Shohei Ohtani rumors: 5 teams ready to trade for star if Angels fall from contention

Shohei Ohtani, Chicago Cubs (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Shohei Ohtani, Chicago Cubs (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Dodgers
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 05: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Mookie Betts #50 after hitting a two run home run against starting pitcher Logan Webb #62 of the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on September 5, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The MLB season is only three weeks old, and the Shohei Ohtani trade rumors are already starting. Here are five teams in the mix to land the superstar if the Los Angeles Angels fall out of contention.

Los Angeles Angels pitching and hitting superstar Shohei Ohtani is a free agent at the end of the season, again, so it’s no surprise that the trade rumor mill has started churning. Five teams are already being mentioned as possible destinations for the former MVP if the Angels are out of the playoff picture before the trade deadline.

With the Angels off to a 9-10 record, sitting three and half games back of the Rangers in the AL West, MLB insider Jeff Passan appeared on ESPN’s Get Up and said that “If the Angels fall out of contention and it’s just more of the same as it’s been over the last five years there, he could be traded, and he will definitely leave.”

Which teams does Passan think to have a shot at landing and then re-signing the best player on the planet? There are some obvious answers that Passan lists and maybe a couple of not-so-obvious teams that he thinks would pay the $500 million-plus it will take to acquire Ohtani’s services past 2023.

Shohei Ohtani rumors: Insider reveals 5 teams ready to trade for Angels’ star

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

Passan mentions the Los Angeles Dodgers as one of the two top destinations for Ohtani, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Dodgers always seem to be in play for the big free agents on the market each offseason. However, this past winter, they were relatively quiet with offseason signings, letting Trea Turner walk to sign a massive 11-year, $300 million contract with the Phillies.

The perennial World Series contenders instead opted for a more modest approach. They signed a few veterans to one-year deals, a la Noah Syndergaard and David Peralta. They’re also giving some of their talented prospects, such as Miguel Vargas and James Outman, some consistent big-league experience to see what they have for the future or possibly to use in trade.

The un-Dodger-like approach to their 2023 roster suggests that the front office wants to remain flexible to give the team the ability to either land Ohtani in-season or take a run at him in the offseason.

Moving down the freeway and joining fellow stars Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman would be a smart move for Ohtani if, as Passan asserts, “winning is an absolute priority for him.”