Angels trading Shohei Ohtani highly unlikely, but out of the question, says report

Will the Los Angeles Angels really trade all-star pitcher/designated hitter Shuhei Ohtani while he’s at the peak of his career? It’s been a frequently asked question for a few weeks now.

Thursday, the New York Post reported that there is at least a remote possibility. Ohtani’s trade remains “highly unlikely,” but the Angels “may for the first time not hang up” when teams come to call Otani, the report says.

The speculation here is that the Angels will wait until after the Juan Soto deal and then any team that wants Ohtani will need to beat whatever the Citizens got for Soto. Soto is younger and probably a sure thing going forward, but Ohtani is basically two players.

In 409 board appearances, Ohtani made 0.257/.352/.492 (136 OPS+) with 16 doubles, two triples, 21 homers, 59 RBI, 55 runs and 11 steals. In 16 starts on the hill, he was 9-5 with a 2.80 ERA (144 ERA+), 1.00 WHIP and 134 strikes for 23 walks in 93 1/3 runs. Angels 9-7 when the bowler is starting and 33-49 when he is not.

Ohtani, 27, is earning just $5.5 million this season. He will hit free agency after the 2023 season.

There is a convergence of factors that make trading here incredibly complex but also worth discussing.

We have to think about how good Otani is at hitting and pitching. It is really unique there. Then there is how little money he makes compared to how productive he is. There’s an extra year of team control, so he’s not “rented”, but it’s just another year before he becomes a free agent. The Angels are terrible and they don’t look like a team ready to compete in 2023 either, which is another factor. Otani has repeatedly expressed his desire to play for a winner. Of course, it’s not like he has the ability to have an opinion here, because he doesn’t have a no-trade clause.

These seem to be some of the defensible reasons why an opponent would not trade a player.

He’s also insanely popular and is still a huge draw on the court, even with the Angels out of the competition. Angel owner Arte Moreno certainly doesn’t want to give up this kind of generational talent. Will the angels ever be able to get enough value back in the trade? And they should try to compete next season, given where Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon are in terms of age and how much money they make. Dealing with Ohtani might feel like waving a white flag next year, too.

Your best bet is for Ohtani to stay through the trade deadline, but it’s worth at least thinking about what the trade will look like at this point.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: