LA Angels Pull Shohei Ohtani Off Market
Widespread speculation around Shohei Ohtani potentially being moved before the trade deadline can seemingly be put to rest, as the Los Angeles Angels have pulled the two-way superstar off the market, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney, confirming a Sports Illustrated report.
Teams have been informed the Angels won't trade Ohtani before Tuesday's deadline, sources told Olney on Wednesday.
On Wednesday night, the Angels signaled they were buyers, acquiring right-hander Lucas Giolito and right-handed reliever Reynaldo Lopez from the Chicago White Sox for catcher Edgar Quero and left-hander Ky Bush, two top prospects.
The Angels are four games back of the final wild-card spot in the American League going into Thursday's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, with Ohtani scheduled to start the opener.
The thought of Ohtani being traded with two months remaining before his highly anticipated run at free agency had long been seen as a longshot from front office executives throughout the industry, but people familiar with the Angels' thinking had begun to suggest in recent days that the right package might sway owner Arte Moreno to make a move.
One source in particular said the Angels had considered letting the week play out, with back-to-back road series against the Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, before making a final decision.
But that decision appears to have been reached a little early, partly because the Angels have won six of their past seven games and partly, a separate source said, because the team has been underwhelmed by the players offered in return.
Moreno, who has declined to both trade Ohtani and sell the franchise over the past year, is expected to make a run at re-signing him in the offseason. Sources have said Ohtani would prefer to stay with the Angels for the stretch run and that Moreno would have no shot to bring him back as a free agent if he were to trade Ohtani to another team.