Shohei Ohtani is one of the most exciting talents in the history of baseball. The reigning AL MVP is an elite talent both at the plate and on the pitching mound. In 2021 he had the third most home runs in the MLB with 46 on the season. He also had 80 extra-base hits which ranked second in the majors and ranked in the 97th percentile in max exit velocity. He did all this while having a 3.18 ERA and raking up 156 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings. Ohtani hit as many home runs as he allowed earned runs.
There are no signs of the Angels star slowing down as he is 28-year-old and in the prime of his career. So far this season he has a 2.81 ERA and has hit 21 home runs. There have been whispers of the franchise listening to offers for the generational talent who will surely draw massive attention around the league. The injury to Mike Trout and overall underperformance has made rebuilding a more realistic possibility.
One team that is never shy to make a big splash is the Los Angeles Dodgers. The franchise has one of the top bankrolls and farm systems in baseball which will both be crucial to getting a deal done. The Angels are sure to demand a hefty price tag for the superstar and rightly so. The latest report is that the Angles are demanding an organization's top four prospects in exchange for the Japanese standout. While there is no certainty they will be willing to make a deal at the moment, the Dodgers should be doing everything possible to lure Ohtani away from the fellow LA franchise. Here is one potential deal that could motivate the Angles to move on from the superstar.
Through his first 50 career starts as a pitcher and 500 games as a hitter, Shohei Ohtani has:
-More strikeouts than Jacob deGrom
-Lower ERA than Gerrit Cole
-More home runs than Ted Williams
-More RBI than Ken Griffey Jr. pic.twitter.com/W2cXqkMdyv
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) July 25, 2022
The best trade package Dodgers must offer for Shohei Ohtani
Angels Get: (C) Diego Cartaya, (SP) Bobby Miller, (1B/2B) Michael Busch, (OF) Andy Pages, (SP) Dustin May
Dodgers Get: (SP) Shohei Ohtani, (RP) Aaron Loup
Ask and you shall receive. If the Angels want an organization's top four prospects then this is exactly what the Dodgers should give them. While this is certainly a haul to give up, Ohtani is such a special talent that it makes the gamble worth it.
Diego Cartaya is considered the top prospect in the Dodgers farm system. The catcher is still just 20 years old and at A+ ball. He was ranked the top international prospect in the 2018 class and for good reason. Cartaya has great defensive instincts, soft hands, and moves well. He has an impressive 6'3″ frame and hit just under .300 at single-A. The catcher has been consistently praised for his leadership and baseball IQ and could be ready for the majors sooner than most would guess with his age.
Bobby Miller has impressive power on his pitches and can throw in the upper 90s for innings at a time. The starting pitcher flirts with triple digits throughout his starts and also has a nice changeup and slider. He needs to continue to work on his control but the ability is certainly there for the 23-year-old.
Michael Busch has had a difficult start to his MLB career and it is still unclear what position he will end up as. Despite this, he is an impressive hitter with a sweet left-handed swing. Busch draws plenty of walks due to the threat of his raw power. Andy Pages is a well-rounded outfield prospect with good power and an advanced plate approach. He has a solid arm and is expected to be capable of playing any of the three outfield spots.
Dustin May would be the lone major league talent included in the deal. While he is currently on a rehab assignment, he is an intriguing starting pitching asset who is controlled under contract for three more seasons. The 24-year-old projects as a legitimate rotational starter and should be able to be plugged into the Angels' rotation immediately.
While this is a ton to give up, the Dodgers would be landing one of the true superstars of the generation. This deal would also give them another arm in the bullpen in Aaron Loup which could be valuable down the stretch. The Dodgers are already regarded as one of the World Series favorites and a move like this would put them over the edge. They certainly would be emptying plenty of assets, but the team should be focused on winning now. The reality is that there is very little chance any of these prospects develop into the quality of player that Shohei Ohtani currently is. Adding this generational talent in the prime of his career would be a franchise-altering move for the better.