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The Angels Should Trade Shohei OhtanI

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

The Angels are 46-48 and just blew a 4-run lead in a loss to the Houston Astros. Mike Trout is injured, and there is a whole other slew of injuries for the Halos. They are in fourth place in the AL West and are six games back from the final wild-card spot. The reason why the Angels should trade Ohtani is that they only have a 6.9% chance to make the postseason, and Ohtani is a free agent after this year, and if they don't change course soon, they'll lose him for nothing.


Shohei Ohtani is the best player Major League Baseball has to offer, some call him the modern-day Babe Ruth. You would think a team with Ohtani on it and also being paired with Mike Trout would at least make the playoffs. Well, that thinking would be wrong because out of Ohtani's six years with the Angels, he hasn't made the playoffs once. In fact, let's take a look at Ohtani's six years with the Angels:


Shohei Ohtani at bat
via Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated

2018: 80-82, finished 4th in AL West, did not make playoffs

Ohtani's stats: .285 BA, .361 OBP, 22 HRs, 61 RBIs

Ohtani wins AL Rookie of the Year

Mike Trout finishes 2nd in MVP voting


2019: 72-90, finished 4th in AL West, did not make playoffs

Ohtani's stats: .286 BA, .343 OBP. 18 HRs, 62 RBIs

Mike Trout wins MVP


2020: 26-34, finished 4th in AL West, did not make playoffs

Ohtani's stats: .190 BA, .291 OBP, 7 HRs, 24 RBIs

Mike Trout finishes 5th in MVP voting


2021: 77-85, finished 4th in AL West, did not make playoffs

Ohtani's batting stats: .257 BA, .372 OBP, 46 HRs, 100 RBIs

Ohtani's pitching stats: 9-2 ERA, 3.18 ERA, 156 SO

Ohtani wins MVP, gets his 1st All-Star nod, and is named a silver slugger all while not making the playoffs.


2022: 73-89, finished 3rd in AL West, did not make playoffs

Ohtani's batting stats: .273 BA, .356 OBP, 34 HRs, 95 RBIs

Ohtani's pitching stats: 15-9 WL, 2.33 ERA, 219 SO

Ohtani is an MVP runner-up, finishes 4th in Cy Young voting, and gets his 2nd all-star nod

Mike Trout finishes 8th in MVP voting


2023: 46-48, currently 4th in the division, have a 6.9% chance to make playoffs according to Fangraphs

Ohtani's batting stats: .301 BA, .386 OBP, 34 HRs, 73 RBIs

Ohtani's pitching stats: 7-5 WL, 3.50 ERA, 139 SO

Ohtani gets his 3rd all-star nod and is on his way to another MVP-caliber season.


The Angels have had an MVP candidate for the last six years and have not been top-2 in the division once. This is an unprecedented situation where a team has two of baseball's best, and can never seem to figure out how to win. Trout signed a 12-year deal in 2019, so we know he isn't going anywhere and will be an Angel for life, one would assume. Ohtani, on the other hand, should get out while he can, whether that be through free agency or trade before the August 1st deadline. If the Angels are smart, they'll get some return on the league's best player and biggest star before he walks out the door for nothing.


Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout before a game
via Ashley Landis / AP

Trading Ohtani would be a huge blow to the Angels franchise and fans, but it is the best outcome for everyone. They will get a great haul for Ohtani, and we will see Ohtani in the postseason if a contender trades for him. It will be interesting to see how the Angels operate this deadline and if they still believe they have a chance to compete this year and also deter Ohtani from leaving in the winter.




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