Start two-way player Shohei Ohtani will be the focus of the trade deadline. The SF Giants have been rumored to be one of the potential landing spots, but Jon Heyman of the New York Post speculates that the Los Angeles Angels will not trade Ohtani to one NL West team - the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Heyman: Angels won't trade Shohei Ohtani to SF Giants rival
Ohtani is in the midst of yet another stellar season as he has posted a .302/.397/.668 line ( 185 OPS+) with 35 home runs, 76 RBI, and 73 runs in 436 plate appearances. He leads baseball in triples (7), home runs, (35), slugging percentage (.668), and OPS (1.065).
Incredibly, he is impacting the game on both sides of the ball as he has a 3.71 ERA with an 11.9 K/9 in 19 starts with the Angels in 2023. Despite his incredible production, the Angels are on the periphery of the playoff picture with a 50-49 record. They are 4.0 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the third and final Wild Card spot. Plus, the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees are ahead of them in the playoff hunt.
The Angels are not obvious sellers and teams over .500 prior to the deadline do not normally sell. If they hit a skid in the days leading up to the trade deadline, that could change with Ohtani immediately becoming the most coveted player.
That said, Jon Heyman suggests that you can cross the Dodgers off the list as a team that could potentially trade for Ohtani at the deadline:
""Would they [Angels] trade him to the Dodgers? No, I spoke to somebody with the Dodgers, they realize he's not getting traded to the Dodgers... Arte Moreno is not going to do that""- Jon Heyman
That sounds pretty definitive. The Dodgers are seen as a potential landing spot for Ohtani in the offseason. However, they will not have the benefit of a two-month recruiting pitch that would come if he was traded to them at the trade deadline.
Teams that are considered geographic rivals do not typically connect on trades often. The Giants and Oakland A's are an example of this, but they have been feuding over territorial rights for years. The Angels and Dodgers appear to be somewhat of an exception as they have a track record of making trades, notably sending Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers in 2014. Despite this, that track record will not include Ohtani if Heyman's speculation is to be believed.
It still seems unlikely that the Angels will trade the 29-year-old star, but Heyman did put that odds at around 25 percent. If they do signal that they are planning to sell in the next 10 days, the Giants should be in the mix.