Retired slugger and current Fox Sports personality Alex Rodriguez shared a daring plan to turn the Los Angeles Angels into an eventual winner.
Per Christian Arnold of the New York Post, Rodriguez argued during a Monday FS1 appearance that the Angels should trade both two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani and three-time American League Most Valuable Player Mike Trout.
"I think this needs a serious, serious situation and a bold move," Rodriguez explained. "I think the Angels win a world championship in five years if they do this: First, you trade Ohtani, then you trade Trout. And you try to get five or six players, load up with first-rounders and the next thing that you have to do is bring in a guy like Theo Epstein, give him ownership and let him run the shop."
Epstein, of course, helped build two World Series winners with the Boston Red Sox and one with the Chicago Cubs working as an executive for those organizations. This past April, Jayson Stark of The Athletic noted Epstein is serving as a special consultant for MLB.
Rodriguez offered his take as the injury-plagued Angels entered the All-Star break in serious danger of extending their playoff drought that began after the 2014 season and as Ohtani remains on track to reach free agency after this year's World Series. As recently as Sunday, MLB insider Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that other teams have been told Angels owner Arte Moreno "still has every intention of keeping (Ohtani) for the remainder of the season in hopes they can re-sign him as a free agent."
However, Nightengale later pointed out that Ohtani admitted while speaking with reporters through his interpreter on Monday that "it sucks to lose." The 45-46 Angels entered the All-Star break trailing the first-place Texas Rangers by seven games in the AL West standings, and Los Angeles is also five games back in the race for a wild-card spot.
Ohtani is routinely linked in rumors with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, two franchises that have won World Series titles over the past decade and that theoretically would outspend the Angels if the 29-year-old phenom hits the open market.
As for Trout, he signed a 12-year deal reportedly worth $426M that includes a full no-trade clause prior to the 2019 campaign. It's unknown how many clubs, if any, would accept that contract and also match Trout's value in other assets via a trade.
Derek Jeter, Rodriguez's former teammate with the New York Yankees, joked that Moreno would have to distance himself from the Angels if the owner moved on from both Ohtani and Trout with only prospects and hope for the future to show for such transactions.
"So the first move is to trade Ohtani and then Trout," Jeter responded to A-Rod. "And then you sell the team and then you move out of Anaheim in that order."