Albert Pujols is a great problem to have. The Angels created a serious logjam by signing the greatest hitter of the generation last month, as they now have about five players -- Mark Trumbo, Kendrys Morales, Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu -- competing for the two corner outfield spots and DH. That doesn't include Mike Trout, another outfielder and arguably the best prospect in baseball.
The Angels have indicated a willingness to keep Abreu because his left-handed bat helps balance out a righty heavy lineup, plus Wells and Hunter are unlikely to be traded given their salaries. Trumbo and Morales are first basemen like Pujols, and figure to be among the first to go if a trade is made.
Trumbo, 26 next week and with five years of team control left, finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2011. That was due to his gaudy home run (29) and RBI (87) totals though, not his batting average (.254) or OBP (.291). Power is becoming harder to find these days, and Trumbo certainly has plenty of it. We know the Angels are looking for bullpen help, and if yesterday's Anthony Rizzo trade is any indication, the Angels could get a young, cost controlled power arm for their bullpen by dealing their incumbent first baseman. I'm just speculating, but the Indians, Pirates, Brewers, and Rays make sense as trade partners.
Morales, on the other hand, is 28 with just two more years of team control left. His value is way down because he hasn't played in a year and a half due to leg and ankle injuries, though he's recently been cleared "ramp up" baseball activities during his rehab according to Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times. Prior to the injury, he'd hit .302/.353/.548 with 45 homers in 203 games from 2009-2010. The Halos would probably be selling low on Morales by trading him now, but they stand to save just about $3MM by moving him according to our projections. Again, those same four teams make sense as trade partners.
The Angels have indicated that Trumbo will work out at third base during Spring Training to see if he can get some at-bats there, but they might not have a better trade chip at their disposal (assuming Trout is off the table). It's worth noting that they just signed Jorge Cantu to a minor league deal to serve as depth at both corner infield spots, so they have some protection there.