Shohei Ohtani Trade Rumor Follow-Up: What’s He Thinking, How Likely is a Trade, Price Tags, More

With the report coming out last night that the Los Angeles Angels are actually open to trade offers on Shohei Ohtani, you knew there would be some immediate fallout.

Among them …

  • Ohtani, himself, was asked about his future with the Angels, who have team control through next season. Did he want to be with the team long-term? Well, Ohtani didn’t really say yes or no: “Regardless of where I’m playing, I want to give it my all, try to win the ballgame that’s right in front of me,” Ohtani said Thursday through his interpreter. “I’m with the Angels right now. And I’m very thankful for what they’ve done. I really love the team. I love my teammates. Right now I’m an Angel, and that’s all I can really focus on at this point.”
  • The writeup there in The Athletic, out of L.A., does not go so far as to indicate a trade is coming, but it’s HEAVY on the challenges the Angels face in the years ahead, and how unsuccessful they’ve been despite having Ohtani (and Mike Trout). It reads to me like, locally, there actually might not be enormous shock if Ohtani were dealt.
  • If Ohtani is not committing to an extension – there were general talks back in Spring Training, per earlier reports, but there was never a sense that a deal was going to happen – then why are the Angels in a different spot than the Nationals on Juan Soto? With Ohtani a year closer to free agency and five years older than Soto, I could argue it actually makes much MORE sense for the Angels to shop him than it does for the Nationals to shop Soto.
  • Elsewhere at The Athletic, Stephen Nesbitt drops a shocker: “The closer we get to the trade deadline, I get the sense Shohei Ohtani is more likely to be traded than Juan Soto.” HOWEVER, he rates both as “unlikely” to be traded, so he seems to be commenting as much on not thinking Soto will be traded, as he is about the likelihood of Ohtani being traded.
  • I figure the price tags on Ohtani and Soto could be pretty close to each other when you consider how much unique value Ohtani brings, as compared to Soto’s extra year of control. Gut says Soto might net slightly more, but both returns would be enormous. Probably the biggest prospect packages we’ve seen.
  • I still think this is going to become a situation where we find out that report was a trial balloon from the Angels to see if they could drum up serious offers. My guess is, within 48 hours, there is a report that the Angels “are now likely to trade Ohtani” or something like that.
  • Like I said last night, I don’t envision a world where the Cubs would be a serious contender to land Ohtani right now. But as with Soto, if the Angels decide not to move Ohtani until the offseason, then I would argue the Cubs become a solid “maybe!” It would have to be a situation where they not only feel good about the chances of competing in 2023, but also where they are prepared to make a VERY SERIOUS extension offer. It’s weird to even try to do the math on what Ohtani should get – he’ll be 29, but he occupies two stellar roles in one roster spot … eight years, $400 million? Is that crazy? Is it too low?
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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