Recently, one of the bold second half predictions from MLB Network was that the Braves would trade for Shohei Ohtani. Which looked like a laughable take at first but now has some wheels. The Angels are reportedly listening to offers on all of their players, and for the first time, that includes 2021 AL MVP Shohei Ohtani.
Angels listening on everybody, and for the first time that includes Ohtani. One rival says they want “your 4 top prospects.” Rivals all believe it is s major long shot that Angels ownership ultimately OKs a Shohei dealhttps://t.co/w1jajqf9sM
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 29, 2022
Now, the Braves don’t have anywhere close to the prospect capital to pull off a blockbuster trade like this, but the Angels won’t be looking for just prospects. They will want young major-league caliber talent that’s ready to compete as soon as next year, and you could argue nobody has more of that than the Braves.
Some names will be off the table, like Ronald Acuña, Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Max Fried, but for Ohtani, pretty much everyone else could be considered, including rookie phenoms Michael Harris and Spencer Strider. Here’s the deal MLB Networks suggests the Braves make.
Ummmm thoughts?? #fortheA pic.twitter.com/8GTqycZhDr
— Josh Fortñer ✭ (@jfortner88) July 29, 2022
To be clear, I don’t think the Angels would accept this trade. Ohtani is far and away the most valuable player in the game right now, and if this is all it would take, he will be in a Braves uniform by next week.
Look, I love Michael Harris II as much as anyone. Everything he’s done to this point suggests he will be selected to many All-Star games in the future, but we’re talking about a 54-game sample size. There’s a chance he regresses a bit and hits some bumps in the road, and even if he doesn’t, it’s unlikely he becomes anywhere close to the player Ohtani is right now.
If you follow the page, you also know I’m the leader of the Kyle Wright fan club. I even predicted that he would be the Braves’ breakout star before the start of the season, and he’s making me look like a genius. But we still don’t know if what he’s done to this point in the year is sustainable for the remainder of his career. And even if it is, again, we are talking about Shohei Ohtani.
Muller and Shewmake are irrelevant to the conversation. Their decent prospects with some potential, but the Braves will probably have to include more to get a deal for Shohei Ohtani done.
Simply put, Ohtani is a much better offensive player than Harris, and he’s a much better pitcher than Wright. The only issue would be re-signing him in a couple of offseasons, but if you make this kind of move, you’re signaling that you will give him the monstrous extension he deserves, which shouldn’t be an issue.
Because the thing about Ohtani is he puts butts in seats. When he came to town, tickets were going for 5x what they were worth. Liberty Media is a lot of things, but above all, they are financially cognizant. They know the kind of value Ohtani brings to an organization. The Braves would be a spectacle, and The Battery would be the hottest place in the city, if it isn’t already. Wherever Ohtani goes, crowds will follow, and so will the money.
Unfortunately, this is too light of a deal for the Angels. Los Angles will ask for Harris and Strider, then move on to gutting the Braves farm system. At that point, I would be out. But if this hypothetical trade was on the table, it’s a no-brainer.
Photo: Photographer: John Cordes/Icon SportsWire
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