No, I’m not joking. MLB Network’s bold prediction for the second half of the 2022 MLB season is that the Braves trade for the pitcher they will face on Friday — 2021 AL MVP Shohei Ohtani:
MLB Network's Bold Second Half Prediction: Shohei Ohtani Will Be an Atlanta Brave https://t.co/f9YundXgZY pic.twitter.com/dqkxo3eGdj
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) July 21, 2022
I really don’t know how the Braves would get this done. You could argue that Ohtani is more valuable than his teammate Mike Trout right now. Not only is he the most marketable player in baseball, but he also has an .853 OPS with 19 home runs… before you even get to his pitching stats. Ohtani can light up the radar gun and has a 2.38 ERA over 87 innings this season, striking out 12.7 batters per nine innings. It’s hard to put a value on that; he is doing something we have never seen — and may never see again.
The Angels don’t have to trade Ohtani. He’s under team control through next season. It goes without saying he’s going to get an absolutely absurd contract that will likely shatter any existing record in terms of annual value. Not only that, but the Braves have almost nothing to offer in terms of prospects. They selected a few interesting high-upside pieces in the 2022 MLB Draft, but they can’t be traded until the end of this year. The package would undoubtedly start with Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider — and only go up from there.
Shohei Ohtani would be an incredible addition for the Braves, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Not unless old friend Perry Miniasan owes GM Alex Anthopoulos a HUGE favor.
Photographer: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire
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