Shohei Ohtani is defiantly creating a unique situation. He’s an ace pitcher and a middle-of-the-order hitter. Doing one in the modern age is already insane, now imagine doing both at an MVP level for back-to-back seasons. He is set to enter free agency at the end of the season, and the speculation has already begun. Yesterday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan said this on Get Up:
“If the Angels fall out of contention, [Shohei Ohtani] could be traded, and he will definitely leave.”
Jeff added the following on Twitter later in the day:
“This is nothing new. If the Angels are out of contention — they are 9-9 with a +11 run differential — then they’d be foolish not to move Ohtani. And if you saw him at the WBC, it’s clear: Winning is an absolute priority for him.”
Ohtani has not publicly said anything about his upcoming free agency or anything on the matter, so anything said should be taken with a grain of salt.
Outcome Number 3: Ohtani Gets Traded in MLB’s Biggest Blockbuster Ever
In what is the least likely outcome, Arte Moreno and Perry Minasian end up trading Ohtani to get some value in return. The Juan Soto trade from Washington to San Diego gave the Nationals three of the Padres’ top prospects, plus Luke Voit. Soto wasn’t a rental, he won’t be a free agent until 2025, so his price would be sky-high.
An Ohtani trade would be interesting. What would be coming back to Los Angeles Angels? A top prospect or two, or would they want MLB-ready talent to help soften the possible rebuild? The answer might be what returned to the Nationals for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. The Dodgers sent over then-pitching prospect Josiah Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz. Both were considered top prospects then and have faired okay with the current rebuilding Nationals. Granted, one could argue the Angels should get way more back, but with the trade deadline in August, it’s hard to justify giving up that much of the future for a 60-day rental player.
If a trade were to happen, where would the Angels’ two other stars, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon? Both are untradable, especially Rendon, with his lack of playing on the field the last few seasons. I wouldn’t blame Trout for wanting out, especially if the Angels trade Ohtani.
Outcome Number 2: Ohtani Signs An Extention
Angels fans hope that Ohtani signs an extension and stays in Anaheim. He’s said nothing regarding his future. He knows what’s going on and nobody else. He has earned the right to see what the open market has in store. In all likely hood, it will be a record-breaking deal.
If he does stay, what would it take? I don’t know where to begin to guess the length and amount. Let us say the gets a similar deal to Trout, 12 years and 430 million over that period. That’s another gigantic contract to add to the payroll. However, that means that until Trout retires, he will be with Ohtani. Again the annoying part of this is we have an idea of what is happening behind the scenes. Ohtani could sign a massive contract tomorrow and be Angel for life, joining Trout in that club.
One theory I’ve heard occasionally from former Miami Marlins President David Samson is that Ohtani has the contract extension already done when signed 6 years ago. Mind you; there is absolutely zero evidence that backs up that theory. However, it is interesting nonetheless that all of this guessing and all of these takes are for nothing since he has something done. Again there is nothing that says this is even possible. It’s just food for thought.
Outcome Number 1: Ohtani Signs With Another Team
In all likelihood, Ohtani plays out the season with the Angels and leaves for another team during the winter. I do see the Angels trying incredibly hard to keep Ohtani in Angel Red, but there is a chance he goes. The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers could be possible destinations, granted I don’t believe Ohtani wants to be on the east coast. The likely team would be the Dodgers since they could use the pitcher and that DH batter.
How do the Angel pivot? There are other names in the free agent pool. Not Ohtani level, but they can fill that hole with less money. However, getting the next-best pitcher and hitter makes fans feel better. There would undoubtedly be fans who would give up on the team for not resigning this one-in-a-lifetime talent. Some so many possible outcomes and groups lead to some wild rumors.
The Angels and Angels fans have until the end of September to enjoy Ohtani. I hope the fan doesn’t take the moments with Ohtani for granted. The game is a business, as unfortunate as that is. Choices have to be made that affect the team for years. A player of this caliber is one of them, Ohtani staying or leaving would mean a World Series. When it is all said and done, the legend of Ohtani as an Angel will live on whether he stays or goes.
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