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There’s been recent speculation that the struggling Los Angeles Angeles might look to rebuild…by potentially trading Shohei Ohtani. A player that’s served as the team’s ace and best bat outside of Mike Trout might be on the move. Could we even fathom the return Anaheim would get? Ohtani was recently asked about the rumors.
“Honestly, it’s out of my control about my future, especially in the next few weeks. It’s all up to Perry. I don’t really have much to say about that, but as a team I feel like we have the talent. We’ve got the players to win games. We’ve just been on a bad roll and can’t get the momentum. I think it just takes one really big game to turn that momentum around. We’re all just kind of waiting for that to happen,” Ohtani said.
Waiting for a momentum shift? The Angels have been bad pre-Ohtani — how patient can they get? It’s the complimentary pieces around Trout and Ohtani that has this organization in quicksand. It’s possible the only remedy to a struggling franchise with two superstars is to deal your most talented to construct a more well-rounded team.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 18, 2022
MLB Network has already begun discussing some potential landing spots for Ohtani. The Atlanta Braves were a team they threw out there.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 21, 2022
Shohei Ohtani is currently hitting .258 with 19 homers and 56 RBI while posting a 2.27 ERA and 123 punch outs. He’d field the value of an ace plus one of the game’s best DH’s in the American League all in one deal. The 28-year-old two-way star is also not a free agent until the conclusion of the 2023 season. Most executives are predicting his extension to pile in north of $500 million — will an organization like the Angels, who aren’t competitive right now, fork over that type of money to maintain mediocrity? Not Ohtani or Trout’s fault for these average results, however the team has to weigh the upside to the risk. There’s real potential the Angels feel they should move on and build towards a winner in the future before paying top dollar on any singular asset. Signing a near-30-year-old player to a top dollar contract is a move primarily made by contending or major market organizations.
Even though they’re technically a Los Angeles team, no one really views the Angels as a major market the way we see the Dodgers, Mets or Yankees.
The Angels have until August 2 to make a decision if Ohtani is moved this year. We’d have to imagine Anaheim would wait until the offseason to make a such a drastic pivot. Only time will tell, but baseball’s trade deadline is getting awfully sweaty.