MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic believes the Los Angeles Angels will keep two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani through this summer's trade deadline despite their latest injury woes.
"Once he is gone, the cord is cut," Rosenthal wrote for a piece published Wednesday. "Few players, after getting traded, re-sign as free agents with the teams that moved them. The Angels want to advance the premise they will attempt to keep Ohtani. Owner Arte Moreno almost certainly doesn’t want to be responsible for trading a player who is the best of our generation, and maybe the best of all time."
Rosenthal shared his update a day after the Angels officially placed three-time AL MVP Mike Trout on the injured list with a fractured hamate bone in his left hand and after both Ohtani and third baseman Anthony Rendon prematurely exited Tuesday's 8-5 loss to the San Diego Padres due to physical setbacks. Ohtani dealt with a right middle finger blister, while Rendon fouled a ball off his shin.
Rosenthal noted that the Angels will likely soon have a major-league-high 15 players on the IL as they attempt to end a postseason drought that began after the 2014 season. Los Angeles entered Wednesday afternoon trailing the first-place Texas Rangers in the AL West standings by seven games with a 45-43 record. The Angels were four games back of a wild card playoff spot at that time.
Ohtani, on track to earn AL MVP honors for the second time in three years, is expected to reach free agency after this season and was recently linked with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. It's thought the phenom, who turned 29 years old on Wednesday, could earn up to $600M total from his next MLB contract.
"Better the Angels keep Ohtani, bank the additional revenue he generates, then extend him an offer they can sell to their fans as competitive and fair, even if it is one he is almost certain to refuse," Rosenthal said about Los Angeles possibly losing Ohtani as a free agent after this year's World Series.