The Aug. 1 MLB Trade Deadline is less than two weeks ago, and the Los Angeles Angels hold the most coveted trade chip of all. That would be AL MVP frontrunner Shohei Ohtani, of course -- the only player capable of instantly upgrading a team's lineup and starting rotation.
The Angels are demanding a king's ransom for him, however, and acquiring the two-way superstar would mean sending a haul of prospects and young talent in return. With Ohtani set to become a free agent at the end of the season, he could amount to a very expensive rental if he ultimately signs with another team.
ESPN mapped out what a Rangers trade for Ohtani might look like. Not surprisingly, the cost would be staggering.
Rangers Shohei Ohtani Rumors
According to ESPN, Texas would need to send five players to Los Angeles in exchange for Ohtani. That seems a bit lopsided, no?
ESPN's proposed blockbuster includes four of the Rangers' top prospects along with Ezequiel Duran, who is currently enjoying a breakout in his second season. The 24-year-old utilityman is slashing .297/.335/.517 with 13 home runs in 74 games this season while manning six different defensive positions, providing valuable versatility for Texas with his ability to play almost anywhere. He also won't be a free agent until 2029, so he's under team control for essentially the rest of the decade.
The hypothetical package also features four of the organization's top 12 prospects, according to MLB.com. That includes two of the team's top 3 pitching prospects: 20-year-old Brock Porter and 23-year-old Jack Leiter, both of whom project to be future members of the Rangers' starting rotation.
ESPN is also suggesting that Texas would need to include a pair of top position player prospects as well. It named infielder Justin Foscue (Rangers' No. 6 prospect) and outfielder Yeison Morrobel (Rangers' No. 12 prospect) as potential trade candidates.
While acquiring Ohtani would obviously give Texas a massive boost for the rest of the season and potentially help the franchise win its first-ever World Series title, it would essentially require mortgaging the team's future. The Rangers would be trading away much of their next core and a ton of future value for a few months of Ohtani -- a potentially catastrophic decision that could take years to recover from.
Such a trade would be more palatable if Texas could guarantee locking up Ohtani for the rest of his career, but that appears extremely unlikely. He's always expressed a desire to remain on the West Coast so he can be closer to Japan (which is why he signed with the Angels in the first place), making it much more likely that he ends up with the Dodgers, Giants or Padres.
So while landing Ohtani would be awesome, it simply doesn't make sense for the Rangers in the long run and wouldn't be worth the exorbitant cost.
Plus, they may not even need Ohtani. Texas has the third-best record in the American League and a solid 4.5-game lead in the AL West. At DraftKings, the Rangers have the fifth-best World Series odds (+1100), so they're already a championship contender.
Would Ohtani put them over the top? Maybe, but they'll be much better off letting another team overspend for him.
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