The Los Angeles Angels just lost two of three coming out of the all-star break to the Houston Astros to fall to 46-48 on the season. They're not quite out of the playoff race just yet, but they're awfully close.
With the Angels showing no real signs of getting back into the race, Shohei Ohtani getting traded is becoming more possible the closer we get to the deadline. The Angels have even thought about trades and according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, they have somewhat of an asking price.
For the Angels to part with the best player in the game, they'll have to be blown away by an offer. That means the team that gets him would have to part with at least two of the top 100 prospects in baseball. While a bunch of teams around the league can meet that price, narrowing things down to the best packages is what Perry Minasian should do.
Not everyone will be in on Ohtani. A team like the Nationals who have prized prospect James Wood won't be interested in a rental like Ohtani when they're 19 games under .500. Other teams that are in play for postseason spots however, could be interested in going all in and trying to win in 2023. It's important to note that prospects who have graduated the prospect rankings like Anthony Volpe and Elly De La Cruz are not included in this.
5) Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays have been the class of baseball for most of the 2023 season, but recent struggles have them just one game ahead of the Orioles for first place in the AL East.
While the Rays almost certainly won't be in the running to sign Ohtani this offseason, acquiring him now would make them the undisputed favorites to win it all in 2023. The Rays continue to make the postseason virtually every year but have yet to get over the hump. With a loaded farm system and the potential desperation to finally win it all, the Rays could be a team to watch in the Ohtani sweepstakes.
In terms of prospects they have, Junior Caminero is their best guy. Caminero is ranked 14th on MLB.com's top 100 list, as he's shot up the rankings this season. He's been primarily used as a third baseman, and if the Angels were to acquire him that'd be his likely spot with Zach Neto manning shortstop.
The Rays have three other top-40 prospects the Angels can look to acquire alongside Caminero. Carson Williams is another infielder who plays on the left side and he's ranked 23rd. Curtis Mead plays third base and second base and is ranked 32nd, while Kyle Manzardo, a power-hitting first baseman is ranked 38th.
I would be suprised if the Rays dealt prospects of this magnitude to acquire Ohtani, but if they're open for business, a package involving two of these guys would be a great return.