With it being the holiday season and all, it's time for dreaming. For every team in baseball, the dream is to somehow convince the Angels to trade you Mike Trout, unquestionably the best player in the game. At just 22-years-old, he has already finished second in two MVP awards (and arguably should have won both), and has put up numbers that have only been matched by the all-time greats at his age. Of course, there is probably not a package in the world in which the Angels would trade their superstar, to whom they are still paying a minimum salary. But this is a fantasy world, where he is on the block. In this alternate universe, the Red Sox would have to go all out, and deal from all of their depth, but they could do it.
Of course, any deal for Trout would have to start with Xander Bogaerts. We've all gotten attached to the young shortstop, who will be a top-5 prospect on most top-100 lists. He played a big role in the later rounds of the playoffs, and showed no fear in such a big spot. Still, to get the best player in the game, there's no way you don't trade your top prospect, even if they do have superstar potential themselves.
If the Angels were ever going to trade Trout, it would be nice for the other team to have a nice replacement in center field to offer up. In Jackie Bradley, the Red Sox have just that. He's nowhere near the player Trout is, but he's major-league ready, and is a multifaceted player who can hit, field and run. Bradley did struggle in his small exposure to big-league pitching in 2013, but he was rushed to the majors after a hot Spring Training, and showed what kind of player he really is in Pawtucket. He should be a three or four win player for the next decade.
The trade offer after this would be rounded out with a lot of pitching. The Angels are a team that, even after trading Mike Trout, would still have Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, and would still be in a win-now mode. What they really need is starting pitching. Clay Buchholz would be a perfect guy to offer up to help them in the present. He's a legit front-line guy when he's healthy - he was the best pitcher in the league before he got hurt this past year - and he's cost-controlled moving forward. For the next two seasons, he's owed $19.7 million, with two team options for the following two seasons totalling $26.5 million. He'd slot in right behind Jered Weaver in the Angels' rotation. In addition to Buchholz, the Angels would also get Henry Owens, Boston's highest upside arm, and Allen Webster, who could provide bullpen help to start the year with the potential to start down the road. Throw in a Christian Vazquez to sweeten the pot, as the Red Sox are swimming in catching depth and giving up one for someone like Mike Trout wouldn't hurt a bit.
It's a lot to give up, but for the Red Sox, giving up all of this young talent would be totally worth it to acquire someone who looks the part of an all-time great. In the end, Boston fans would be saying goodbye to Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Clay Buchholz, Henry Owens, Allen Webster and Christian Vazquez, and it could be hard to do. It would get a whole lot easier after Trout's first double, followed by a stealing of third, followed by robbing a home run in the next half inning sequence. It's obviously not going to happen, as he's not leaving Los Angeles anytime soon. But it doesn't hurt to dream.