MLB Rumors: Latest Shohei Ohtani trade update with Angels surging
Coming into the 2023 season, all of the earliest possible MLB Trade Deadline buzz was about the possibility that the Los Angeles Angels could trade their two-way superstar, Shohei Ohtani, as he’s set to become a free agent this offseason and is expected to leave the Halos.
The contingency for trading Ohtani, however, was that the Angels would have to fall out of contention to do so. Thus far, that hasn’t happened. In fact, it’s gone the opposite way. After a mediocre start, LA has climbed into second place in the AL West and into an American League wild card race as well.
So what does that mean for Ohtani at the deadline? Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required) reported that the Angels have no plans to trade the superstar as long as they remain in the mix. Having said that, Bowden did note that, should the club start to falter over the next six weeks before the deadline and there is no chance of an extension or re-signing him, they’d be best-served to move him.
Bowden ultimately predicted that the club will remain in the playoff hunt, though, and that Ohtani won’t be moved.
That truly seems to be the way things are heading. The Angels have finally started to put the pieces fully together around Ohtani and fellow superstar Mike Trout this season with aggressive call-ups and players stepping up as well.
Of course, that doesn’t guarantee anything beyond this season. But the writing on the wall right now says that any team dreaming of an Ohtani trade during the 2023 campaign for a playoff push of their own will be left wanting.