Ask The Professor: Trading Mike Trout? Really?!

This morning a follower posed the following question on Twitter:

@Rotoprofessor Dynasty league – Trout or Benintendi, Devers and Happ?”


Rotoprofessor’s Response:
Trading Trout, who is the elite player in the sport, is never going to be an easy sell. However that doesn’t make him untradeable, and for a rebuilding team this type of return would be extremely hard to pass up. While there always is uncertainty in trading for youth, the fact that you are acquiring three players who are Top 20 prospects is enticing. The fact that none of them are pitchers, who tend to carry a little more risk (especially in regards to injury), further adds to the appeal.

Andrew Benintendi – You can argue that he’s “underperformed” in ’17, but he’s a 22-year old who is hitting .280 with 5 HR and 5 SB while showing a tremendous approach at the plate (6.3% SwStr%, 26.8% O-Swing%). He’s only going to get better, and has 20/20 written all over him.

Rafael Devers – One of the premier prospects in the game, could he follow the lead of Benintendi and make the jump directly from Double-A? It wouldn’t be surprising, given the team’s void at 3B, and he has the potential to be a Top 10 option (maybe even Top 5) at a deep position almost immediately. How many 20-year olds can maintain an 18.1% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate at Double-A?

Ian Happ – There was always a question as to where he would play, but he’s already arrived and is forcing Chicago to find a spot for him instead of returning him to the minors. The strikeouts are a bit of a concern (27.3%, though it’s a small sample size) and it’s likely there is a stumble at some point, but he can play all across the diamond and has proven he is a 15/15 player now (with the potential to be a 20/25 HR threat).

Sure you aren’t getting a Trout back in the deal, but that’s impossible to do. Instead you are getting three players who all may be Top 25 options as soon as 2018 (and should certainly be Top 75 players next season).

I can see both sides of this deal.  Trading Trout is never easy, but this type of return is one you could regret not taking two years from now.  It’s certainly an interesting debate, given the upside of the package.  Maybe you prefer to target younger players with more experience, but this return would be highly enticing.

With that in mind, let’s hear what you have to say.  If you were a Trout owner would you accept the deal?  Let’s hear your thoughts!


  1. Brian says:

    Sure – I recently worked on a trade in which I sold Goldschmidt for LeMahieu, Pujols, Darvish, and Familia. This trade with another one gives me a SP core of Scherzer, Kershaw, and Darvish with Darvish and a streaming option.I would definitely look at the right package for Trout. Devers is the biggest risk in this deal but Benintendi’s plate discipline will offset Dever’s struggles, clearly Happ is enjoying his ride.

  2. Jimmy says:

    I offered Mookie Betts, Jose Abreu and the number one pick in our minor league draft (at the end of the year). I thought it was an exceptional offer but it got shot down with no reply.

    • Alex says:

      That’s a great offer, though if it was presented in the before or early in this season, perhaps the warning signs of Jose Abreu deterred him. Abreu’s doing fine now, it seems…

    • Jose says:

      Hi Jimmy,

      The minor league draft thing caught my attention. Would you mind explaining what it is?

      Maybe this is something we would like to do at my league.


      • Jimmy says:

        We have a five round draft in March, every year. Draft each round, worst team to first team. You can only hold 15 minor leaguers. I traded for what is going to be the first pick in the draft. Last year the first pick was Louis Robert, year prior Brinson, year before that Moncada, and year before that Tanaka. So as you can see, there is real value with that pick.

  3. Alex says:

    I say no, primarily because Trout is 25 and in a dynasty league that is probably at least 5-7 years of great or excellent production. Maybe if he was 28 or 29, where he’d still command good value, but he’s still quite young and could get even better. The young guys would be nice to have, but Vogel should demand an absolute ransom.

    In my dynasty league, a team really wanted Trout in the preseason. He got Trout, Nola and Jake Bauers for Kershaw, Sano, Corey Seager and Adam Jones. He spent a ransom, overpaying most likely, but got a 25 year old superstar for years to come. Benintendi/Devers/Happ seems like it could add another player/draft pick or two to make it more enticing.

  4. Tony says:

    This is the kind of dynasty trade I never make. If I own Trout in dynasty (I do) and I’m not contending this year, there’s very little chance that this deal could make me better for next year, so I’m not taking it. A prospect-heavy Trout trade, to me, needs to include at least one player who’s top 20 right now. It can be a short track record guy like Turner or it can be an older but safe bat like Arenado or Rizzo, but it’s got to be someone I can count on for next season, not two or three years from now.

    My price to acquire Trout last year was McCuthchen (2016 1st rounder), Pollock (2nd rounder), and Sonny Gray (6th rounder). None of those guys, not even Benentendi, is going to be a first round pick, and it’s unlikely that any of them is a 2nd. Why play for three years from now?

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