Shohei Ohtani Trade Rumors: Angels Would Seek Established MLB Players in Deal

Doric SamJuly 24, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 24: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts with teammates after scoring during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on July 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

With the Los Angeles Angels on the verge of missing the playoffs for the eighth straight year, other MLB teams are reportedly seeking them out for trade discussions. However, it won't be easy to pry away one of their stars.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels have received calls regarding two-way star Shohei Ohtani, but Los Angeles "would seek established major leaguers" in return as opposed to prospects, in hopes of "trying to fulfill their goal of returning to the postseason as quickly as possible."

The Angels' approach is somewhat different from other franchises. Rosenthal pointed to another team fielding trade offers for a star: the Washington Nationals. In discussions for outfielder Juan Soto, the Nationals are reportedly seeking "a combination of prospects and major leaguers with low service time" to try to build for the future.

"To meet that price, one club official said, 'you would have to rip up your farm system,'" Rosenthal wrote.

By reportedly seeking established MLB stars in exchange for Ohtani or outfielder Mike Trout, the Angels in essence would be asking a contender to shred its major league roster. It's unlikely that a team in the running for a pennant would be willing to meet their asking price.

Rosenthal noted that "if the Angels are going to move Ohtani, it probably would not happen until this offseason, when teams would be in better position to replace players they trade." However, he added that it's hard to imagine Los Angeles receiving equal compensation for the reining American League MVP.

Ohtani earned his second straight All-Star selection this year and is batting .256 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI. He's been one of the few bright spots in a difficult season for Los Angeles.

The Angels snapped a five-game losing streak Sunday with a 9-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. It was just their second win in their last 12 games. Los Angeles is fourth in the AL West with a 40-55 record.

Trading Ohtani might have seemed like an impossible scenario at the start of the year. But amid another season of struggles, it might be time for the Angels to retool their roster and use one of their stars to acquire assets.