In a not-so-shocking turn of events, Shohei Ohtani trade rumors have started to build.
The Los Angeles Angels are reportedly fielding calls for their unique superstar, and there’s a real chance he’s moved before the trade deadline.
Once again, the Halos expected to be a World Series contender this season, which obviously didn’t happen. Now, they happen to have the best among the best players available at the MLB trade deadline, even ahead of Juan Soto.
Ohtani will be a free agent in 2023 and he’d favor playing for a contending team. So, if the Nationals offered Soto 15 years and $440 million, one can only imagine the projections for Ohtani’s contract length and value. Needless to say, not many teams will be able to meet his terms.
Shohei Ohtani trade rumors
Shohei Ohtani trade rumors seemed crazy before the start of the season. Now, all signs suggest he won’t stay in Anaheim any longer. Whoever lands him, will rank at the top of the MLB trade deadline grades, as it could be a franchise-defining move for years to come.
But, which teams have enough assets to pursue him realistically? Moreover, which teams could offer him top-dollar in the offseason, while also being a legit contender? As much as everybody would love to have him, just five ballclubs meet those criteria right now.
The New York Yankees would be his likeliest destination if George Steinbrenner were alive. But maybe, Hal Steinbrenner will finally want to take a page out of his old man’s book and bring the Evil Empire back once and for all. Having him in Pinstripes could even make up for potentially losing Aaron Judge.
Brian Cashman has been a master at working trade deadline hauls. He’s in the final year of his contract, and trading for Babe Ruth 2.0 could certainly grant him an extra couple of years. Also, they’re one of the few teams that could meet Ohtani’s trade value.
The Yankees have elite prospects like Anthony Volpe and Jasson Dominguez to make any deal a real possibility. They would add a new superstar for the next decade, and another dominant hurler to their starting rotation. He’s what they need to get over their title drought.
The Los Angeles Dodgers should be in the mix for every superstar that becomes available. Regardless of their fit, roster needs, or price, they’ve shown that money will never be an obstacle to getting more All-Stars to sunny California.
The Dodgers are reportedly keeping tabs on Soto as well, so they could rule themselves out of the Ohtani race if there’s some traction with the 23-year-old Dominican. If not, then they could make Ohtani a Godfather-like offer for a contract extension.
Just like the Yankees, the Dodgers have an elite farm system with multiple MLB-ready prospects. Add a couple of them next to Gavin Lux, Tony Gonsolin, and/or Dustin May to that mix, and the Angels would be wise to take that deal any day of the week.
Ohtani’s trade value should be higher than Juan Soto’s regardless of his age. The latest reports point out that the St. Louis Cardinals are leading the race for Soto, but whether the Dominican would rather be there than in a big-market city remains to be seen.
So, if the Redbirds strike out on Soto, they might well focus their attention on the only player who can strike out 12 and then blast a 450+ feet bomb in the very next inning. They have the assets and are reportedly in the market for a superstar.
The Cardinals have a long withstanding tradition of contending, and wouldn’t hesitate to spend big to convince Ohtani. They also have a plethora of young pitchers like Andre Pallante and Matthew Liberatore, and promising players like Juan Yepez, Nolan Gorman, or even Tyler O’Neill. The Angels have enough to choose from.
The San Diego Padres have been a powerhouse in the National League West as of late, but that’s not enough to keep up with the Dodgers. They have the money and have been active in trade talks for nearly every big name in the Majors this season.
Ohtani fits their timeline perfectly. They could use him to convince Manny Machado to extend his stay at Petco Park, and they’d have two of the game’s most electrifying players once Fernando Tatis Jr. is back from the wrist injury that’s kept him on the shelf this season.
More than that, the Padres also have plenty to offer. They could send budding star MacKenzie Gore alongside C.J. Abrams, Jake Cronenworth, and Eric Hosmer. If the Angels feel they can compete next season, they should take this offer. If not, then they should go after prospects.
Most Shohei Ohtani trade rumors have the New York Mets as his likeliest destination, and for very good reasons. Mets GM Billy Eppler signed him when he worked for the Halos, so he built a strong relationship with him and his agents during his trips to Japan.
Also, Steve Cohen would love to make a statement by signing Ohtani to the massive contract he’s likely looking for. He wants the Mets to win now and stay competitive for years to come, and landing the best player on the planet would be a huge step in that direction.
More importantly, they’re the only team that could likely get a verbal commitment from Ohtani to sign a long-term deal in 2023.