The first-place New York Mets appear to be swinging for the fences ahead of the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline.
Already in on Washington Nationals star Juan Soto, the Mets are now turning their attention to reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels.
MLB insider Jim Bowden noted on Tuesday that New York has been in conversations with the Angels about a potential blockbuster for the two-way phenom.
It remains highly unlikely that the struggling Angels will move Ohtani within the next week. With that said, they are actually entertaining calls for the generational talent. If someone blows Los Angeles away, one of the biggest blockbuster trades in modern MLB history could actually go down.
There’s a relatively obvious backdrop to this. Current New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler served in that role with Los Angeles from 2015-20. In fact, he signed Ohtani in December of 2017.
Ohtani, 28, is slated to become a free agent after the 2023 season and has made it clear he wants to contend for a title. Los Angeles has not earned a playoff appearance since all the way back in 2014.
After starting this season with a solid 27-17 record, the Angels are 13-39 in their past 52 games. They currently find themselves 23.5 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West. That’s not the definition of contending.
What it would take for the New York Mets to acquire Shohei Ohtani
The entire farm system. That might seem like hyperbole, but the Angels would demand an absolute ransom if they were forced to trade Ohtani before the in-season deadline or during the winter. We’re talking about someone who is now considered the best player in baseball and a likely future Hall of Famer.
- Shohei Ohtani hitting stats (2022): .256 average, 20 HR, 57 RBI, .831 OPS
- Shohei Ohtani pitching stats (2022): 9-5 record, 2.80 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 134 strikeouts in 93.1 innings
Last season saw Ohtani win the AL MVP after belting 46 homers to go with 100 RBI. He also pitched to a 3.18 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He’s a generational talent.
Any package from the Mets would have to include their top-three prospects in Francisco Álvarez, Brett Baty and Ronny Mauricio for Los Angeles to even consider moving forward in trade talks.
As unlikely as it might seem, Mets owner Steve Cohen has left no stone unturned in attempting to build a contender. He has a net worth of $17.4 billion. Finances wouldn’t be an issue here.