The 2023 MLB trade deadline is just over a week away.
Everyone wants to know: Will the Los Angeles Angels trade Shohei Ohtani? And if so, where will he go?
The Japanese sensation is perhaps the most prized trade target in baseball history.
Ohtani is in the midst of a historic season, slashing .305/.400/.676 with an MLB-leading 35 home runs.
The two-way star has also been solid on the mound despite dealing with blisters in recent weeks, posting a 3.71 ERA over 19 starts with an AL-best 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Angels have won four games in a row but sit at just 50-48, four games out of the third AL Wild Card spot heading into play Saturday.
With no assurances of a playoff run, the franchise is at least considering an Ohtani trade, though they are still undecided whether they’ll move him or not.
Whoever (if anyone) brings him in will be getting one of the best players to ever grace the diamond, but the two-way star will almost certainly hit free agency this winter.
But the two-way star will almost certainly hit free agency this winter, so if he is indeed moved, whichever team brings him in runs the risk of losing him a few months from now.
With just days to go until speculation really ramps up, sportsbooks have begun offering odds on who his post-deadline team will be.
Here are the latest odds from DraftKings Sportsbook on what uniform Ohtani will wear come August.
|Shohei Ohtani’s next team odds|
|Los Angeles Angels -170|
|Los Angeles Dodgers +800|
|San Francisco Giants +900|
|Any other team +1000|
|Atlanta Braves +1100|
|New York Yankees +1400|
|Baltimore Orioles +1500|
|New York Mets +1800|
|Tampa Bay Rays +2200|
|Philadelphia Phillies +2500|
|Boston Red Sox +2500|
|Toronto Blue Jays +2500|
Odds are, the Angels just hang onto Ohtani in hopes that they can retain him or make a playoff run.
It’s hard to justify trading one of the greatest players in baseball history, and Ohtani consistently puts butts in the seats.
Plus, trading for two months of Ohtani may not bring in as strong of a trade package as his star power suggests — he’s all but guaranteed to test his value on the open market.
If a trade does happen, two clear favorites have emerged to be the Ohtani sweepstakes winners: The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
Both teams were rumored to be in the mix for Ohtani when he first went on the market during the 2017 winter.
The Dodgers have deep pockets and are always keen to go star hunting.
The Giants are still looking for the face of their franchise after they fell short in their pursuit of Aaron Judge and had an agreement with Carlos Correa fall apart after a failed physical.
Los Angeles and San Francisco have two of the most successful franchises of the last 15+ years, which could help entice Ohtani to stay in either city long-term.
Betting on Baseball?
Every other team is 11/1 or higher. The Braves have the assets to bring in Ohtani without depleting their farm system, but they are already the favorites to win the World Series.
Ohtani’s celebrity would be ideal in the Bronx, but the Yankees are barely staying in the playoff picture.
A small market team like the Orioles or Rays could use a couple of months of Ohtani’s services, but there’s little-to-no chance they’ll be able to sign him in free agency.
No matter what happens, get ready for a week-and-a-half of wild Ohtani rumors, and, I’m sure, plenty of swings in the betting odds.
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