Mariners to Land Angels’ Shohei Ohtani

The Los Angeles Angels might end up dealing superstar Shohei Ohtani before the trade deadline of August 1st, according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic on Monday morning.

Bowden said that while some front-office sources claimed the Angels are apparently telling teams they aren’t dealing Ohtani, other sources claimed the team is actually considering offers. In addition, the majority of business leaders Bowden talked with concurred that the Angels likely decide to trade Ohtani soon.

Bowden is not the only professional to make the assertion that the Angels might genuinely let Ohtani, who will be a free agent in November, go this summer.

The Angels “seem to be leaving open the slight possibility” of dealing Ohtani before the deadline, according to Jon Heyman of The New York Post on July 6. On July 13, ESPN’s Buster Olney discussed the possibility of Ohtani relocating on “Get Up” and mentioned the New York Yankees as a potential suitor.

If the Angels decide to trade Ohtani, Bowden ranked the Tampa Bay Rays as the No. 1 team that could actually pull off a deal. Even if Ohtani might be a rental wherever he goes, especially for a small-market team like the Rays, it would still take a sizable sum to convince Anaheim to part with the dual ace-slugger.

According to Bowden, in addition to first baseman Kyle Manzardo, second baseman Vidal Bruján, and extra pitching prospҽcts, the Rays may have to focus a deal around either third baseman Junior Caminero or third baseman Curtis Mead. Mead is ranked No. 3 in the organization and No. 32 overall, while Caminero is Tampa Bay’s top prospҽct and the No. 14 prospҽct in baseball.

38th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 is Manzardo. Before 2022, when his rookie eligibility expired, Bruján was ranked 50th.

To complete the transaction, the Rays might also need to throw in a big league bat, perhaps right fielder Josh Lowe.

With top catcher prospҽcts Diego Cartaya and Dalton Rushing as potential trade components for Ohtani, the Los Angeles Dodgers were Bowden’s second suitor. The Angels could then demand three pitching prospҽcts from Emmet Sheehan, Gavin Stone, Michael Grove, and Ryan Pepiot in addition to two each from Andy Pages, Michael Busch, and Josue De Paula, Bowden said.

One week after the All-Star Game, Bowden is considering the Seattle Mariners as Ohtani’s next likely destination. The Pacific Northwest was the subject of many rᴜmors before the All-Star Game. According to Bowden, Seattle would likely need to add two of its top pitching prospҽcts, such as centerfielder Jonatan Clase, shortstop Cole Young, and outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez, as well as pitchers Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Bryce Miller, Bryan Woo, or Emerson Hancock.

In the Ohtani rankings by Bowden, the Texas Rangers were ranked fourth, followed by the Yankees at number five, the Atlanta Braves at number six, the San Francisco Giants at number seven, the Baltimore Orioles at number eight, and the San Diego Padres at number nine.

For the second time in two years, Ohtani is the overwhelming favorite to earn American League MVP this year. The 29-year-old has a.301 average with 34 home runs, 73 RBI, six triples, 11 stolen bases, and a 1.051 OPS. He also has a 7-5 record, a 3.50 ERA, a 1.120 WHIP, and 139 strikeouts in 139 innings pitched.