‘No way, but we’ll consider it’ LAA leaves door open for Otani trade

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are changing their stance on trading Shohei Ohtani, 29, from “never” to “consider.

“The Angels front office will consider trade inquiries for Ohtani if they come in, according to a source,” MLB Network’s John Morosi reported. “The club has a very high bar for Ohtani, but they are not ruling out a trade deadline deal.”

Ohtani, who has been performing at the top of his game as both a pitcher and a hitter, will be eligible for free agency after this season. Even before the season began, interest in his future free-agent destination was high, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox among the big-market teams mentioned as possible destinations.

What’s fueling the trade speculation is the Angels’ performance. The Angels finished the first half of the season with 45 wins and 46 losses and a winning percentage of less than .495. Sitting in fourth place in the American League (AL) West, the Angels are seven games behind the division-leading Texas Rangers and five games out of a wild-card spot. Add to that the fact that the team’s center fielder, Mike Trout, is expected to miss an extended period of time with a wrist injury, and fall baseball is far from assured.메이저사이트

“The upcoming home stretch will be a big factor in the Angels’ final decision,” Morrissey said, predicting that the results of a nine-game homestand in the second half of the season will influence Ohtani’s decision.

The biggest variable is the mind of Angels owner Art Moreno. On Aug. 8, MLB.com reported, “There are viewership numbers that are counted every time Ohtani appears. There are marketing dollars and sponsorships attached to his appearances.” “The possibility of Ohtani winning a second AL MVP is very real. If you’re an Angels fan or a club executive, I want you to imagine him playing in a different uniform.” The team may not want to trade Ohtani, who is a star and a big money maker.

At this point, many baseball insiders believe a trade is unlikely. However, the Angels can’t realistically hold onto Ohtani forever. If the Angels are unsuccessful in fall ball and let Ohtani hit the market as a free agent, the most they could get in return is a draft pick.

At the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on April 12, Ohtani was greeted with a “Come to Seattle” chant from the Seattle Mariners’ home fans. Baseball fans are eager to see Ohtani in the uniform of their favorite team. It will be interesting to see if Ohtani will be wearing something other than an Angels uniform when the trade deadline passes.

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