The New York Mets, who have inquired about Los Angeles Angels designated hitter/pitcher Shohei Ohtani's availability ahead of Tuesday's 6 p.m. ET trade deadline, do not believe the Halos are serious about dealing the superstar this season.
SNY's Andy Martino provided the scoop:
"The Mets are naturally curious about Shohei Ohtani’s availability, as any well-heeled and ambitious team should be, but have concluded after inquiring that the Los Angeles Angels are not serious about trading the two-way superstar before Tuesday’s deadline, according to league sources.
"Even Angels executives are privately saying that they are extremely unlikely to move Ohtani in-season, according to a third source in touch with that front office. If that were to change, the Mets would of course be interested. This feels like a space to watch this winter."
Ohtani, who is set to become a free agent after the 2023 season, is starring for an otherwise largely moribund Angels team that is playing out the string at 42-58.
Still, the 2021 American League MVP is lighting up baseball again with 21 home runs, 59 RBI and an .826 OPS. On the mound, Ohtani has gone 9-6 with a 2.81 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 145 strikeouts in 99.1 innings.
Despite sporting two of baseball's brightest and best stars in Ohtani and Mike Trout, the Angels are very likely to miss the playoffs for the eighth straight year. The Halos have the third-worst OPS in the American League and a middle-of-the-road pitching staff (eighth in AL ERA). This is all despite owning the eighth-highest payroll in baseball.
Ohtani is undoubtedly the most valuable player in baseball given his two-way ability, but the question now is whether the Angels should trade him to help rebuild the franchise. The team sorely needs more depth throughout their roster, and dealing Ohtani could help alleviate that problem.
Still, Ohtani is one of the best talents baseball has ever seen, and there hasn't been a two-way player like him since Babe Ruth. It's a tough position for the Angels to find themselves in, but another losing season has landed Ohtani into trade rumors and speculation.
At the very least, it appears the Angels are listening to teams even though a deal right now appears to be a remote possibility.
"Teams have been calling regarding potential deals for the two-way phenom, and while a trade involving the unique superstar is seen as very unlikely, the Angels are not hanging up the phone," Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported on July 28.
For now, the Angels appear likely to hold onto Ohtani, but things could heat up next offseason.