The Angels have less than two weeks left to decide what they will do by the Aug. 1 trade deadline — namely, what happens with Shohei Ohtani.
The Angels’ two-way star, who is scheduled to pitch Friday, has no comparison — which only adds intrigue to his possible trade value.
The payoff would need to be immediate as Ohtani would likely be going to a playoff-contending, championship-caliber team and his unique status will make his absence from the Angels significant. Based on Ohtani’s looming free agency after this season, the team that acquires him would benefit in the short term but also get a jump on being able to sign him to a longer deal.
Multiple high-ranking prospects would likely be in the conversation for a potential trade, at least based on previous trades of other big stars approaching free agency. The Dodgers, for example, sent a top-100 prospect, two of their own top-30 prospects and two other prospects to the Baltimore Orioles for shortstop Manny Machado in 2018.
The Angels currently have only two players listed in MLB’s top-100 prospects list, both catchers: Logan O’Hoppe, who was in the majors this season but has been out since late April after labrum surgery; and Edgar Quero, a double A standout whose bat has continued to make waves in the minors. The Angels came into the season with the 28th-ranked farm system among all teams, so an improvement in that aspect of the organization wouldn’t hurt.
The Dodgers, thought to be a top contender for Ohtani in free agency, would have plenty to offer with eight players listed among the top-100 prospects, along with having the second-best farm system in MLB this season. That said, the Dodgers are thought to be unlikely trade partners for the Angels.
If trading prospects is the name of the game, here are what some non-Dodgers playoff-contending teams with top-10 farm systems have available as far as top prospects, if they wanted to mull a trade for Ohtani.
(All rankings from MLB.com, teams listed by farm system ranking.)