Shohi Ahtani for Trade? Three reasons why angels can move stars before 2023, and the biggest reason they don’t

One of the biggest questions heading into the deadline for Major League Baseball games (Tuesday, August 2 at 6 p.m. ET) is what the future holds for the Los Angeles Angels and two-way sensation Shuhei Ohtani. Rumors surfaced last week that the Angels are listening to inquiries about Ohtani, albeit not in a way that suggests a deal could happen before Tuesday. However, the Angels’ willingness to hear the shows is an important development, and an indication that he might be on the move out of season, right? Yes and no.

Ask any honest person in the front office and they will acknowledge that every desirable player is discussed in this way at one time or another, including types of golden goose not on the block. It’s how the industry operates, and how teams gather information about a particular player’s commercial value and list of potential suitors.

Even by accepting this basic information, Otani’s availability is the angels’ first acknowledgment of an upcoming inflection point. Ohtani is set to arrive at free agency after next season, leaving Los Angeles with precious little time to convince him to stay after that, either by signing a long-term extension beforehand or returning after participating on the free agent tour.

CBS Sports has spent the past few days asking executives with other teams their thoughts on Ohtani’s situation: how likely he is to fit in with the Angels on Opening Day 2023, what factors are working in favor of trade, and what factors are working in opposition. We’ve distilled these conversations into two parts: the first highlights the three reasons why Ohtani could be traded ahead of next season, and the second details the single main reason he might stay in town until the next deadline, at least.

Let’s start with the three reasons why the Angels might trade Otani before next season.

Why might angels trade with Al-Ahtani?

1. A huge payday is on the way
As mentioned in the introduction, Otani will qualify for free agency after next season. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we feel confident in writing that he will be one of the most wanted free agents of all time except for devastating injury. He is currently 28 years old and has 137 OPS+ and 131 ERA+. Many players are described as not being equal; Otani confirms the validity of the claim. There is no other person, in the majors or the minors alike, who can hit and shoot consistently at his level.

There is no doubt that Ohtani will have all the usual spenders interested in his services. Only a loose understanding of the relationship between supply and demand is required to conclude that he will get a lot of profitable offers on his way. Factor in its proximity to the open market – around 16 months – and the chances of him agreeing to an extension seem remote; He doesn’t have a long or bumpy road between himself and the open market.

The threat of competing with all the top players in the league should be a concern for the Angels because there is no guarantee that they will give him the most money. Keep in mind that Angels have never spent up to $200 million on an opening day payroll. They already have over $90 million committed to three players (Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Razel Iglesias) for the foreseeable future. Ohtani’s $30 million season hit — a conservative estimate — means that more than 60 percent of their regular payroll is wrapped up in just 15 percent of their active roster. From this perspective, this seems like an untenable situation…and that’s a low estimate.

To sum up: Angels seem unlikely to convince Ohtani to sign before he hits free agency, and they seem questionable as to being the highest bidder. Perhaps there would be more reason to be optimistic about their chances of holding it in the long term if there was a separate factor other than money working for them. Unfortunately, the separation factor may make him more inclined to leave, and thus increase the likelihood of trading.

2. Ahtani wants to play for the winner
It is fair to write that most players – as they are entitled – tend to get the highest bid. Ohtani is the White Raven, in this respect, because he has shown before that the dollar is not his primary motive. He took less money to come into the majors when he was 23, when he could have waited a few years and signed for more. If the fat check is certain, his decision likely derives from something else, such as which team is best to win a title. Ohtani, heck, has hinted at that much over the past year.

“I really love the team. I love the fans. I love the atmosphere of the team,” Bill Schicken of the Los Angeles Times said last September. “But, more than that, I want to win. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’ll leave it at that.”

Even if the angels could give Otani a lot of money – and as mentioned above, it might not be bone Money – It’s not clear they can offer him a realistic path to the world championship ring. If they could, they certainly didn’t prove it. Ohtani has been a member of the Angels roster since 2018. They didn’t finish at 0.500 or better at the time, and they’re unlikely to change that this year; Instead, they’re on their way to winning the lowest percentage of games of his career in the big league. Yikes.

The angels did themselves no favors by adopting a constant rotation of the lair. Ohtani already fits four directors, and that number will likely rise to five if he’s in town next spring. The only consistency with the Angels, then, is the terrible underperformance caused by their inability to muster the necessary depth, bring out talent, and have luck in competition for a watershed point.

Perhaps General Manager Berry Minassian can turn the tides this winter. The problem is that he’ll be on his third attempt, and neither of the first two suggested he’s up to the task of quick-shifting. The presence of trout and otani, among others, means that there is a chance for Minassian to get it right. There is ample reason to doubt that.

So, the Angels’ chances of making Ouhtani the most money or winning enough matches to convince him to sign after next season are questionable. This leaves another reason for angels to consider moving between now and the next opening day.

3. Long-term interests
It seems silly to write that if the Angels want to win anytime soon, they should consider trading Ohtani, but there is something to it.

Say that everything above is true. They are unlikely to bid on everyone for Ohtani, and even if they did, he might decide he’d rather take less money to play with a more specific competitor. This would leave the angels only recovering a draft upon his departure. We’ll put it mildly by writing that the Angels could use more help than draft pick if they were to get out of this hole before the end of Prime Trout. (He will turn 31 this week.)

The reality of the situation is clear to the angels. Ohtani’s trade value will continue to decline gradually each day between now and next winter, with a significant drop on the following opening day, when the acquisition-making team is unable to recover its pick-up. Angels, if they want to maximize returns, will have to define their vision for the future — and how it would differ without Ohtani on the list — sooner rather than later.

Trading any kind of star, especially historical talent, is not an easy decision. In an example like this, where the Angels haven’t been able to capitalize on Ohtani and Trout’s roster for years, this is nothing more than an admission of organizational failure. And that, according to the executives we spoke to, is why a majority of them believe Ohtani has a better than 50% chance of opening next season as a member of the Angels — because owner Arte Moreno wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why don’t angels trade in Ohtani

1. Artie the deal
Club owner Arte Moreno is seen as the biggest hindrance to Ohtani’s potential trade. It doesn’t matter if the Angels receive an unbeatable show, and it doesn’t matter if Ohtani is known for his demise at the end of the season; If Moreno doesn’t sign it, it won’t.

It is easy to understand why Moreno refused. He has spent a lot of money on angels over the years without getting much in return. The Angels have changed players, managers, and general managers without much success. Moreno was the constant. At some point, being the constant face of failure must affect one’s ego. Ohtani’s trading would be an admission that he and his mental trust can never figure out a way to build a winner despite being talented talents of two generations.

A talent evaluator who spoke to CBS Sports speculated that based on Moreno’s history and reputation, they could envision a scenario in which Minassian’s job security would be linked to Otani — if Minassian brings Moreno trading concepts involving Ohtani, he may have signed him. Special pink slip. There is no evidence to suggest that this is actually the case, but it does speak to how Moreno is seen by other organizations.

When it comes to trading Ohtani, the Angels front desk challenge may not be finding a good offer or justifying the deal for themselves; This may be to convince the owner of the reality of the situation and live with the reaction.

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