For the past month, the baseball world has waited for the Angels to wave the white flag and open up shop for any takers who want to surrender their war chest for Shohei Ohtani. Any minute now, you just wait. They have to, right? He’s not re-signing at the end of the year and they’re not in an optimal spot for a legit playoff push. Just bite the bullet and trade him for a bevy of prospects. Yes, it’s Ohtani, but you have to be rational and take the emotion out of it, right?
Well earlier Wednesday Tom Verducci reported that the Angels had told teams Ohtani was not being traded. Was that a smokescreen and signal for everyone to ip their best offer? How many times have you see an owner or front office say one thing only to turnaround and do the complete opposite.
That was a thought until…
Yes, you read that right. The Angels are BUYING!!! In an incredibly crazy turn of events Arte Moreno has decided it’s go time. Ohtani stays and in exchange for good prospects come veteran help to try and push them into the playoffs. Hell, it seems like they’re not done either. What is happening????
It’s so stupid that I kinda love it. Here’s where they currently sit in the wild card picture.
Sure it's four games (3 in the loss column), but ahead of them you have Tampa and Houston who aren’t going anywhere. Toronto has started to play better ball. Boston is rounding into form and getting healthier by the minute it seems. The Yankees are a mess, but Judge returns Friday. And just behind them are the Mariners who are still in the game. Those are a bunch of teams who are going to be difficult to hop.
Then you look at their schedule to get them through August. Coming up they have Toronto, Atlanta, Seattle, San Fran, Houston, Texas, Tampa, Cincy, Mets, and Philly. Gauntlet. They have the sixth hardest remaining schedule in the sport.
They have about a 15% chance at making the dance depending on what prediction site you look at. There’s no reasonable front office that looks at this situation and doesn’t trade Shohei, never mind BUYS.
Then again, if you’re convinced you have a shot at keeping Ohtani this is the only way. Once he gets traded to another organization you're done for. It’s a giant gamble that almost certainly blows up in your face, but if you're hellbent on keeping Shohei you gotta prove right now you can achieve something with him.
Giolito helps bring some legit respectability to the rotation, slotting right behind Ohtani as your number two and Lopez gives you a good arm in the pen for late innings. While Lopez's numbers don't jump out at you he hasn't given up a run in over a month. Do these two push this team into legit contention? No, but there’s also a little less than a week to go before the deadline. If you’re making this move then just go for broke and don’t leave a prospect untouched. At this point why hold back at all? You’re already way past the point of any rationality, just do whatever it takes to improve this team in any way, shape, or form.
The gamble is insanely crazy. If you fail and miss the playoffs then you watch Ohtani leave without getting anything but a comp pick back in return. Even if they make the playoffs he very easily could be destined for another team. It then becomes a full-on disaster of epic proportions. Their farm system was in need of rejuvenation and an Ohtani haul could have given that to them. Instead they trade away their 2nd and 3rd best prospects for a prayer’s hope at a playoff run. The Angels just became one of the most watch teams in the game for the second half of the season. What a batshit crazy turn of events. The stove is hot