Shohei Ohtani Trade Rumors: Angels 'Never Seriously Considered' Deadline Deal

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 5, 2022

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 04: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels runs toward second after hitting a home run against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 4, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
John McCoy/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Angels "never seriously considered" trade offers for superstar Shohei Ohtani, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post:

"The Shohei Ohtani trade never had a chance. Word is Angels owner Arte Moreno didn’t even want to hear offers, so talks barely got off the ground.

"The Padres (of course) are among a dozen or so teams that checked in, offering different scenarios they’d consider. The Yankees did, too. But the Angels never seriously considered any of it.

"Moreno told folks in his front office he simply could not trade Ohtani while Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon were out with injuries. The Angels probably need a reset, however, and the belief is Trout, with a full no-trade clause, would be hard to deal. And Rendon, with injury after injury, would be near impossible to trade."

Ohtani, the 2021 American League MVP, is hitting .258 (.859 OPS) with 24 home runs and 64 RBI.

On the mound, the 28-year-old has posted a 9-7 record with a 2.83 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 105 innings.

Ohtani's name was thrown into some trade rumors and speculation in the days leading up to the trade deadline, but it never seemed that the Angels were seriously considering moving him despite other teams' interest, per reports.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network and NBC Sports tweeted on July 23 that the Angels had "no plans" to deal Ohtani. Heyman reported on July 28 that the Angels were listening to offers but a deal was "seen as very unlikely."

He followed up with an Aug. 1 report stating the Angels were standing pat despite numerous teams (including the New York Yankees) making "serious offers" for the generational talent.

Ohtani remains an Angel for now, but his long-term future with the franchise appears to be in some doubt.

For starters, he's eligible for free agency after the 2023 season. The Angels could certainly look to trade Ohtani this offseason if it appears a long-term future between the two sides isn't going to work out. He should obviously demand a massive haul from a contending team.

Second, the Angels are a struggling, top-heavy team that sits 17 games under .500 despite having the 10th-highest payroll in baseball and Ohtani and Mike Trout, who is currently out with a back injury.

Ohtani could deservedly demand a fortune in free agency, and re-signing him may not be the best move for a team that might be best served tearing it all down.

For now, Ohtani is lighting it up at the plate and on the mound for a team that's playing out the string. The question after this season will be whether he ends up taking his talents elsewhere.