Shohei Ohtani Trade Rumors: Yankees ‘Most Motivated’

As the MLB trade deadline on August 1 inches closer, there is growing speculation that the Los Angeles Angeles will consider offers for Shohei Ohtani if they continue falling out of contention.

The team came out of the All-Star break below .500, having lost nine of their last 10 games and dropping to fourth place in the American League West standings. The Angels are eight games behind the first-place Texas Rangers and five out of a Wild Card spot.

If the Angels make Ohtani available in the coming weeks, the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners are among the teams expected to show significant interest.

However, the New York Yankees are thought to be the most determined club in trying to complete an Ohtani trade, per ESPN’s Buster Olney:

“You start with the Yankees. The Yankees, the Yankees, the Yankees. The Rangers, the Rays. Maybe a small handful of teams. But there’s no doubt, talking to sources, they see the Yankees as potentially being the most motivated because Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton. They’re middle-aged players right in the prime of their careers. This is the Yankees’ window to win now. You bring in Ohtani, suddenly the Yankees rotation with him involved looks so strong. Ohtani hitting in Yankee Stadium, which favors left-handed sluggers, that’s something I’m sure the Yankees would be willing to pay for if Ohtani is made available by the Angels.”

As Olney noted, the Yankees are in clear win-now mode with an aging roster that features high-priced stars Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, among others.

One of the Yankees’ biggest weaknesses this season has been their starting rotation, with the likes of Nestor Cortes, Frankie Montas and Carlos Rodón all missing a significant amount of time due to injury. Adding Ohtani would give New York arguably the best one-two punches in all of baseball.

Furthermore, Ohtani’s left-handed swing would fit well at the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. Aside from Anthony Rizzo, the Yankees currently lack power from that side of the plate.

New York was among the teams that tried signing Ohtani when he made the jump from Japan in 2017, but he preferred to join a West Coast team. As the generational talent gets set to reach free agency at the end of the 2023 season, he is believed to want to remain in the region.

Mookie Betts makes Dodgers recruiting pitch to Shohei Ohtani

With Ohtani making it clear that his top priority is winning a World Series, Mookie Betts made an early recruiting pitch during All-Star Week in Seattle, highlighting the Dodgers’ recent success.

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