The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have changed their stance on trading Shohei Ohtani and are now facing a barrage of “fake news” reports.
Ohtani, arguably the best player in baseball right now, will become a free agent for the first time in his career after this season. The 2023 free agency period will be dominated by talk of Ohtani’s price tag and potential destination, but there are still plenty of “rumors” about him.
Ohtani broke out in 2021 with his “Idoryu” performance, winning the American League’s unanimous MVP title. Ohtani has been a consistent performer this year, going 7-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 18 starts on the mound and batting .302 with a 1.047 OPS in 91 games with 106 hits, 33 home runs, 72 RBIs, 65 runs scored and 65 runs batted in.스포츠토토
After the end of last season, Ohtani’s estimated price tag was said to be $400 million (approximately 50.92 billion won). However, after his “Idoryu” performance at the World Baseball Classic (WBC), where he showed how much of a boost he can give a team in the short-term, his value has skyrocketed to $500 million (approximately 635.3 million won). His price tag is expected to rise further if a contender comes along.
Last year’s trade deadline saw the major leagues buzzing with “trade rumors” about Ohtani, and this year seems to be no different. Initially, the Angels made it clear that they would not trade Ohtani no matter what. However, they changed their tune after their postseason chances began to slip away with the departure of Mike Trout from the lineup.
“The Los Angeles Angels are listening to trade inquiries for Shohei Ohtani,” MLB Network’s John Morosi reported on the 16th (ET), citing sources, “and suitors should be prepared to offer multiple top 100 prospects to start conversations about trading Ohtani.” In other words, the Angels have changed their stance from not trading to listening.
The news has been met with a lot of excitement in the U.S., especially from “fake news” sources. William Fredrickson, who claims to be a “Major League Baseball insider,” claimed on the 16th that “Angels owner Art Moreno is scheduled to meet with Ohtani this weekend to discuss his future,” and that “if a contract extension is not reached, Ohtani will likely be traded within the month. William Fredriksen was not the only one to report the same thing.
However, this was not the case. According to Japan’s Junichi Sports, “The buzz surrounding Otani’s trade is growing. “In this situation, a fake news story appeared that said, ‘Moreno and Ohtani will meet this week, and if no deal is reached, he will be transferred,'” explained Junichi Sports.
Masaya Kotani of Japan’s Full Count, who is covering Otani in the U.S., also said, “There was a ‘smelly air’ at Angel Stadium. Before the game, fake news about Otani’s departure was a hot topic. I’ve heard that in other sports in Europe, there are a lot of false reports about transfers, but for Ohtani…” and emphasized that the news was untrue.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of such “fake news. Fake news stories were created before Ohtani announced his intention to play in the major leagues and even before he entered the big leagues. It’s an indirect indication of the level of interest surrounding Ohtani.
For now, it appears that the Angels are willing to listen to trade inquiries, as reported by MLB Network’s John Morosi. However, a trade is not a done deal, but with the Angels’ chances of making the postseason slim and Ohtani’s desire to stay with the Angels not strong, who knows what will happen.
The Major League Baseball trade deadline is next month, about a month away. Let’s take a look at what could happen to Ohtani’s future in that short time frame.