What the Angels record will need to be to justify keeping Shohei Ohtani

Holding onto Shohei Ohtani only makes sense if the Angels are in the thick of Wild Card contention
Los Angeles Angels v San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Angels v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels have had a brutal last couple of weeks. They've lost eight of their past 11 games following their 25-run outburst in Colorado and have seen a whole slew of players hit the Injured List.

While some guys like Zach Neto and Brandon Drury should hopefully be back not too far after the all-star break, the Angels will be without Mike Trout for an extended period of time. The Angels are 45-44 on the season which isn't bad, but they're 6.5 games back in the AL West and 3.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot.

With a brutal schedule ahead in the month of July, the possibility of trading Shohei Ohtani must be on the minds of Perry Minasian at this time. If they're in contention keeping him makes sense, but if they fall so far beyond the pack there comes a point where trading him is the only sensible option.

LA Angels must trade Shohei Ohtani if they're more than three games back at the trade deadline

The Shohei Ohtani dilemma is a very real one. With him being an upcoming free agent, many Angels fans want him to be traded thinking this team won't win anyway and it's better to recoup something than lose him for just a draft pick. Other fans want them to hold on no matter what because trading him likely signals the end of the best player on the planet playing for this team. I fall somewhere in the middle.

If the Angels are in contention for a postseason spot, I absolutely think the Halos should hold onto Ohtani and make a push. The problem with that is they've given very little reason to believe that they can remain in the hunt with their play of late and with all of the injuries they've sustained.

If they're three games out, you can somewhat convince me that they're still in the hunt and should try and add and keep Shohei Ohtani. If they fall further behind, the risk just isn't worth it. The return you'd get from the draft pick would likely not come close to what you'd get in a trade.

The AL is so tough with many good teams. Assuming Baltimore gets one of the Wild Card spots, the Angels would have to jump three of the Astros, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox while also fending off the Mariners and Guardians. It's not an impossibility, but the chances of that happening feel slim.

They should see how the next couple of weeks play out, but if they fail to make up ground, trading Shohei Ohtani feels like the only logical option.