Los Angeles Angels, MLB Rumors, MLB Trade Rumors

MLB Rumors: Latest on a possible Shohei Ohtani trade at the deadline

Shohei Ohtani is going to be the most highly sought-after player at the MLB trade deadline this year. But will the Los Angeles Angels make him available?

Yes, it’s only June, but all eyes are going to be on August for the next two months. Why is that? Because the 2023 MLB trade deadline takes place on Aug. 1. With that, contending teams will look to pry away some of the talent of organizations that are in no way shape, or form going to make it to the postseason.

But at this year’s deadline, the focus is going to be on what the Los Angeles Angels do with superstar Shohei Ohtani.

This is a contract year for Ohtani, and he could very well be the first player to earn a $500 million contract, based on how greatly he has hit and pitched. While he will hit free agency this winter and be able to discuss contracts with interested teams, would the Angels deal him at the trade deadline?

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan (subscription required), the Angels are going to keep Ohtani past the trade deadline, barring a collapse ahead of Aug. 1.

Angels rumored to not trade Shohei Ohtani by Aug. 1 deadline

“The expectation for the Angels is very simple: Unless they flat-out collapse before the deadline, they will keep Ohtani — despite his impending free agency in October — and chase his first postseason berth. The Angels are doing what they can to make it happen: installing Zach Neto at shortstop less than a year after he was drafted and summoning fireballing reliever Ben Joyce in the same shortened window.”

The Angels have been criticized over the years for their roster building both in the major and minor leagues, which has resulted in them not making the postseason since 2014, and not winning a postseason game since 2009. These facts have been concerning, considering they have two of the best players in the game in this generation in Ohtani and Mike Trout.

In the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers have a superstar duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The difference is, the Oilers have a team that makes the playoffs in the NHL. Yes, they have yet to win the Cup since their two superstars joined the team, but they at last play meaningful games that help them attempt to reach their goal. Something the Angels haven’t done in a long time.

So far, the Angels are at least in contention for a Wild Card spot. But will that remain the case once we get closer to the Aug. 1 deadline? Besides, what would the Angels’ asking price be for Ohtani, who is a consistent MVP candidate, but in a walk year?

As of June 1, Ohtani has recorded a .269 batting average, a .345 on-base percentage, a .538 slugging percentage, 15 home runs, 33 runs scored, 38 RBI, and 57 hits at the plate. On the pitcher’s mound, Ohtani posted a 2.91 ERA, a 0.954 WHIP, a 5-1 win-loss record, an American League-high 90 strikeouts, and 28 walks in 65.0 innings pitched (11 starts).

For fans hoping their favorite teams acquire Ohtani, they have to bank on the Angels having a really bad two months of play.

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