Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno finds himself at somewhat of a crossroads with respect to a potential Shohei Ohtani trade as the August 1 deadline fast approaches.
Last month, Angels general manager Perry Minasian said an Ohtani trade was not likely if the team remained in postseason contention. The Angels then were hit by a rash of injuries and fell below .500, but have since rebounded a bit and are fresh off sweeping the New York Yankees.
The Angels nevertheless remain nine games out of first place in the American League West and are five back for the second Wild Card spot entering play Friday.
As speculation of an Ohtani trade lingers, the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams the Angels would consider making a deal with, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post:
The rival Dodgers, seen as a long-range favorite, aren’t completely eliminated as a trade candidate, sources claim.
Heyman had previously suggested Moreno would not trade Ohtani to the Dodgers, and he casted doubt over the Angels moving their two-way star as a whole.
Although signs continue to point toward the Angels not trading Ohtani by the MLB deadline, they reportedly began fielding and evaluating offers.
If the Angels do not trade Ohtani at this year’s deadline, they risk losing him in free agency after the 2023 season. The 29-year-old has not explicitly stated he would leave the team as a free agent, but recent comments about wanting to win suggest that is a likely outcome.
The Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees have been mentioned as the most likely teams to pursue Ohtani if he’s made available at the August 1 trade deadline.
Arte Moreno backed out of trade with Dodgers
In February 2020, the Dodgers and Angels reportedly agreed on a trade involving Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling, Andy Pages, Luis Rengifo and at least one Minor League player.
However, it was contingent on the Dodgers first completing a three-team blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price. That hit a snag and amid the delay to find a resolution, Moreno reportedly grew frustrated with the Dodgers and backed out of their trade.
In the weeks after, Moreno confirmed it was the Angels who backed out of the agreement, but also remarked there truly was not a trade in place with the Dodgers.
Pederson remained with the Dodgers for what wound up being a unique season amid challenges brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and was a key contributor as they won the World Series. Meanwhile, the Dodgers ultimately traded Stripling to the Toronto Blue Jays at the deadline that season.
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