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What if: Mike Trout was drafted number one overall

For those of you who don’t know, the first overall pick in the 2009 draft was none other than Stephen Strasburg. However, for this article we are going to assume that the Washington Nationals selected Mike Trout over Stephen Strasburg.

Bud Selig steps to the podium.

With the first selection, in the first round of the 2009, first year player draft. The Washington Nationals select, Mike Trout.

Which means the Seattle Mariners select Stephen Strasburg, which gives them a future duo of him with Felix Hernandez. No other major changes occur in this draft. The Angels then select Slade Heathcott, in place of Mike Trout. And San Diego takes Dustin Ackley with the third overall pick.

Nothing notable changed or happened during the 2010 season. Strasburg still made his debut, giving Seattle fans a dynamic duo, to get excited about. And the San Francisco Giants still defeat the Texas Rangers, in the 2010 World Series.

Which leads to the draft in June 2010, everything still stays the same, which means…

The Washington Nationals will have two future MVP’s in the same line-up. This will also give them, arguably, one of the better outfields in the game of baseball.

We will fast-forward through the 2011 season, as the Nationals and Angels really made no changes, nor did anything change throughout the MLB.

Now, moving on to the 2011 off-season. The Angels still end up throwing out, a large amount of money, to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson and the Washington Nationals biggest signings would be ex-Yankees starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang and Edwin Jackson. But the most important move the Nationals made this off-season, would be acquiring starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics.

Washington agreed to the mega deal and shipped off Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, Tommy Milone and A.J. Cole

2012 Season

Mike Trout is no longer on the Los Angeles Angels and neither are the great numbers he put up in the 2012 regular season. Which means, the season was not up to par for the Angels and they never trade for Zack Greinke. Jean Segura stays with the team

2012 Record: 81-81 -8
AL West Finish: 3rd place
Playoffs: Missed

Key Additions to team:
Albert Pujols
C.J. Wilson
Jean Segura

Key Subtractions from team:
Zack Greinke

Now, for the Washington Nationals, the story was much different. After netting back to back first overall picks, they have both Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, playing side by side, in the outfield. With Trout in Washington, this play never happens in 2012.

At the trade deadline, Washington was in dire need of pitching, since Strasburg was not on the team. The Angels never acquired, Greinke, which opens the door for the Nats to move in on Greinke. They ultimately come to an agreement with Milwaukee, before the deadline.

Washington Nationals Receive:

Zack Greinke

Milwaukee Brewers Receive:

Alex Meyer
Steve Lombardozzi
Justin Bloxom

With Greinke being a rental, and at the time, Meyer being a touted prospect, this trade made sense for both clubs and gave Washington three horses at the head of the rotation with: Greinke, Gonzalez and Zimmermann.

2012 Record 99-63
NL East Finish: 1st Place
Playoffs: Clinched

Key Additions to team:
Mike Trout
Chien-Ming Wang
Zack Greinke
Edwin Jackson

Key Subtractions from team:
Alex Meyer
Steve Lombardozzi

Post Season:

Atlanta still loses in dramatic fashion with the infield fly call.

However, when St. Louis moves on to play the Washington Nationals, they don’t beat them three games to two. Instead, Washington wins the series three games to one behind the pitching performances of Edwin Jackson and Zack Greinke.

Washington advances to take on the San Francisco Giants. They split the first two games and game three, Zimmermann, is called upon. He ends up going the distance throwing a one-hitter, against the San Francisco Giants, shifting the momentum. With the next two games at home, the Nats looked to close out the series. Which is what the did, being lead by the offense this time around.

The Nationals now advance to the 2012 World Series, taking on the Detroit Tigers. From the start of game one, Detroit and Miguel Cabrera, jumped all over them. The Detroit Tigers get the upset win and take the World Series, beating the Nationals four games to one.

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The 2012 off-season starts with the Seattle Mariners already having Strasburg and Hernandez. They make the same move in bringing in Iwakuma. Seattle, also makes a surprise run at Josh Hamilton, much like in real life. This time the pursuit works. Hamilton joins the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels offseason is much different, as they look to sell. They end up trading C.J. Wilson to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Los Angeles Dodgers Receive:
C.J. Wilson
cash consideration

Los Angeles Angels Receive:
Zach Lee
Scott Van Slyke

This was the only major piece the team was able to move.

Washington had a more promising off-season, after already making it to the previous World Series. The team’s main focus was to bring back Zack Greinke. By doing this, they miss out on signing starting pitcher Dan Haren. The Nationals sign Zack Greinke to a six-year, $150 million deal. They wrap up the off-season by bringing in free agent, first baseman Adam LaRoche.

With Alex Meyer already traded and the Nationals having Mike Trout/Bryce Harper in the outfield. The trade for Denard Span never happened.

2013 Season
With Pujols hurt most of the 2013 regular season and the Angels not having much trade bait, the season was quite long. They still end up making the Kendrick trade but prior to the trade deadline instead of in the offseason.

2013 Record: 66-96
AL West Finish: 4th Place
Playoffs: Missed

Key Additions to team:
Andrew Heaney
Zach Lee
Scott Van Slyke

Key Subtractions from team:
Howie Kendrick
C.J. Wilson
Denard Span
Josh Hamilton

The Nationals were on cruise control the whole season. Harper had a much better year with Zimmerman, Werth, Trout, and LaRoche in the line-up. As the trade deadline approached, it was clear that the Nationals were lacking offensive depth so they trade for Michael Young.

Philadelphia Phillies Receive:
Matt Purke

Washington Nationals Receive:
Michael Young

2013 Record 94-68
NL East Finish: 2nd Place
Playoffs: Clinched

Key Additions to team:
Michael Young
Zack Greinke
Adam LaRoche

Key Subtractions from team:
Mark DeRosa
Matt Purke

Post-Season:

The Mariners end up winning the Wild Card over the Rays by two games. And Washington takes the wildcard spot from the Cincinnati Reds.

Seattle, immediately gets knocked out by the Cleveland Indians. But it is no matter, as the Indians are soon eliminated by the Boston Red Sox. The Nationals end up beating the Pirates, moving on to face the St. Louis Cardinals. It wasn’t much of a series, as the Nationals swept the Cardinals to move on to the World Series for the second time in a row.

In the previous 2013 World Series, the Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals four games to two.

Now in this series, the Nationals defeated the Red Sox four games to three. The series went the distance and Boston ended up coming back down from three games to one, to force the seventh game. But it was all for not as the Washington Nationals captured the World Series. Ryan Zimmerman took home the honors, as World Series MVP. This is the team’s first World Series appearance and title making the Seattle Mariners, the only team without an appearance in the World Series.
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After winning the World Series, Washington stays put and goes into the 2014 season with virtually the same club.

With the Angels struggling, they look for some sort of help. With Pujols aging and needing more time as a designated hitter, they go out and sign free agent, first baseman James Loney. They also manage to bring in outfielder Reed Johnson who will platoon with Slade Heathcott. These moves were only made to keep to give the club’s prospects more time to season.

As many of you know, the Seattle Mariners ended up signing Robinson Cano to a massive deal, to say the least. However, the team already has Josh Hamilton in the books and is not looking to open the wallets for Cano. So, instead, the team goes out and signs Omar Infante and Marlon Byrd. The offense was the main focus for the team as the rotation looked strong with Taijuan Walker in the waits.

So, where does that leave Robinson Cano? He ends up back in New York with the Yankees. They sign Cano to a 7-year, $175 million deal, $25 million AAS. This was the highest offer the Yankees offered him in real life.

Robinson Cano
Photo by: NJ.com

Signing Cano, they let Carlos Beltran walk. He ends up re-joining the Houston Astros on a two-year deal.

The contract extension the Angels agreed on with Mike Trout never happens. Which means he is still on pace to hit the free agency market still.

2014 Season:
Nothing happens to the Angels in the 2014 regular season. Erick Aybar is the only real trade chip for the team but they decide to hold onto him. The Angels do end up getting the third overall pick in the 2014 Amateur player draft and select Carlos Rodon. Their previous pick was Sean Newcomb.

2014 Record: 72-90
AL West Finish: 3rd Place
Playoffs: Missed

Key Additions to team:
Carlos Rodon
James Loney
Reed Johnson

Key Subtractions from team:
Sean Newcomb

The Nationals once again have a strong season, but, during the trade deadline, ownership looks to make a move and solidify the bullpen. With Cincinnati struggling out of the gate players like: Jay Bruce, Aroldis Chapman, Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake were all on the block. The Nationals end up getting Chapman, to give them one of the best bullpens in baseball.

Cincinnati Reds Receive:
A.J. Cole
Tony Renda
PTBNL

Washington Nationals Receive:
Aroldis Chapman

2014 Record: 98-64
NL East Finish: 1st Place
Playoffs: Clinched

Key Additions to team:
Aroldis Chapman

Key Subtractions from team:
A.J. Cole
Tony Renda

Post-Season:

The Nationals and Mariners both make the playoffs. This time, the Mariners win the division. We start off with the NLDS, where the Washington Nationals, face-off against the San Francisco Giants. Last time these two faced off in the postseason, Washington got the best of San Francisco. This time is a different story. The Giants took it to five games and defeated the Nationals ultimately ending the Nationals quest of a three-peat of the National League title.

The Mariners would start their postseason off against the fan favorite at the time Kansas City Royals. Once again, the Mariners would be eliminated.

The rest of the post-season played out exactly the same, with the Giants beating the Royals in the world series.
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Nothing changes in the 2014 off-season. The Washington Nationals still sign Max Scherzer, giving them a rotation of Scherzer, Greinke, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Roark.

The Mariners still bring in Nelson Cruz. And the Angels stay put as they are still rebuilding.

2015 Season:
The Angels have another dreadful season but do manage to net the seventh overall pick, which lands them Andrew Benintendi.

2015 Record: 74-88
AL West Finish: 4th Place
Playoffs: Missed

Key Additions to team:
Andrew Benintendi

Key Subtractions from team:

none

Washington once again has a terrific season with Trout and Harper in the running for MVP. The season the two are having together has a feel like the Maris-Mantle, 1961 season. Mike Trout ends up edging out Bryce Harper for the 2015 MVP. The two players look to continue the battle in the future. Mike Trout finishes the year with 47 home-runs and Bryce Harper hits 38. Trout sees the better pitches as he hits in front of Harper.

Trout/Harper
Photo from: OC Register

2015 Record: 104-58
NL East Finish: 1st Place
Playoffs: Clinched

Key Additions to team:
Max Scherzer

Key Subtractions from team:
none

Post-Season:

The Mariners, despite being a pick of many to win the American League West, will also miss out of the post-season by just one game. As Strasburg had a rough start to the regular season.

Washington clinches the division again and look to make it to their third World Series in just four years. They do just that by sweeping their first two opponents and they move on to face the Royals. The Royals are back to back American League champs.

Kansas City would end up falling short, the Nationals jumped out on top, two games to one. The pitching and offensive combo that the Nationals brought to the table was too much for Kansas City.

Washington Nationals win second World Series title in four years!

What if Mike Trout was drafted number one overall? The Washington Nationals would have one of the best outfields the game has ever seen with Harper-Trout, leading the way. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper would be on pace to hit the free agency market, at the same time.

The Los Angeles Angels would have never brought in Josh Hamilton, nor would they have current fan favorite Mike Trout. Instead, they would luck out with Slade Heathcott. The team does manage to keep Jean Segura. They also draft Benintendi and Rodon, while trading for Zach Lee. So the future is bright with the Angels but it will take time.

Robinson Cano would join names like: Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, and Yogi Berra. As great Yankees, to never leave the team. The San Francisco Giants would not be seen as a potential dynasty, winning only one World Series, instead of three. This title would then be given to the Nationals.

Finally, the Seattle Mariners luck out and receive Stephen Strasburg to go along with Felix Hernandez, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Hisashi Iwakuma. Sadly, they still cannot put a successful offense together.

Images from: MLB.com

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