The worst-kept secret in baseball is that the Los Angeles Dodgers plan to make an all-out aggressive push to sign impending free agent Shohei Ohtani this winter. The plan has been in the works for quite some time, and the team has set themselves up nicely to go after it.
LA has wanted Ohtani in blue since his days playing in Japan, and they thought they had landed him years ago, but the lack of a designated hitter held them back in the bidding war to sign the two-way superstar. But now they should get their chance once again, positioned to not make the same mistake twice.
However, with the struggles of the Angels this season, there has been plenty of talk that they may look to trade Ohtani at this year’s trade deadline. If they choose to do so, the Dodgers would be one of many organizations with interest in acquiring Ohtani.
The Dodgers have the prospects that could entice the Angels to move Ohtani and the checkbook to afford him this winter, but the biggest roadblock is Angels owner Arte Moreno. He has been against the Dodgers for years as he views them as rivals due to the proximity of the squads.
It has been reported that if the Angels trade Ohtani, it won’t be to the Dodgers. But one insider did leave a sliver of hope for LA, saying they are long shots, but not completely out of it. MLB insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post explains.
If this is true, then maybe Moreno finally has let go of his pride. He likely knows that if the Angels were to trade with LA, they would get back the best possible trade package. It would sting to send Ohtani up the I-5 freeway, but in the long run, it could benefit his team.
Moreno’s priority needs to be the Angels and not being prideful against the Dodgers. He has long wanted to find success but consistently gets in his own way with different matters. A trade with the Dodgers would change everything we know about him, but that could be a good thing for the future of the team.
But why would LA trade multiple good prospects for Ohtani when they can outright sign him this offseason?
Because getting him into the organization earlier would not only give them a better shot of winning the World Series this season, but it could give them a chance to show him what life as a Dodger would be like. They could have earlier negotiating rights, and allow him to become comfortable with the franchise.
President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman understands this, and if a trade between the two sides is possible, he would likely do everything in his power to make it happen.
While it is a longshot for Ohtani to end up with the Dodgers this summer, this will be a story to watch play out over the next few weeks.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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