From now until the trade deadline, it's fair to assume a majority of the discussion around the league will be surrounding Shohei Ohtani. Even following a thrilling victory, the Los Angeles Angels are 47-48 on the season, 5.5 games back of a playoff spot. The odds of them clawing their way back in barring a big immediate run definitely do feel slim, as unfortunate as that is to say.
With the Angels out of the picture right now, opposing fanbases have been making jersey swaps dreaming of Ohtani wearing their uniform. Who can really blame them?
With the Angels being 5.5 games back, an Ohtani trade feels possible, but unlikely. However, if they were to fall further behind, it's hard to believe even Arte Moreno would justify holding onto the impending free agent. If they were to trade him, you'd expect for virtually every contender to give Perry Minasian at the very least a courtesy call.
One team you'd expect to seriously pursue Ohtani would be the Dodgers who seem to have everything he'd want in terms of location and a winning team while also having the ability to give him a ridiculous contract. The Dodgers might want him badly, but it'll have to wait until the offseason.
Shohei Ohtani won't be traded to LA Dodgers at trade deadline
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that Arte Moreno is unwilling to send Ohtani to the Dodgers in a trade. While it's not necessarily surprising that Moreno would be unwilling to send Ohtani to their interleague rivals, it's certainly disappointing.
It might be frustrating to see Ohtani win in Los Angeles as a member of the Dodgers, but the Angels focus should be recouping the best possible package in exchange for the best player on the planet.
The Dodgers, despite their decade-long run of dominance, have one of the best farm systems in baseball. Who knows what their offer would be, especially since they already do have J.D. Martinez as their DH, but removing a suitor that you don't even play for the rest of the season who plays in the National League just because you don't want to see them succeed is as petty as it gets.
Moreno has to let Perry Minasian get the best possible package for the Angels. Who knows, Ohtani might not even enjoy his short time with the Dodgers and sign elsewhere, or even in Anaheim. Moreno stepping in and meddling in the middle of these negotiations is only a bad thing. It's not surprising to see him do this, but it's not ideal for the Angels.
In an ideal world, the Angels win every game they play up until the deadline and justify buying at the deadline. I certainly don't want to ever see Ohtani wear another uniform. However, if they do decide to trade Ohtani, all options must be kept open. That includes the Dodgers who have a ton of pieces the Angels will want.