So everyone loves a good 'what if' trade, and you'll chuckle a little when you start to read this, but hear me out and tell me it's not THAT crazy. The Cardinals are at a crossroad, we've read this from scribe after scribe, the team is packed full of +/- 1 WAR players it seams (not totally but it feels like it some nights), so why not go for it a bit.
Los Angeles Angels get blown away with the offer of:
Carlos Martinez (Anyone else a little tired of the Jekyll and Hyde routine?)
Harrison Bader (Love you man, but you gotta give to get)
Carson Kelly (His time is now, his place.... is not here)
Jose Martinez (Best value is in the AL as DH and part time 1B/OF)
Patrick Wisdom (Finally putting together the season everyone hoped for him, sell high to a team that needs a 3B/1B)
Austin Gomber (Stud LHP and Cards #9 prospect)
Conner Greene (Power RHP acquired in the Grichuk deal, Cards #16 prospect)
Tyler O'Neill (Cards #2 prospect, power hitter, better than Grichuk and they drafted him so....)
OK, so now that I have your attention. Let's start with Pujols, the man carries a slash line of .249/.285/.418 with 12 HR and 40 RBI, this is far below what we remember but acceptable at this point in his career, the Cards would be taking him to provide salary relief to the Angels and to allow for some nostalgic moments as he breaks records to end his career.
I don't have to post Trout's numbers here, we all know what he brings to the table, and he's the reason for such a large package to go back to the Angels. He's signed through 2020 on a woefully awful Angels team that will likely not compete between now and then. If fans come out in droves, as I think they will, to watch Pujols knock out record after record over the next two years, then we'll be making our case to Trout to re-sign with the Best Fans in Baseball. 2021 will be the last year of the Pujols contract so we can afford to re-sign him. Trout is the best player in baseball in nearly every position player category, skills like that don't just vanish and even a deterioration over the next 10 years would make him a slugging corner outfielder towards the end of his career.
The deal itself will pull from the Cardinals strength of developing pitching, catching, and surplus outfielders while providing the Angels an upgrade at every position involved (except CF of course). The Cardinals would get a generational talent and a stage to prove to him why he should stay. Will this happen? Unlikely, but a guy can dream.