The impending Shohei Ohtani free agency drama will be the top MLB storyline this upcoming winter. But what about potential trade rumors? Whenever the superstar becomes available, we can be sure that the Yankees and Mets will be picking up the phone to make a call.
Their respective seasons haven’t started in an ideal manner. However, we can also assume they’d at least do their due diligence if the 2021 AL MVP becomes available at the trade deadline. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, though, there is “no shot” of that happening.
Olney spoke to multiple sources about the Ohtani situation. One said the following:
They are not going to trade him.
Another said this:
If they were going to deal him, the best time would’ve been last summer. But unless they completely collapse, no shot.
Ohtani’s name popped up in the rumor mill in the week leading up to last summer’s trade deadline. And while the Angels engaged teams in beginning conversations, it never seemed like they were truly serious about dealing the two-way phenom.
Of course, this comes on the heels of ESPN insider Jeff Passan making the following comments about Ohtani potentially being available via trade:
Here's what I said on @GetUpESPN this morning.
This is nothing new. If the Angels are out of contention — they are 9-9 with a +11 run differential — then they'd be foolish not to move Ohtani.
And if you saw him at the WBC, it's clear: Winning is an absolute priority for him. https://t.co/abH7jvOR2K
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 20, 2023
This all makes sense. The only reason Los Angeles somewhat considered trading Ohtani last year was because they were already out of contention by the deadline. Heading into Thursday’s action, the Angels are 20-18 and three games behind the Texas Rangers for first place in the American League West. They’re also just 1.5 games out of the final AL Wild Card spot.
Unless everything crashes and burns over the next two months (which we’ve seen before), the man isn’t going anywhere.
If a player like this did become available via trade, though, you absolutely have to check in to see what it’d take to land him if you’re the Mets or Yankees. But with Ohtani less than a season away from free agency, the risk of selling off the farm for a potential rental player would be too great. In my opinion, at least.
It’d be easier for both New York squads to pursue Ohtani in the winter anyways. While his next contract could very easily be the biggest one we’ve ever seen in North American professional sports, it’s just money. That’s something Hank Steinbrenner and Steve Cohen have plenty of, right?
We know that Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is “excited” to watch Ohtani hit the open market. We’ve also heard reports of Cohen being enamored with the Mets making a run at him. Plus, it’s sounding like geography won’t present the same kind of barrier it did when he first signed with the Angels.
Buckle up, folks. The ride is just starting and it won’t be over for a while.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.