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Shohei Ohtani Trade Rumors: Angels Telling Interested Teams They Won't Move Superstar

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 23, 2022

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Angels are reportedly turning away teams expressing interest in two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani ahead of the 2022 MLB trade deadline on Aug. 2.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Saturday the Angels have "no plans" to move Ohtani, the reigning American League MVP.

Los Angeles is rapidly falling out of playoff contention once again despite featuring perhaps the two best baseball players on the planet in Ohtani and Mike Trout. A four-game losing skid has dropped the Halos to 39-54, 11.5 games out of the final AL wild-card spot.

The Japanese superstar has done everything in his power to keep the Angels afloat. He's posted an .829 OPS with 19 home runs and 10 stolen bases as a hitter while compiling a 2.80 ERA with 134 strikeouts in 93.1 innings across 16 starts on the mound.

Ohtani is making just $5.5 million this season, but that number figures to skyrocket in 2023, his final year of arbitration, and he'll be eligible to become a free agent after next season.

So the Angels will soon have to figure out whether an extension is viable. If not, they may have little choice but to evaluate trade offers over the winter.

In January, Ohtani said he hadn't opened extension talks with the club's front office.

"Before jumping ahead to anything. I'm still in the second year of my two-year deal coming up this season," he told Sam Blum of The Athletic. "So I'm just trying to complete that last year of the two-year contract."

L.A. has lacked depth around Trout and Ohtani, and moving the latter franchise cornerstone could help allow the roster to be improved alongside Trout, a 10-time All-Star who's under contract with the Angels through 2030 as part of a 12-year, $426.5 million deal.

Moving Ohtani would still be a tough pill to swallow for the front office, though. Not only is he among the sport's highest-impact players, but he's a major draw for a franchise that hasn't reached the playoffs since 2014.

The Angels are seemingly set to push the decision about his future until at least the offseason. There will be plenty of potential suitors if he ultimately comes available for trade.

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