What if the Phillies did miraculously land Angels’ star Shohei Ohtani?

Phillies trade target Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, July 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The Phillies, like every other team in the league, would do many things to have a guy like Shohei Ohtani on their team.

However, late last night, the Los Angeles Angels made a statement.

Reports circulated that the team would not be trading Shohei Ohtani and instead that the Angels would make a push for the playoffs.

The team followed it up by acquiring Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the Chicago White Sox, in return for their second and third-best prospects.

While the chances of the Phillies trading for Ohtani were slim, it could be a fun proposition to think about.

MLB Shoehi ohtani Phillies trade target
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani runs to first as he flies out during the sixth inning of a preseason baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

What would Ohtani cost the Phillies?

Trading for Shohei would have come at a premium, despite his contract expiring at the end of the season.

If the Angels had to give two of their top three prospects for Giolito and Lopez, imagine what the return on Ohtani could have been.

The Phillies would have had to deal with one of their top pitching prospects to get Shohei. With Andrew Painter out with Tommy John surgery, Mick Abel would have been the likely ask.

Abel is a top 100 prospect and the 2nd prospect in the Phillies farm system.

Chances are outfielder Justin Crawford would have been on the move as well, as he is currently the top position prospect that the Phillies have in their system.

However, the biggest part of the deal would have been a major league bat. A young everyday player would have been sent in return for Ohtani; the chances are, it would have been Bryson Stott.

Stott has shown incredible development in his sophomore season and certainly, a player the Angels would have asked for. He fits their need for a big-league bat and likely would have been a part of the trade.

You could then speculate if another starting pitcher would have gone back to the Angels, but I doubt the Phillies would have traded their starting second basemen, two top prospects, and a big league-ready arm in that deal. Since we know it won’t happen, we don’t have to fret over the specifics.

Phillies trade target Shohei Ohtani
Japan’s Shohei Ohtani celebrates after a double during the ninth inning of a World Baseball Classic game against Mexico, Monday, March 20, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Impact

There’s no doubt that the Phillies would be World Series favorites if Shohei Ohtani joined the club.

The reigning NL Champs adding the best player in baseball; who can hit and pitch? I would have locked in my bet the instance the news broke.

Shohei Ohtani would have been the #1 arm in the starting rotation, and likely hit second in the Phillies lineup.

  1. Kyle Schwarber LF
  2. Shohei Ohtani DH
  3. Nick Castellanos RF
  4. Bryce Harper 1B
  5. Trea Turner SS
  6. JT Realmuto C
  7. Brandon Marsh CF
  8. Alec Bohm 3B
  9. Edmundo Sosa 2B

The above could have been a potential lineup with the AL MVP favorite included. This 1-8 would be absolutely dangerous, especially if Trea Turner returned to form.

Edmundo Sosa would have to play second in this scenario, with Stott being dealt to LA.

This team would be able to give the Atlanta Braves a run for their money in the National League. While the division race is over, it would bring these two teams closer together.

While, unfortunately, the Angels won’t be dealing Shohei here to Philly, there is a chance they sign him this Free Agency. It could be a pipe dream, but I expect the Phillies to be in the mix when it comes to the Ohtani Sweepstakes this winter.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ashley Landis