3 Yankees players the Angels should demand in a Shohei Ohtani trade

Shohei Ohtani would bring back a monster haul in a trade
Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees
Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
3 of 3

3) Yankees AA catcher Austin Wells

Young studs like Adley Rutschman and Francisco Alvarez are proving that a catcher can do more than just handle a pitching staff. These guys are raking, and Yankees prospect Austin Wells could be the next in line.

Sporting a mustache that would make prime Don Mattingly proud, Wells could be another piece in this deal that could develop into a star. The left-handed-hitting catcher was drafted in the first round in 2020 after crushing it at the University of Arizona, and he's already positioned himself as the #2-ranked prospect in the Yankees organization.

Wells swings a powerful bat, swatting 20 homers last year and 12 this year. He even has plus speed for a catcher, swiping 20 bases since the start of last season. To top it off, he's also improved his defense this season, throwing out runners at double the clip of last year.

Angels fans were excited about Logan O'Hoppe's start to the season, but he's been on the shelf with a torn labrum since late April. Wells could eventually pair with O'Hoppe as a lefty-righty platoon at catcher, or with Ohtani out of town, the Angels could even play both by using one at DH.

The fact that two of the Yankees' top prospects play the same position as two of the Angels' better young players shouldn't scuttle a potential deal. Besides, the Yankees will be far from the only team interested in trading for Ohtani, so the Angels could be very choosy in what kind of return they get, whether from the Yankees or another team. Asking for the top three young players (and possibly more) for a once-in-a-lifetime player is perfectly reasonable.

Should the Angels trade Ohtani? What once seemed unthinkable now seems like the only smart baseball play. Allowing the Japanese superstar to walk with nothing but a compensatory draft pick to show for it is baseball malpractice. There are just over two weeks until the trade deadline, and what the team does in the next few games could determine the direction of this franchise for years to come.