Los Angeles Angels executives listened to offers for Shohei Ohtani leading up to the trade deadline, but owner Arte Moreno ultimately decided to keep the reigning AL MVP. His rationale behind that decision will not surprise you.
Ohtani is one of the biggest stars in baseball. While the Angels could have gotten a massive return for him, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that Moreno told members of his team’s front office that trading Ohtani was not an option with both Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon on the shelf.
Trout has not played since July 12 with a back injury. Rendon is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his wrist. Although the Angels entered Friday with a 44-61 record and have had a terrible season, Moreno obviously cannot stand the idea of having no star players on the field.
Most people agree that the Angels need to rebuild. In addition to being injured, Trout has a full no-trade clause. Rendon is out for the year and has not been able to stay healthy since he signed with L.A. in 2020. Trading Ohtani was the Angels’ best chance of starting over and acquiring significant assets, but Moreno did not want to risk selling fewer tickets in the short term.
Ohtani is signed through 2023, so the Angels can still trade him this offseason. He sounds like he may be comfortable with the idea.