If you have been watching baseball for the last couple of years, you know that Angels starting pitcher and DH Shohei Ohtani isn’t just good. He’s not just special. Simply put, he’s a living, breathing unicorn. He’s doing things on the diamond that simply have never been done before. He currently leads the league with 31 home runs, has around a .300 batting average, and even has 7 wins with a respectable 3.32 ERA!
However, Ohtani will be a free agent after this season. And while the Angels are not out of playoff contention, superstar outfielder Mike Trout broke his wrist a couple of days ago, and while his timetable for a return isn’t known, his estimated recovery time is 4-8 weeks. It stands to reason that the Angels won’t be able to stay alive in the wildcard race. So, all of this leads to an obvious, yet difficult question. Will the Angels trade Ohtani? It’s being reported that Ohtani will fetch the biggest contract in MLB history. The odds of the Angels being able to afford to keep him, over teams like the Mets, Dodgers, and Yankees, sounds very unlikely. So, if the best player in the game is going to leave at the end of the season, and you have little chance of making the playoffs, the logical thing to do would be to trade your prized asset and retool your minor league system. However, general managers and owners aren’t always logical. The fanbase would likely not react in a positive manner. That said, the fans would react even more negatively if and when Ohtani leaves in free agency, and the team gets nothing for him. Starting a bidding war with the best teams in the league all vying for his services would raise the return the Angels could receive.
However, it takes guts to do the right thing. In this case, the Angels need to do right by their team, and even right by their fans, and pull the trigger. We’ve seen teams remake their entire farm system by trading one or two elite players, and the Angels can bounce back quickly if they acquire the right pieces.
While it’s easier than said, it’s something that must be done.