The Twins Trade: Byron Buxton, Royce Lewis, and Alex Kiriloff
The Twins Receive: Mike Trout and Albert Pujols
Why the Angels do it--they get out from under $66M in salary this year, and $67M next year.If they use that space to sign Cole and Rendon, they can add 15-20 WAR to the 2020 team (when Buxton is included), while only giving up 8-10 WAR, and all for about the same cost.Not to mention they catapult their farm system into the top 5, with 3 near MLB ready hitters.
Why the Angels don't do it--they give up the franchise icon, who may be the best player in baseball history, at the height of his powers.
Why the Twins do it--the 101 win 2019 team loses less than 3 WAR, while picking up 8-10.An Arraez/Cruz/Trout/Kepler/Garver/Sano/Polanco Top 7 of the lineup is as good as anything in baseball.With 4 first division regulars (Kepler/Polanco/Garver/Arraez) under contract for (probably) $11M, $16M, $22M, and $35M over the next 4 years, you can afford to stomach the two massive contracts, particularly since Pujols' deal expires after 2021.Butts in seats.
Why the Twins don't do it--the Twins and $300M contracts don't really go together.While Pujols only has two years left, it's two years of negative value for a team trying to win now.It leaves little to no money for pitching, which means at best one of Odorizzi and Pineda--if at least 2 of the Graterol/Balazovic/Thorpe/Dobnak/Smeltzer group can't become good MLB starters, the Twins will lose a lot of 9-8 ballgames.