Goldschmidt favorite, Braves trade clue, will LAA


Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels, MLB Rumors

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

MLB Rumors: Will the Los Angeles Angels trade Shohei Ohtani?

Shohei Ohtani is the game’s greatest asset, and he’s set to become a free agent at the end of this season. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the presumed frontrunner for his services, as they’ve been in cost-cutting mode since last winter in hopes of affording the two-way superstar.

Losing Ohtani would be hard enough for the Angels to overcome, but doing so to their own California neighbor is almost unbearable.

To the Angels credit, they have performed well so far this season with the pressure on. LAA is just a half-game back of an AL Wild Card spot, and still in the AL West conversation despite the Texas Rangers hot start. If there were any way to convince Ohtani to stay, winning might do the trick. Personal accolades will come wherever Ohtani goes. If we learned anything from the World Baseball Classic, it’s how much Shohei can thrive in a winning environment.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal noted that, for now, the tea leaves suggest an Ohtani trade is very unlikely.

“The Angels are just a half-game back in the AL wild-card race, and haven’t made the postseason since 2014 (they haven’t won a playoff game since 2009). If they trade Ohtani when those dry spells might be dampening, the realm of Angels might feel a bit more like Gehenna…

Would they even be able to win a bidding war against the most cash-flush franchises in the sport? If not (or if Ohtani is just ready to be somewhere else), the only thing they’d get in return for his departure is a draft pick.

So yeah. It’s complicated.”

The risk of losing Ohtani for nothing has to eat at the Angels front office, but it’s a burden they agreed to take on when they signed the two-way superstar all those years ago. Ohtani is a once-in-a-lifetime talent, and will be paid as such. Hopefully for the sake of Angels fans, it’s at least not while wearing Dodger blue.

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