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It wasn't long ago that it would have been unthinkable for the Washington Nationals to put Bryce Harper on the trading block. But all of a sudden http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-rod-carew-jersey , that idea is now extremely thinkable.Thus, a thought experiment: When might the Los Angeles Angels be in the same position with Mike Trout?Certainly not imminently. There's beenzero buzz about the Angels trading Trout ahead of this year's non-waiver trade deadline. That presumably has to do with how they're not rebuilding and with how he's achieving peak Mike Trout.The seven-time All-Star and two-time American League MVP is hitting .310/.462/.621 with 29 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Per Baseball Reference, he leads everyone in wins above replacement by a considerable margin:1.Mike Trout: 7.9 WAR2.Jose Ramirez: 6.8 WAR3.Mookie Betts:6.6 WARWith 62 career WAR to his name, Trout is all but certain to surpass Ty Cobb (63.4) for the most WAR ever through a player's age-26 season by the end of the year. When we look back years from now, it should be just another chapter in the story of Trout becoming the greatest player in Major League Baseball history.The Angels are slated to play a part in Trout's story for at least the next two years. The six-year, $144.5 million contract extension he signed in March 2014 runs through 2020.After that, the Angels have no guarantee that he won't test the free-agent waters."I don't know the answer," Trout saidin June about the possibility of signing on beyond 2020, per Bill Shaikinof theLos Angeles Times. "I want to get to the playoffs. That's my mindset. I can't predict the future. So I just take it one game at a time now and see what happens."The longer Trout continues to not have an answer, the more likely a trade becomes.This isn't the first time the idea has materialized. A possible Trout trade was a hot topic back in 2016. Although he was en route to his second MVP at the time, the Angels were an injury-riddled mess of a team that was on its way to a 74-88 record.Instead, the Angels held on to Trout and committed to building a better team around him. Thanks to key additions such as slugging outfielder Justin Upton and two-way marvel Shohei Ohtani, the effort hasn't been a total failure.Nor, however, has it been a rousing success. The Angels fell short of .500 last year. If they hold to their .388 winning percentage since May 11, they'll end up right there again this year.The Angels will be hard-pressed to spend their way out of mediocrity.Theirpayrollis at $174.4 million. PerBaseball Reference, they're projected to spend $168.7 million in 2019 and $197.1 million in 2020. The $33.3 million they'll pay Trout in 2019 and 2020 is a good deal Brian Dozier Jersey , but it's offset by the $87 million they'll owe what's left of Albert Pujols between 2019 and 2021.Masterpress/Getty ImagesLikewise, the Angels' farm system may not be the solution. It's better than it used to be, but it still only ranks as Bleacher Report's No. 20 system following the 2018 draft. Its best player is uber-athletic outfielder Jo Adell, and he's just 19 and has advanced only as far as High-A.Meanwhile, there's the Mike Scioscia factor. He's been managing the Angels since 2000, but the 10-year contract he signedin 2009 is up at the end of this season. If the Angels go in a new direction with a new manager this winter, perhaps they'll also commit to a rebuild.For that, Step No. 1 might be cashing in Trout's tremendous trade value.Despite being the highest-paid player in MLB, he still checks in at No. 4 among the most valuable trade chips, according to Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs. In theory, the Angels could dump his remaining contractand get multiple elite prospects back for him if they were to put him on the block this offseason.In reality, it might not be that simple.Although this winter's free-agent class has lost some of its shine, it's still going to offer Harper, Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, A.J. Pollock http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-justin-morneau-jersey , Nelson Cruz, Eduardo Escobar, Josh Donaldson, Brian Dozier, Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Miller, Zach Britton and, if they opt out of their current deals, Clayton Kershaw and David Price.Amid that much readily available talent, some teams may just as soon spend loads of money rather than enter into a bidding war for Trout that'll cost them loads of moneyand loads of prospects.Besides, the Angels might give contending another shot no matter who's in the manager's chair for 2019.They'd be betting on better things being in store for a lineup built on Trout, Ohtani, Upton, Andrelton Simmons, a reborn Kole Calhoun and a hopefully healthy Zack Cozart. Provided that Ohtani's balky elbow holds up, a rotation with him, Andrew Heaney Kirby Puckett Jersey , Tyler Skaggs and Jaime Barria could do some damage.If the Angels do go that route, however, it'll be a case of trying the same thing and expecting different results. Because the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics figure to still be relevant, the American League West probably isn't going to give them any more leeway than they've had in 2018.If things were to go south again in 2019, the Angels might not have much choice but to put Trout on the market either that summer or the ensuing winter. On the chance they hold on to him for one last push in 2020, him sharing a lineup with a past-40 Pujols and past-30 versions of Upton, Simmons and Cozart could ultimately necessitate a midsummer trade.All told, it's hard to place a bet on exactly when the Angels will determine that they need to trade Trout. But barring a series of miracles, that time sure seems to be coming. Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference. Payroll and contract data courtesy of Spotrac. Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Dodgers are one win away from a return to the World Series, but they will have to beat the Milwaukee Brewers in their home park Friday to seal it.With a 3-2 lead in the National League Championship Series, the Dodgers can secure the pennant with a victory in Game 6. The Boys in Blue made it to the World Series last year, only to fall to the Houston Astros in seven thrilling games.Should the Dodgers return, there won't be a chance at revenge. On Thursday, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. It will be their first World Series appearance since they won it all in 2013.The Brewers are hoping the friendly confines of Miller Park can help them win two games in a row and reach the World Series for only the second time (they made it in 1982, back when they were in the AL).NLCS Game 6 InfoWhen: Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:39 p.m. ETWhere: Miller Park in MilwaukeeTV: FS1Live Stream: Fox Sports Go PreviewLos Angeles will send Hyun Jin-Ryu out to the mound for Game 6. The left-hander was excellent for the Dodgers in the regular season http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-byron-buxton-jersey , going 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA.He continued the run of dominance with a lockdown performance against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, but he stumbled a bit against the Brewers in Game 2 of the series. Ryu lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing six hits and two runs while striking out four. The Brewers will hope they can knock him out early again.Milwaukee will send out a southpaw of their own in Wade Miley鈥攆or real this time. Manager Craig Counsell had him face just one batter to start Game 5, trotting him out simply to force L.A. counterpart Dave Roberts to prepare for a lefty starter (Miley walked the only batter he faced). As it turns out, it's a good thing Miley will be available for a do-or-die game, as he baffled the Dodgers in Game 2.Miley went 5.2 innings, allowing just two hits while striking out three. His ability to change speed at will kept the Dodgers off balance all night. Unfortunately, just about as soon as Counsell pulled him, it all fell apart for the Brewers, who lost 5-2. If Miley is as brilliant Friday as he was in Game 2, Milwaukee will have a good chance at extending its season another game.Pitching has been key to this series, with neither team reaching its potential in the batters box. The Dodgers and Brewers are averaging a combined 6.4 runs per game. Across the MLB, the average number of runs per game in the regular season was 8.9, per Baseball Reference(the Red Sox-Astros ALCS saw 10 total runs per game).Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesWhen the teams have scored, it hasn't been by their usual means. The Dodgers didn't hit a single home run in their three-game homestand in this series. Their last dinger was Justin Turner's go-ahead blast in the eighth inning of Game 2. This is a team that mashed 235 home runs during the regular season, second only to the New York Yankees.In Game 5, the Dodgers' free swingers did well to work the count late and strung together enough hits to record a 5-2 win. Their five runs came via four singles and a ground out (including a particularly joyful RBI single by Yasiel Puig). If the power returns in Game 6 Ervin Santana Jersey , the Brewers are going to be in big trouble.But the Brewers might be a sleeping giant as well. Christian Yelich, an NL MVP candidate, is 3-for-20 in this series without an RBI or extra-base hit. Jesus Aguilar hit a home run in Game 1 but is just 3-for-15 in four games since. Leadoff hitter Lorenzo Cain is 6-for-24. Counsell, for his part, doesn't have any plans to deviate."I'm glad Lorenzo is leading off, and I'm glad Yeli is hitting second," Counsell said, per Yahoo Sports. "They'll do the same on Friday. We're in a good spot with those two guys at the top. You're just kind of waiting for something big to happen with them, and I'm confident it will."Harry How/Getty ImagesThe hope is one or more of them can come alive at the plate and get this team out in front early. The Los Angeles bullpen has been uniformly excellent in this series, and closer Kenley Jansen looks like he is getting back to hisbest.No matter who wins in this series, they will face an incredibly tough task against the Red Sox, a team that won 108 games in the regular season, just defeated the champions in five games and has a murderers' row lineup that is peaking at the perfect time.
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