Shohei Othani shares rumours: Three Teams Who Could Actually Land Angels Star

Will the angels act Shohei Ohtani? Perhaps the better question here is: Should the Angels trade Shohei Ohtani? The reigning AL Most Valuable Player is set to become a free agent after the 2023 season, and he has often and openly spoken about his desire to win, fighting for World Series titles.

That doesn’t seem likely with the angels at this point. Ohtani joined the club ahead of the 2018 season, and the Angels have played 50 games under .500 since then, with a .429 win ratio this year, which is the worst by stretch. And the near future looks particularly bleak with this week’s news about the back injury that could plague Mike Trout for the rest of his career. While he likes the franchise, Ohtani seems unlikely to sign a long-term renewal to remain in Anaheim.

MORE: MLB trade deadline tracker: Latest news, moves and rumours

So if he’s not going to wear an Angels uniform in 2024 and beyond, the only sane thing the Angels can do is trade him sometime between now and the 2023 mid-season trade deadline. And if that’s truly unavoidable, the best way to get the most value from a trade return is to sell it now, when an acquiring team could get two playoff runs with Ohtani at the top of both the rotation and the roster.

The Angels have said publicly that they’re not really interested in doing business with Ohtani, and it’s easy to see why. He’s a talent we haven’t seen in baseball since Babe Ruth, and he does things every night that seemed impossible before he arrived. And baseball fans in his native Japan love Ohtani as much as any group of fans loves any baseball player. That’s hard to give up.

But again, if the reality is he won’t be there by 2024 no matter what the angels want, maybe it’s time to move him. Here’s what sources told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal about what Angels GM Perry Minasian – who is reportedly doing his duty and listening – might be looking for in a potential trade: “The Angels would seek out established major leagues and try to achieve their goal of returning to reach the postseason as soon as possible.”

As Rosenthal noted, that’s a little different than what the Nationals want for Juan Soto: actual MLB players instead of multiple elite prospects. So here’s the question: what kind of player pack would be acceptable?

For most stars a year and a half before free agency, the idea of ​​trading two current big league players would most likely be a non-starter. But Ohtani is obviously special. Considering Ohtani fills both roles, why not trade the Angels a starting pitcher and a hitter? But the Angels won’t pass off an Ohtani for two players essentially just replacing him. So would teams need to add a third big league player? And it’s not crazy to imagine that any player the Angels get in return would have to have at least 2 1/2 years of club control (or a contract) left because that widens the window. Additionally, Ohtani will not be traded for fringe players in MLB. Think impact guys.

As you can imagine, there aren’t many competitors who could afford to switch young and pull big leagues from their roster at the moment, even with Ohtani as the prize. Here are some that could make it while remaining a contender in 2022.

Could the Padres trade for Shohei Ohtani?

Why they make sense: It still feels like the Padres are more likely to trade for Juan Soto and try to extend it, but if that purchase price is too crazy, Ohtani would be a great addition too. Imagine trading for Ohtani to add to the line-up basically at the same time as Fernando Tatis Jr.’s return. He is expected to start minor league rehab next week. The Padres are currently firmly in second place in the NL wildcard but after the disappointment of collapsing in the second half of last year, you can bet they won’t be silent at this close of trade.

The trading chips: Obviously not all of these players would be included in one bundle for Ohtani. But these are the guys from young big leagues (or close to the bigs) that could help the Angels win sooner rather than later.

INF Jake Cronenworth, club control through 2025
SS CJ Abrams, freshman
SP MacKenzie Gore, rookie (elbow problem clouds this)
1B Eric Hosmer, under contract until 2025 (Padres would have to pay most of that money)
1B Luke Voit, club control until 2024
SP Blake Snell, contract until 2023
OF Trent Grisham, club control until 2025
BY Esteury Ruiz, freshman
RP Ryan Weathers

MORE: MLB trade date predictions: Where will Juan Soto and other big names end up?

Could the Cardinals trade for Shohei Ohtani?

Why they make sense: The Cardinals are viewed by most insiders as the team best placed to produce a package of players the Nationals want, but it’s not just about the prospects like Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn. There are already plenty of youngsters in the big classes too. And why would the cardinals want Ohtani?

Imagine a lineup that starts like this…
1. Ohtani, 21 homers, .844 OPS
2. Paul Goldschmidt, 24 home runs, 1,036 OPS
3. Nolan Arenado, 18 homers, .887 OPS

And imagine a rotation that starts like this…
1. Ohtani, 2.80 AGE
2. Adam Wainwright, 3.28 AGE
3. Miles Mikolas, 2.87 ERA

Yes, this will play in October. And because the Angels reportedly want MLB players, that’s taking Walker out of the mix, which should be fine for the Cardinals. He’s an immense talent, the kind of talent that could stall a deal with Juan Soto should the Nationals insist. Finding the right mix of three or four players might be difficult, but there are plenty of options in this squad.

The trading chips: A combination of these players could help the Angels win sooner or later.

2B (or 3B) Nolan Gorman, novice
1B/DH Juan Yepez, novice
OV Dylan Carlson, club control until 2026
OV Tyler O’Neill, club control until 2024
C Ivan Herrera, freshman
SP Matthew Liberatore, freshman
SP Dakota Hudson, club control until 2024
P Andre Pallante, novice
P Jordan Hicks, club control until 2023

MORE: The 20 MLB players most likely to be traded by deadline

Could the Dodgers trade for Shohei Ohtani?

Why they make sense: Because, folks, the Dodgers are always with everyone. They have the money, they have the prospects and they have the young players to pull off a deal like this. And they have the motivation — they’ve won 91 or more games nine straight years (and are on their way to 108 this year) — but only have one World Series title down that stretch. Just to be honest, that’s not enough.

And as good as they are, they feel the need. Cody Bellinger has a .645 OPS. Max Muncy’s OPS is 0.612. At 37, Justin Turner is still good, but not what he used to be. The rotation has been solid, but the Dodgers know as well as anyone that you can never have too many big arms when making an October playoff push.

The trading chips: For the Dodgers, it would probably take two of those three, then one or two near-complete prospects.

2B Gavin Lux, club control until 2026
SP Dustin May, club control through 2025 (in minor league rehab phase of TJ recovery)
SP Tony Gonsolin, club control until 2026

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