With Major League Baseball descending upon Los Angeles for this year’s All-Star Game, two of the game’s biggest attractions, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, will likely appear in baseball’s spotlight for the last time this season. That’s because the Angels’ dynamic duo are so far out of the playoff race, those around the league expect LA’s second team to be sellers at the trading deadline before they disappear for the rest of the 2022 season. Since the exploits of their two stars have earned them a sub .500 record so far, could the trade market be the last, best place Ohtani and Trout offer the Los Angeles Angels any value this season?
If you just follow Major League Baseball on social media, it might be easy to conceive that the Los Angeles Angels are one of baseball’s best teams. After all, their Japanese starting pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani seems to set records every time he takes the field while center fielder Mike Trout continues to march towards Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sadly, for Halo fans, while the Angels lead the Majors in highlights, they are far behind the Houston Astros in the American League West and haven’t seen a .500 since suffering a 14-game losing streak earlier this season, a stretch that saw manager Joe Maddon fired by the franchise.
The result is having this question now start to be asked: Should the Angels trade Ohtani or Trout this year?
Any trade of Mike Trout by the Los Angeles Angels would also need to include money to offset the $34.5 Million the 30-year-old is due every season until 2030 when his current contract runs out. It is difficult to imagine a franchise would pay another team to let Trout play for them during his prime, but that money would be the only way any team would consider giving up any of their top prospects. As we know, however, prospects are like lottery tickets, with few, if any, expected to win, which would leave the Angels worse off than they are now with Trout in their lineup. There would also be the public relations hit the franchise would suffer from trading the perennial MVP candidate since Angels fans might cash out on the team and stop showing up to the ballpark. The thought of trading Shohei Ohtani does, from two standpoints, make a lot more sense.
- He is on a much cheaper contract than Trout, making only $5.5 million this season.
- The Los Angeles Angels have serious issues with their payroll.
Ohtani is under team control for the 2023 season and, at worse, would settle an arbitration case before playing next year very motivated since he would be a free agent prior to the 2024 season.The Angels would be able to market one of the best two-way players in MLB history and let his new team battle with Ohtani on if they would use him solely as a starter or a DH; something that was never up for discussion in Los Angeles since Ohtani knows that he is how he will land his mega contract in 18 months. The question would be if Ohtani would be happy with his next team since he eliminated so many franchises because he wanted to be on the West Coast where the Japanese population is larger … so much so that the New York Yankees were never granted an audience when Ohtani was considering his options.
With $72.5 Million promised to Trout and former Washington National 3B Anthony Rendon every season from 2023 to 2026, could it be the Angels can’t afford Shohei Ohtani and NEED to trade him for younger, cheaper talent to fill out their struggling roster? Or will they really have three players earning a combined $100+ million come 2024, turning their “Big Three” into an NBA-style roster and doing what they are doing this season, which is going nowhere fast in the standings because their financial resources are tapped out by a trio of players?
If you can’t win with Shohei Ohtani setting records and you can’t afford to pay him and still be a winner, then the only value Ohtani has for the Los Angeles Angels is on the trade market. So either before August 2nd this season or during the offseason, the franchise needs to make that cold, hard decision and accept the fact that they should trade him, get as much as they can, and move on. Because with all the highlights reels he has on social media, Shohei Ohtani, at age 29, is going to command a free agent contract the likes of which few players can dream of.
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Should The Angels Trade Ohtani Or Trout This Year? | TooAthletic.com