1. Shohei Ohtani
When the Angels fell apart overnight in the first half, speculation immediately surrounded a possible Shohei Ohtani trade. Why keep the best player in baseball if he’s only guaranteed to be under contract through 2023 while your team continues to finish below .500? Get all the value you can as soon as you can and start the rebuild.
When insiders began connecting the dots, the Yankees were obviously mentioned as a potential destination and they reportedly “made a serious offer” before the Aug. 2 trade deadline. This time around, The Athletic thinks all it’ll take is a package of Gleyber Torres, Jasson Dominguez and Oswald Peraza. Yay or nay?
The only “issue” here is that Ohtani is making $30 million in 2023 before becoming a free agent. This feels like a “World Series or bust” move, especially if that much talent is going to LA in return.
Then again, this is the best player in baseball we’re talking about. Even if the Yankees don’t win a World Series in 2023 or can’t extend Ohtani, this isn’t a move you pass up if the opportunity is there.
Ohtani gives Gerrit Cole a co-ace in the rotation, makes Luis Severino a Game 4 starter in a best-of-seven playoff series, and puts arguably the best left-handed power bat in MLB in between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
The Angels might’ve said they’re not trading Ohtani this offseason, but Cashman shouldn’t be deterred if he feels there’s an avenue to pursue here.