With just over a week until Major League Baseball's Aug. 1 trade deadline, the big question remains whether or not the Los Angeles Angels will move two-way star and impending free agent Shohei Ohtani. A decision is unlikely to be made until closer to the deadline. For now, anyway, the Angels may be leaning toward "no" based on an active four-game winning streak that has them within four games of the American League's final wild card spot.
Ohtani, for his part, told reporters on Friday that he's doing his best to tune out the trade speculation. Instead, he's focused on making a playoff push. Ohtani also told ESPN's Alden Gonzalez that he hasn't talked with Angels general manager Perry Minasian about his future with the team -- either as it pertains to the deadline or the future.
"I've never really had any talks like that," Ohtani said about the Angels' deadline plans. "I see Perry maybe once a week in the clubhouse, and we've never really had any conversations."
Ohtani added that he's "never really had a sit-down talk like that" when asked if he's talked with the team about his plans beyond the 2023 season.
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Perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise. Players seldom want to discuss contractual matters in-season, and some defer entirely on those matters to their agents -- lest they find themselves worrying too much about comma placement to the detriment of their performance.
Ohtani, 29, entered Saturday hitting .305/.400/.676 (188 OPS+) with 35 home runs and 76 RBI as a batter. He's posted a 3.71 ERA (120 ERA+) and a 3.15 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 19 starts as a pitcher. His total contributions have been worth an estimated 6.8 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference's calculations.