The Los Angeles Angels have firmly put an end to the wide-spread speculation surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s trade status ahead of the upcoming August 1st deadline.
The team has confirmed their decision to retain the two-way superstar, as they not only have hopes of resigning him in the offseason, but they also plan to make a legitimate run at the World Series this season.
Ohtani has made it clear that his priority is winning. If the Angels have any prayer to keep him long-term, they need to show him that they are serious about contending.
They took a big step towards that statement last night as they pulled off a significant trade to bolster their club.
They acquired right-hand pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for catcher Edgar Quero and left-hander Ky Bush, two highly-regarded prospects.
OFFICIAL: The Angels have acquired RHP Lucas Giolito and RHP Reynaldo López from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor league LHP Ky Bush and C Edgar Quero. pic.twitter.com/Q6pdZ9MKve
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 27, 2023
With a four-game deficit to overcome in the race for the final wild-card spot in the American League, the clock is ticking on the season, and the Angels know it.
Throughout the baseball world, the thought of Ohtani being traded with two months remaining before his highly anticipated free agency was considered a longshot by front office executives.
However, speculation had arisen in recent days that the right package might sway team Owner Arte Moreno to reconsider.
Initially, the Angels planned to allow this final week to play out, evaluating the outcomes of back-to-back road series against the Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays before making a final decision on Ohtani’s future.
However, it seems they reached a decision a little earlier than anticipated, driven in part by their impressive performance on the field lately.
Another factor was apparently the underwhelming offers they received in return for Ohtani, further solidifying the team’s resolve to retain their prized asset, and not be looked upon historically as the idiots who traded “Babe Ruth.”
Ohtani’s transcendent talent as a two-way star has consistently earned him a place among the top contenders for the American League MVP title for three consecutive years. As he heads towards free agency, it is expected that Ohtani will command a contract worth at least $500 million (and most likely more).
Owner Arte Moreno has expressed a strong commitment to both keeping Ohtani on the team and retaining ownership of the franchise over the past year. Looking ahead, Moreno intends to make a significant effort to re-sign Ohtani during the offseason.
Notably, it has been revealed that Ohtani himself prefers to stay with the Angels for the stretch run, further bolstering Moreno’s determination to retain the superstar and build a successful team around him.
Oh yeah, they also have that Mike Trout guy as well. Although, he needs to find a way to stay healthy.
Regardless, trading for Giolito is a big step in the right direction.
Do you think the Angels will make the playoffs this year?
It would sure be great for baseball to have Ohtani and Trout in the postseason.. If they are able to make it, do you think they have a punchers chance at winning the World Series?
Although very unlikely, crazier things have happened!