Experts discuss whether Angels should trade Shohei Ohtani

The Angels have not lived up to expectations in the three years they’ve signed Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. Since May 25, the team has had the worst record in baseball at 11-31. On Monday, the Angels were seven games behind in the American League wildcard race and 19 games behind first place in the AL West.

It’s fair to ask if the Angels would consider the opportunity to trade Ohtani — the reigning AL MVP who is in the midst of another MVP season — before Major League Baseball’s trading deadline on Aug. 2.

The Angels declined to comment on specific players, but others in the industry shared their thoughts on the two-way star’s future.

“I think you have to [consider taking calls on Ohtani]said Billy Blitzer, a former longtime scout for the Chicago Cubs, who pointed to the Angels’ losing records despite having Trout and Ohtani. Blitzer said the value of potential offers would influence the decision on whether to attempt to keep Ohtani.

“If I’m them, I’ve got to get a call from another team that I’ve explored inside and out, and I know that team as well as a team I don’t work for,” said a former National League general manager . “And they have to make me an offer on Otani that I can’t put down the phone. You have to give me $2 for $1.”

Another former MLB executive – who previously worked with Angels GM Perry Minasian when the two were with the Toronto Blue Jays – explained that his true commercial worth is unknown because Ohtani is so unique.

“Perry has one of the greatest players in the game,” said Dan Evans, a former Dodgers GM who is now the chief operating officer for the Field of Dreams facility in Dyersville, Iowa. “At the trade close or any trading situation, it’s almost like getting two players.

“We’ve never seen anything like this at the close of trading or at any point in the market in the modern era. So there is no reference to previous precedents. In terms of value, nobody really knows.”

Shohei Ohtani wears a cowboy hat in the dugout while celebrating a solo home run during a loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

Shohei Ohtani wears a cowboy hat in the dugout while celebrating a solo home run in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.

(Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

On the other hand, any team looking to add someone like Ohtani to bolster their postseason journey would also need some reassurances, a former scout said.

“If I’m the team that takes it on, if I give away top prospects or players from my major league club, it would have to be a sign-and-trade deal,” Blitzer said. “I want to make sure he will be part of my future. He will be the cornerstone of my team.”

Take the Atlanta Braves’ midseason deal for Texas Rangers’ Mark Teixeira in 2007 as an example of why a team would want to ensure a mid-summer takeover lasted more than half a season.

Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani goes to the dugout after hitting the Baltimore Orioles.

Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani goes to the dugout after his hit against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

(Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Teixeira was sent to the Braves in exchange for a group of players that included shortstop Elvis Andrus, closer Neftali Feliz and starting pitcher Matt Harrison. Teixeira spent 54 games with the Braves in 2007 and 103 games in 2008 before being sent to the Angels on loan — the Angels sent first baseman Casey Kotchman and prospective pitcher Stephen Marek into the deal.

Trading Ohtani could help the Angels rebuild for the future, but moving him before he reaches the free hand would be a decision of the organization, not just Minasian’s decision. It is highly unlikely that team owner Arte Moreno would approve a trade with Ohtani, even if Minasian recommended it.

Whether the Angels will be buyers or sellers this year, we’ll soon find out. Experts discuss whether Angels should trade Shohei Ohtani

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