — February 2, 2012 @ 9:29 am

  5. How about a strict challenge trade, Trout for Harper? The Nationals need a CF more than they need a corner OF. The Angels appear set in CF with Bourjos, and Trout’s value is diminished in a corner spot. Harper could stand a few more months of seasoning in AAA (not to mention the Super II status benefit), which would probably delay this decision for long enough to let an injury determine the call up date (or complete ineffectiveness from Wells).

    Of course this will never happen. Neither GM wants to run the risk of swapping a superstar for a lessor, or even failed, player. However, it would be fun to debate this trade for the next decade, especially if they remain essentially equal player moving forward.

    Comment by Colin — February 2, 2012 @ 9:39 am

  6. That pun doesn’t even make sense. Why would Trout, the fish, be “hooking” anything. “Will Trout be hooked into a starting role” makes more sense but sounds just as retarded.

    Comment by Joe B — February 2, 2012 @ 9:45 am

  7. How were my other fish jokes?

    Comment by Chris Cwik — February 2, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  8. Fun idea! I doubt there is a GM alive with the cohonas for that.

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — February 2, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  9. /Fish pun.

    Comment by Eddie — February 2, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  10. This actually strikes me as a really good idea. Add in the fact that Trout is from the Mid-Atlantic and Harper grew up a 3 hour drive from Anaheim, and I like it even more.

    Comment by Jason — February 2, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  11. This was my big hangup with the Vernon Wells deal. 20+M/y aside, the big thing for me was that Wells would be “blocking” Trout. I say “blocking” because when you pay someone that much money you HAVE to play them (in the mind of a GM).

    The LAA could have Trout-Bourjous and Hunter in the OF and Abreau at DH or on the bench. Even if Trout and Bourjous struggle with the bat, they likely still are league average due to their UZR, and I’m sure Haren, Weaver, Santana and Crew love that. But since they ARE paying Wells a ton of money, he “has” to play. Not only that but they sent Napoli away to “get” Wells.

    That’s what really gets me, they KNEW that Trout was coming, yet they still obtained a mammoth contract for an averagish or below OF’er. Now, he has to play just because. I know two wrongs don;t make a right, but do three wrongs?

    I think Trout has to play, regardless of the Wells contract. He has to play until he proves that he can’t.

    Yes, Mike Trout should hook

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 2, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  12. I think this is a lot easier than you’re making it out to be. I think they start Bourjos CF, Trout LF, and Hunter RF with Wells as an expensive 4th outfielder. If they want to burn a roster spot on Abreu, he’s their part-time DH.

    Comment by gus — February 2, 2012 @ 10:17 am

  13. Before 2006, Vernon Wells realized that he only needs to hit every other year to keep getting playing time, and thus elected to only hit in even numbered years. Since then, he’s put up wOBAs of .382, .357, and .362 in even numbered years while putting up .306, .314, and .285 in the odd years. Clearly, Wells is primed for a campaign of ~.360 wOBA in 2012.

    Surely the team knew they’d be getting Pujols this offseason and made the Wells trade last year with his 2012 production in mind. Everything’s coming up Angels.

    Comment by steex — February 2, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  14. “or will he be left swimming upstream all season?”

    That would be (Tim) Salmon, not Trout.

    Comment by Rally — February 2, 2012 @ 10:30 am

  15. On the big league ready comment, his struggles were essentially babip issues in a small sample (counter point would be if he put up a .400 babip many people would falsely say he is destined for a hall of fame career). He was much superior to Bourjos’s offensive numbers 2 years ago, and I do not see it as all that much of a stretch to think that Trout’s improvement would be similar.

    In terms of performance, I think it is quite clear he should be playing. I think the deciding factor will be the financial incentives for the Angels.

    Comment by Old Style — February 2, 2012 @ 10:50 am

  16. Mike Trout, Justin Smoak, and Yu Darvish walk into a bar…..fangraphs and shut down with a flood of pun-driven article titles.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — February 2, 2012 @ 10:54 am

  17. Someone should try to assemble a team of nothing but guys with names you can make puns with. Be interesting. Depending on how far you stretch it, could be pretty decent.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — February 2, 2012 @ 10:58 am

  18. The decline to cheap punchline of Vernon Wells’ once proud career is deeply saddening. If he had signed a deal for half as much nobody would ever complain about him. Or on the other side of the coin, you can’t ever mention his name without mentioning the contract, but JP Ricciardi is talked about all the time without the Vernon’s 126 Mil deal being branded on his forehead.

    Comment by Big Jgke — February 2, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  19. Honestly this doesn’t seem too difficult a proposition to me given that you’re willing to swap your outfield positions around.

    Theoretically, Trout would be a “utility guy”, but that’s more by position. He should be playing probably around 140 games this year, youth and logjam considered.

    Bourjos is the starting center fielder by right; he’s played excellent defense and doesn’t deserve to lose his position to a rookie, especially since Trout isn’t going to be worlds away better here.

    Then you can just kind of swap Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells around in the outfield, as well as with Bobby Abreu at DH, to maximize Trout’s playing time, with Trout also spelling Bourjos on days off.

    There’s no need to send him to the minors; you can reorganize this to maximize his play time without paying someone 18 or 26 million dollars to basically be a bench player.

    Comment by Michael Franko — February 2, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  20. You’re no Moises Alou.

    Comment by buddy — February 2, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  21. *cracks knuckles*
    1B:Justin Smoak
    2B:Dan Uggla
    3B:Scott Rolen(Rolen along, Rolen on the river, etc.)
    SS:Derek Jeter
    C:Brian McCann (probably the weakest one, but I couldn’t think of a better one)
    OF: Angel Pagan, Mike Trout, Hunter Pence
    SP: Yu Darvish

    Comment by JT — February 2, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  22. Your babip point is well taken, but low babip can also be the result of weak contact generated by a player who isn’t yet ready for major league pitching. I saw Trout many times, and he looks like he would greatly benefit from some more minor league seasoning. It may not take much, but I think it would do him a world of good.

    Comment by rbt — February 2, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  23. Lets not forget Coco Crisp and Milton Bradley!

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — February 2, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  24. As a Rangers fan I will be glad if he spends time in AAA because the one thing this kid has is speed and power and thats always scary. He had a couple routine GBs that he beat out with that ++ speed and once he learns to steal bases its gonna be even worse. Hopefully Wells hits replacement level and keeps the kid at AAA

    Comment by Aggie E — February 2, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  25. What is BABIP? Trout clearly needs more seasoning in the minors, we have two excellent corner outfielders already in Wells and Hunter. I could only see him starting if we could find somebody to take Bourjos off our hands.

    Comment by Art Moreno — February 2, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  26. I liked Reagins…

    Comment by Aggie E — February 2, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  27. Wells was still decent in Toronto and AA duped Tony reagins into taking the contract and AA also shipped his other albatross to Chicago so its out of sight out of mind..

    Comment by Aggie E — February 2, 2012 @ 11:40 am

  28. I doubt they want a 20 yr old moving around a bunch…

    Comment by Aggie E — February 2, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  29. Unfortunately, there’s just no opening for Trout. Of course, him in the minors this year will help the Halos add another year of service time, so that’s valuable

    with Hunter being a decent option still and Wells contract, there is no room for Trout this year, barring an injury. 2013 is when he’ll have a full time role as Hunter is a FA

    Comment by sausagemcbiscuit — February 2, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

  30. The one thing this kid has… is two things.

    Comment by Will — February 2, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  31. I liked Reagins too…

    Comment by Alex Anthopolous — February 2, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  32. your comment went from great to awesome with that last simpsons reference

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — February 2, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  33. Any experience with coco crisp is surreal (Cereal).

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 2, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

  34. Everyone already knows the problem with Well’s contract. Abreu and Hunter each have 1more year. Abreu is obviously gone (and was signed to at least 1 year too long, but it’s old news). The sad part is that Hunter doesn’t have a spot because of Wells. With Borjos, Trout and Trumbo (plus maybe Morales), there are plenty of guys to fill the AB’s. So the 4th OF job which could have gone to Hunter is instead going to have to go to Wells.

    Comment by Greg — February 2, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

  35. Yes poor Vernon Wells!

    Comment by Scott G — February 2, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  36. Where does Trumbo play? 3B seems out with his slow healing injury. Seems like he splits time at OF& DH, unless they deal him which would be tough with the injury

    Comment by Scott G — February 2, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

  37. Trumbo’s not a good player, so as a die hard Angels fan I don’t really care. He’s nice to have but his walk rate is putrid, and it’s not like he’s a defensive stud either. Barring a drastic turn of events in his plate discipline I think he profiles to be a part timer/pinch hitter for his career.

    Comment by Andre — February 2, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

  38. Jeter? Rhymes with “cheater”? I think I’m missing it.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — February 3, 2012 @ 12:48 am

  39. Reliever is todd Coffey.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — February 3, 2012 @ 12:49 am

  40. Aggie, those are some very nice comments coming from a Rangers fan. Don’t fret, the Angels will keep Trout in the minors because there is a vet out there in left. I’m hoping that Scioscia realizes that Wells is kaput sometime in May and calls up Trout but I’m not holding my breath.

    Comment by Travis — February 9, 2012 @ 2:12 am

  41. Over the last five years Wells hasn’t posted a WAR above 2 except for in 2010, which was a 3.8 WAR. If he does “bounce back” we’re still looking at a guy with a WAR around 1, which isn’t all that great once you consider the fact that Trout had a WAR of 0.8 last year in 135 ABs. If you ramp up those numbers to 500 ABs his WAR would have been around 3 (not scientific but I think that would probably be accurate).

    If Trout got the job in LF this year out of Spring Training I would guess that he would be a very productive cog in the Angels’ lineup. Bill James and all the other prognosticators on this site think so as well.

    Where you make a good point Grandslamwich is with the whole arbitration angle. But I think that the Angels need to win now. Pujols probably won’t be a great player in five years and the same goes for our starting staff. Everybody is getting older and the Angels need to put their best lineup out there everyday. And their best lineup is, as you agree, with Trout starting in LF.

    Comment by Travis — February 9, 2012 @ 2:23 am

  42. Lolololololololol This Post in retrospect.

    Comment by Jack — September 9, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  43. I have Trout in 3 of my 6 ‘important’ leagues.

    I will win all three of those leagues, going away. Coincidence? I think not!

    One is a keeper league. I get Trout in the 21st round next year, and 19th round the year after that.

    I love life right now.

    Comment by S. Urista — September 10, 2012 @ 4:08 am

  44. Yes he should.

    Comment by Fan of home team — February 1, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

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