The San Diego Padres' aggressive strategy ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline reportedly included making offers for Shohei Ohtani.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the Padres "made a run" at the Los Angeles Angels star but no deal is expected. The Angels are fully expected to retain Ohtani past the deadline despite the two-way superstar's looming free agency after the 2023 season.
It's likely as much a business decision as a baseball one for why the Angels have refused to entertain offers for Ohtani. He's not only arguably the best player in baseball, but he's also wildly popular on the international stage, particularly in his native Japan. While the brilliance of Ohtani and Mike Trout has not led to wins for the Angels, there's money to be made in having the two biggest names in the sport spearheading your organization.
That said, there is reason for concern in the organization. Ohtani was noncommittal when asked about his future with the franchise when discussing the situation last week.
"Regardless of where I'm playing, I want to give it my all, try to win the ballgame that's right in front of me," Ohtani told reporters last week. "I'm with the Angels right now. And I'm very thankful for what they've done. I really love the team. I love my teammates. Right now I'm an Angel, and that's all I can really focus on at this point."
Ohtani originally chose the Angels over a swath of other teams when he made his decision to come stateside ahead of the 2018 season. He's found incredible individual success, winning the 2021 AL MVP and making the AL All-Star team as a hitter and pitcher each of the last two seasons, but team success has not followed.
The Angels are a near-lock to miss the playoffs for the eighth straight season, entering Monday at 43-59. Trading Ohtani would bring back the type of transformational haul that might turn around the team's lagging farm system, but there is no one-for-one replacement for Ohtani's generational talent.