Will Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani stay in Los Angeles after this season?
With the Los Angeles Angels now missing their eighth straight post season, rumblings about trade possibilities will now raise to fever pitch
Just a couple of months ago, there were rumors, at first seemingly unfounded, that the Angels might be willing to trade Shohei Ohtani. Later statements revealed the trade rumors to be based on the fact that Arte Moreno was perhaps feeling out the market so that he could get a handle on just what his two-way star was truly worth ahead of next year’s contract negotiations.
Shohei is one of the two huge guns that Los Angeles posses. Centerfielder, and perhaps the best outfielder to ever play the game, Mike Trout has played now 11 full seasons with the Angels. Ten of those, the Angels have missed the post season. With Monday’s 9-1 loss to the Mariners, the Halos are out of contention now for the eighth season in a row.
The Angels have now not been to the playoffs since 2014 and have not won a playoff game since 2009. With the talent they have and the money that they have spent, they should be one of the premier teams in baseball. The fact that they have fallen, not just short, but so very short of expectations is nothing less than disastrous.
While the entire league is locked into their own post season hopes and focused on their own fortunes, it can not be ignored that in the not-so-distant future the question of trading will come to the fore. And while the rumors about Shohei Ohtani may have been rumbling in July, you can be certain that they will be shrill come December.
As a free agent after next season, the 28-year-old Ohtani will have winning as one of his top contract priorities. Every team in baseball will be falling over themselves to sign him, and he could fit in very well to teams like Seattle or the Dodgers.
But the elephant in the room is Mike Trout. Now at 31 years old, Trout is signed through 2030 and his contract protects him from being traded. But with the Angels inability to close the season with a playoff berth, might he ask for a trade? It is certainly not without foundation. He may be feeling that his chances of adding silverware to his collection are dwindling with the Angels and may seek pastures new.
As the only two active MVPs to have never won a playoff game in their careers, these two will be the biggest topic this offseason. The Angels, for all of their stumbling over the hurdles, are holding two of the biggest aces in the game, and the money that they will demand for any trades will astound even the most jaded of baseball fans.