Could Shohei Ohtani Be On The Move At The Trade Deadline?

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The single biggest question of the upcoming Major League Baseball trade deadline is what happens with Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani has had perhaps his most exceptional season in an already exceptional career.

As a hitter, Ohtani’s been 77% better than league average, leads the majors in OPS, slugging and OPS+ and is on pace to hit close to 60 home runs.

Despite playing his home games in a fairly neutral stadium.

His contributions as a pitcher have been equally impressive.

While Ohtani hasn’t been quite as dominant on the mound as in 2022, he’s still added nearly 3 wins of value.

Even with Ohtani, the supreme talents of Mike Trout and a relatively solid supporting cast, the Los Angeles Angels have struggled in the AL West, yet again.

After a 3-7 stretch, they’re now 6.5 games out of first place and 3.5 out of a playoff spot.

Per Fangraphs, their postseason odds are just 17%; 10 teams in the AL have higher probabilities.

And with recent injuries to Trout and Anthony Rendon, those odds may soon be even lower.


All that’s raised speculation that the Angels could decide to trade Ohtani at the deadline. And according to a new report from Jon Heyman, the team hasn’t shut the door on the idea.

Shohei Ohtani
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – APRIL 05: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels hits an RBI single during the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on April 05, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Would Angels Really Trade Ohtani?

Team owner Arte Moreno has previously been resistant to even discussing a potential Ohtani trade.

But with the team rapidly fading from contention, inopportune injuries and the threat of losing Ohtani in free agency, a trade doesn’t seem out of the question.

Heyman reported that the Angels are telling teams they’ll “know a lot more in the next two or three weeks,” as to what their plans will be.

The fact the team isn’t immediately shutting down conversations implies the door is significantly more open than it was just a few weeks ago.

An Ohtani trade would allow the Angels to add significant prospects to their farm system, and avoid seeing him walk this offseason with little to show for it.

While the Angels certainly have the money to sign Ohtani, if they choose, Moreno has been one of just a few owners to never pay the luxury tax.


With long-term, expensive commitments to Trout and Rendon, Moreno would have to commit to potentially paying $125 million each season to three players.

To avoid the tax, the Angels would have just over $100 million remaining to fill out the rest of their roster. And $13 million of that would go to Tyler Anderson.

Those factors make keeping Ohtani in Anaheim a significant long shot. And make a trade much more realistic.

What the Angels decide to do over the next few weeks will be baseball’s biggest deadline story.

Stay tuned.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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