Hot stove season per usual has gotten off to a slow start. If I see another report from Jon Morosi involving Aaron Nola and a “strong possibility” of a team signing him, I’m going to go insane. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame MLB, because their free agency is the most boring of the four major sports so any press is good press. But if this was the NBA Blake Snell and Aaron Nola would’ve already gotten paid handsomely and we’d be tracking Shohei Ohtani’s plane and making fun of the Knicks’ pitch meeting that leaked. This article from Dave Schoenfield at ESPN though has my oven set to 450 degrees. He conjured up a Phillies trade involving Mike Trout that would be stupid for Dave Dombrowski to not pull the trigger on:

So, what might a potential deal look like? The Phillies won’t want to take on all of Trout’s salary and give something back of value, so let’s find a middle ground: Castellanos, outfield prospect Justin Crawford, pitching prospect Griff McGarry and $5 million in cash each year from 2024 to 2026 (basically turning Castellanos’ salary into $15 million per season).

Nick Castellanos, M̶i̶t̶c̶h Griff* McGarry (EDIT: Sorry I loved that 2013 Michigan runner-up squad. Louisville cheated.), and Justin Crawford? Sign. Me. Up. I’m not even the biggest Mike Trout guy. I do subscribe to the fact that he is one of the 10 best players of all time, and I don’t think he’s a loser like some people at CB do (Russ). The Angels spent over the last five years. They went for it at the deadline in back-to-back years. It just sucks both their stars got injured and they didn’t have the horses for the postseason. Now does Trout’s fractured hamate bone come with concern? Of course. He also tore his calf muscle two years ago and came out and hit 40 home runs the next season while finishing top 10 in AL MVP voting. The guy is not from this planet. Not to mention he’s a righty the Phils lineup could very well use while giving them flexibility to stack Bryce either before or behind him. The protection Phillies fans were looking for. The protection Alec Bohm provided was like a Durex condom they kept in every college dorm bathroom that broke half the time during sex. Still, having to enroll in community college and become a father at 19 sounds like a better idea than ever having Bohm hit in the four spot behind Harp again.

Now if this deal isn’t on the table (because it does seem to good to be true) would I rather sign Juan Soto and have the Sotolatarian regime to begin in Philly? Absolutely. Younger, best friends with Trea and Bryce, and healthier with a trade chip in a couple years if this all goes very south very fast. It’s like 90 cents on the dollar. But if the Phillies can get the best remaining years of Mike Trout for two prospects and Nick Castellanos – again sign me up. Trout can even still go to Eagles games in October!

Captain America in the birthplace of America: