The Angels 2022 season has been bad, laughable, and most recently very sad. The revelation of Mike Trout's injury has been the broken heart of every true MLB fan. The Angels are 42-57 and are 22.5 games behind in the AL West. They fired Joe Maddon early in the season (remember that lol) and things just got more chaotic for Maddon and the Angels after that.
How Quickly They Change
The latest report from Jon Heyman is that suddenly, the Angels' phones are working and they're listening to offers. Perhaps it's the misery of this season or the truly saddening news of Mike Trout's injury, but it's a real rumor.
An MLB executive suggested that the Angels would want any team’s top four prospects in an Ohtani deal. Ohtani has only one more season of team control, so even for "MLB The Sho" this may be an expensive deal. With the Angels tanking like a torpedoed submarine, though, I would imagine there could be some room to haggle a bit.
The thing is, if we're all talking about Juan Soto as the most talented player in years being available, this Ohtani news is earth-shattering. That's because more than Soto, Ohtani is the most talented player MLB has seen since Babe Ruth. Not since Babe Ruth has a player dominated at the plate and the mound. He's the reigning AL MVP who has an OPS+ of 134 in a "down year." Ohtani also has a 2.81 ERA in 99 innings, striking out 145. Those are Cy Young award numbers. He's as good as any two players. Every single team in major league baseball should be putting competitive offers on the table. If any team is not, they're out of their minds.
Ohtani Is Happy In Anaheim Right?
Oh, man. That's the most non-committal and awkward language I've seen from a player in a while. Ohtani wants to win, and I think it is safe to say he is not going to win in Anaheim anytime soon. It seems like he will be dealt until you remember who owns the Angels.
Dream On, Dodger Fans
If there are a few things Arte Moreno hates, it's poor people and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sorry, the first example is inferred based on his political opinions. The second one is universally agreed upon by the masses. Arte Moreno would trade his wife and kids before he would ever trade Shohei Ohtani to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A trade in 2020 would have sent Ross Stripling and Joc Pederson to the Dodgers for Luis Rengifo. This would have been a rare bad trade for Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers. Arte Moreno nixed this trade at the 11th hour, and when he was asked why, he gave the most awkward answer that most people agreed boiled down to "because I hate the Dodgers."
"It wasn't all impatience," Moreno said. "There were other things involved, too. ... I just would rather not talk about it. That wasn't going to happen, and it's not happening."
Ohtani isn't going to be a Los Angeles Dodger.
Last Thoughts and Best Guesses
The San Francisco Giants have been more cautious under Farhan Zaidi, but I would not be surprised if they made a splash and brought Shohei Ohtani to the Giants. Moreno's spite could possibly convince him to take a lesser package just to spite the Dodgers and get Ohtani off the team. It's anyone's guess who else could compete for this generational unicorn of a baseball player. If any team does manage to pry Ohtani anyway, consider them the luckiest team in baseball.