Shohei Ohtani has heard all of the trade gossip and speculation surrounding him over the past few weeks.
Despite being one of the best baseball players in the MLB today, the Los Angeles Angels have failed to harness his skillset in a way that leads to victories.
There was some optimism initially that firing manager Joe Maddon might serve to right the ship – but it hasn’t. The Angels are still terrible.
With the playoffs officially out of the question and the MLB trade deadline fast approaching, chatter regarding Ohtani’s time in L.A. is heating up.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the “Angels listening on everybody, and for the first time that includes Ohtani.” Moreover, they even have an asking price in mind.
“One rival says they want ‘your 4 top prospects,’” Heyman added.
This week, Ohtani responded to the trade talk through his interpreter.
“Regardless of where I’m playing, I’m going to give it my all and try to win that ballgame in front of me,” Ohtani said, per ABC. “I’m with the Angels right now, and I’m very thankful for what they’ve done. I love my team and my teammates. Right now I’m an Angel, and that’s all I can focus on.”
It can’t be overstated how badly the Angels bungled having not one, but two of the best baseball players in the league on the roster.
This stat really speaks for itself:
10-K Games by Angels Pitchers, This Season:
9 — Shohei Ohtani
1 — All others pic.twitter.com/dgMISXj6id
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 29, 2022
From a pitching standpoint Ohtani is 9-5 this year with a 2.80 ERA. As far as batting goes, he has amassed 21 home runs and 59 RBIs on a .257 batting average.
There is a lot of value there for opposing teams, should L.A. really be willing to make a deal ahead of August 2.
The reality of the situation is that, despite all the public pleasantries, Ohtani’s relationship with the Angels is deteriorating.
That’s what happens when a guy feels like he makes more headlines for his individual play and who his girlfriend is than any substantive progress towards winning a World Series.
There is increasing buzz surrounding the Angeles trading Mike Trout or Ohtani.
Yikes Chiefs. https://t.co/VoosgE0Tpz
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 29, 2022
Where there’s this much smoke, there’s usually fire.
Will one or both men be dealt ahead of the deadline next week?
Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.