It is a general view that the moment will surely come when the Los Angeles Angels will have to trade Shohei Ohtani this year.
The Angels outwardly denies this, but both local media and other club officials view the Ohtani trade as a fait accompli.
For two reasons. One is the doubt that the Angels will be good enough to hold on to Ohtani until the second half of this season, and the other is the certainty that Ohtani will unconditionally enter the free agent market at the end of this year and find a winning team. Ohtani expressed his disappointment with the Azels at a press conference on his return to Japan at the end of last season. No matter who sees it, there is no choice but to interpret it as a will to leave the Angels.
On the 6th (Korean time), the MLB.com, the homepage of the Major League, also discussed the related prospects. An article titled “All Teams Rumored to Trade in 2023” was published, highlighting 11 key players with trade prospects, including Ohtani. 스포츠토토
MLB.com said of Ohtani, ‘The Angels tried to put a trade rumor to rest by emphasizing that they would have Ohtani this winter. But what happens when the Angels realize they’re falling behind in the May or June race. Demand for Ohtani is huge, so the scouting battle will spark. Ohtani’s annual salary of $30 million this year is high. But that won’t reduce the number of teams looking for Ohtani to make the playoffs later this season.”
“The probability of a trade is high. It’s not that I want people to trade Ohtani. If the Angels just put him on the market, probably the most teams in recent years, or even decades, will rush right away,” he said. I would be willing to think of selling Ohtani to get a number of prospects. It would be crazy for them not to entertain the idea of bring back a haul of prospects for Ohtani.”
In the end, it means that the Angels, who are forced to trade Ohtani, will decide that securing a large number of prospects is beneficial. A good example is last summer when the Washington Nationals, who were in the bottom of the league in 10,000 years, sold Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres in exchange for three big league starters and three prospects. At the time, local media evaluated it as ‘the most expensive trade in history’. Ohtani is bigger than Soto.
However, there are important variables. While owner Art Moreno is promoting the sale of the Angels, there is a possibility that a new owner will appear and strongly reveal his will to own Ohtani. However, even this case does not prevent Ohtani’s free agency rights. You can leave the Angels in any way. In the end, how the Angels develop the American League West race in the first half of this season is the most important variable in whether to trade.
Meanwhile, in addition to Ohtani, MLB.com reported that Atlanta catcher Travis Dano, Colorado first baseman CJ Cron, New York Yankees second baseman Glaber Torres, Cleveland shortstop Ahmed Rosario, New York Mets third baseman Eduardo Escobar, Pittsburgh outfielder Brian Reynolds, Oakland outfielder Ramon Lorino, St. Louis outfielder Tyler O’Neill, Miami starting pitcher Pablo Lopez, and Detroit bullpen pitcher Gregory Soto were traded as potential players.