NYC insider explains what Angels' ownership fail means for Yankees, Shohei Ohtani

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

This week, the MLB world experienced something even more unprecedented than Shohei Ohtani excelling at both pitching shutouts and drilling dingers: an owner pulling his team off the market after "exploring" a sale. That literally never happens!

Against all odds, Angels fans were tossed back into the James Dolan/Dan Snyder bucket of bad ownership this week when Arte Moreno decided he had cold feet and wanted to see this whole thing through 'til the end.

Two years ago, Mets fans were saved from forever being the "second team" in New York City by a seismic ownership change. The Angels? Not so lucky. Now, Ohtani's future might be up for grabs, and thanks to Steve Cohen's timely arrival, the Mets have the advantage over the Yankees in ... whatever arena his departure ends up in.

According to SNY's Andy Martino (and common sense), Moreno sticking around turns Ohtani's departure at the end of 2023 from "likely" to "oh, yeah, super likely." The right-hander and 40-homer slugger was as good as gone, pending a new ownership group delivering a last-second hail mary. Now, without the insertion of a new variable, the only remaining question is how quickly Ohtani will leave.

If Moreno's Angels flatline again this summer, the pressure will be ratcheted up significantly. It's the Mookie Betts trade without the championship pedigree -- and it won't be happening until midsummer at the earliest. If LA contends, then by all means, cross your fingers and take the draft pick compensation. But if things get ugly, expect the Yankees and Mets -- two teams that reportedly pursued Ohtani at last year's deadline -- to get involved.

Yankees, Mets could be contenders for midseason Shohei Ohtani trade

Perhaps the most important thing to remember here is that it's no longer pure speculation to say Cohen could act impulsively if an unexpected opportunity presents itself. We just watched him pull together a $300 million-plus package for Carlos Correa overnight once the Giants flagged his physical ... only to flag the same physical and use the same doctor, but still! The money was there, at the drop of a hat.

If Ohtani makes it to the offseason, the Dodgers, Padres and Mets are seen as the clear favorites for his services, a group the Yankees should try their best to join.

If things go down midseason? The Mets should be the obvious leader in the clubhouse, as they can dangle Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez.

The Yankees? They've been reticent to give up any of their prospects who rival that pair.

"As for the Yankees, if they refused to trade even one of Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza last July for Luis Castillo, who might have helped them win the World Series, would they do it for anyone? As with the Mets, a trade to the Yanks seems highly unlikely. For what it‘s worth, both New York teams talked to the Angels about Ohtani last year and didn’t get anywhere close to an agreement."

Andy Martino, SNY

While it's fun to speculate about any and all things Ohtani, the Yankees are probably better served hoping their next Japanese import is slugging first baseman Munetaka Murakami.

After all, he's already expressed interest in joining the Yankees in free agency, whereas Ohtani ruled New York out first the last time he was on the market. Why sell the farm for someone who hates it here (from afar)?