Shohei Ohtani rumors: Orioles inquire with Angels about Ohtani's availability

The Shohei Ohtani trade saga has taken another turn
Jul 23, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) runs toward first base after hitting a baseball
Jul 23, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) runs toward first base after hitting a baseball / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline approaching, the trade saga of Shohei Ohtani is getting more and more fascinating. With the Baltimore Orioles having previously been linked to Ohtani as recent as last week, another report connecting the Orioles to Ohtani has surfaced.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi, who previously connected the Orioles to Ohtani, reported on Monday night that the Orioles have checked in with the Los Angeles Angels about his trade availability. In the same tweet, he mentioned that the Arizona Diamondbacks have also checked in with the Angels.

Baltimore Orioles have checked in on Shohei Ohtani's trade availability

With the best farm system in baseball and holding a surplus of position player depth, there is no doubt that the Orioles have the talent base to pull off a trade. They have the top prospects the Angels could be asking for as well as major league talent that could become expendable.

However, the Orioles probably aren't willing to meet the Angels asking price, because again, the issue of giving up a haul and a half to get a player like Ohtani, while generational, for a rental becomes an iffy proposition. He might just leave in free agency and you gave all that up for two months of a player.

Additionally, entering play on Tuesday, the Angels have gone back over .500 at 51-49, are still in play for a wild card spot at four games back, and have won six of 10 games, including a sweep of the New York Yankees. The Angels haven't decided whether or not they're going to buy or sell according to Morosi, and you can only assume that they're going to try everything in their power to make a playoff push in what could be the last year of Ohtani in Anaheim.

That all points to them keeping Ohtani and buying at the deadline, which would make all of this moot. With Morosi also describing the talks as "due diligence" it still seems rather unlikely Ohtani gets traded at all, much less to the Orioles in particular.

Just for fun, let's look at the stats Ohtani is putting up this year and see exactly what the Orioles would be getting should they actually acquire him.

For starters, he has a .302/.398/.674 slash line, posting a ridiculous 1.072 OPS and 186 OPS+ at the plate. He leads the league in home runs with 36 and triples with seven, and he has 77 RBIs and 11 stolen bases to go with 16 doubles in 440 plate appearances in 98 games.

On the mound, he's already logged 111 2/3 innings in 19 starts, notching a 3.71 ERA, 4.29 FIP, and 1.119 WHIP, with 11.9 strikeouts per nine and 3.8 walks per nine, also leading the league with 6.3 hits per nine.

Again, it's unlikely the Orioles actually pull off a trade for Shohei Ohtani. But the fact that they are connected to him at all seems crazy enough, and it is still possible up until the trade deadline of August 1 at 6:00 PM Eastern Time.