The Los Angeles Angels are the most intriguing team in all of baseball when it comes to the trade deadline discussion. Will Shohei Ohtani stay or go? The Angels are 52-49 and have played better of late, but still trail the third Wild Card spot by 3.5 games and have a brutal August schedule looming.
It can be argued either way at this point whether the Halos should hold onto Ohtani or not, but it's abundantly clear that they won't move him unless they absolutely have to. A 3.5 deficit isn't large enough to convince Arte Moreno to make that franchise-altering move even if he should.
The Athletic (subscription required) listed each team's most likely trade candidate and the Angels candidate is somewhat surprising, but really shouldn't be.
LA Angels top prospect Edgar Quero is listed as the team's most likely trade candidate
"If the Angels plan to be buyers, they’re going to have to be aggressive. Edgar Quero is their best minor-league prospect, currently at Double A. Because he’s a catcher, the 20-year-old is susceptible to being traded for two reasons. The first is simply that he has more trade value than any of their other prospects, and would certainly be attractive to any team looking to part with major-league talent. The other is that he’s a catcher, and the Angels view Logan O’Hoppe as the catcher of the future in the organization."- The Athletic
Edgar Quero is the Angels top prospect not named Logan O'Hoppe who's in the majors, and is the 66th-ranked prospect on MLB.com's top 100 list. There's a lot to be excited about with Quero, but The Athletic's reasoning behind why the Halos might want to deal him make a lot of sense.
The way things are right now, the Angels will be buyers. Again, you can argue whether that's smart or not, but it's very clear that that's the direction this is headed in. If they buy, prospects become available. Trading away the best prospect in a bad system isn't ideal, but there're reasons to move Quero.
First, he's a catcher. The Angels are set there for a long time with Logan O'Hoppe. Matt Thaiss has done an admirable job while O'Hoppe has been on the sidelines. Quero won't be contributing this season in the majors, and there's a good chance he won't be needed ever behind the dish.
Second, he has a ton of value. Quero, a 20-year-old catcher already in AA with outstanding tools will be a highly sought-after trade piece. The Angels can get a legitimate piece or two to help them win now in exchange for Quero in a trade. If they want to keep Ohtani, these are the moves they're going to have to make.
Watching Quero blossom in another organization would be tough, but with Logan O'Hoppe here and the Angels likely trying to win right now the top prospect in the Angels system is suddenly very tradable.