The Blue Jays should do everything in their power to acquire Shohei Ohtani

Brennan Delaney
1 year ago
You read the title correctly, the Blue Jays should do everything in their power to acquire Shohei Ohtani.
With Ohtani, you are essentially getting two players. He’ll help you with putting up offensive numbers, but is also a damn good pitcher. However, we’ll start with where this rumour/speculation came from.

Where the rumour began:

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Angels have a tough decision with the 27-year-old megastar. It’s noted that the better version of Babe Ruth wants to play for a winner.
Not just that, but it looks like Ohtani will want a record-breaking annual average when he hits free agency in 2024. Max Scherzer currently has the highest AAV of $43.3, so Rosenthal speculates Ohtani’s contract could end up being over $45 million a year. 
Mike Trout is making $35,450,000 until the end of the 2030 season while Anthony Rendon is making $38,000,000 million for the next four seasons starting next season. Adding another high AAV contract when the team will likely fail to miss the playoffs could be disastrous for the owner as he’ll be paying $120 million for three players.
In my opinion, the Rendon contract is very questionable, as he’s had a sharp decline since leaving the Washington Nationals in 2019. This isn’t the first bad deal given out by the owner, as they overpaid heavily for Josh Hamilton, Albert Puljuos and Justin Upton, the last two they are still paying.
Rosenthal notes that these contracts may cause hesitancy when it comes time to sign Ohtani. He’s shown problems in the past, as he missed basically all of 2019 and 2020 due to injury. Even this season, he hasn’t quite put up the numbers he did last season.
Furthermore, according to MLB Pipeline, the Angels have one of the worst farm systems in the MLB, with only one Top 100 player in the preseason ranking.  Due to Trout and Rendon’s no trade clause, it’s impossible to free up that money to sign the 2021 MVP winner.
Rosenthal notes that trading Ohtani before he hits the open market could be a way to bolster that deficiency, even if it’s self made. An example of shooting themselves in the foot is when they signed Noah Syndegaard to a one year deal after he was given a qualifying offer by the Mets.
Prior to this season, Syndergaard had only pitched 2 innings since 2019, meaning they forfeited their second round praying that he’d stay healthy. This is not good asset management.

Ohtani’s statistics:

Shohei Ohtani is the most unique player to ever exist.
Looking at just his batting stats this season, he’s slashing .260/.336/.481 with 13 homers and a wRC+ of 131. His MVP season was even better, as he slashed .257/.372/.592 with 46 homers and a wRC+ of 152. Even more impressive was his BB% of 15%, something which has dropped to 9.2% in 2022.
The Jays would be receiving one of the best, if not the best power hitting lefties, something they already desperately need.
Then comes his pitching, which he also excels at. This season, he has an ERA of 3.64 and a FIP of 3.21 (xFIP of 2.82) in 54.1 innings pitched. His K/9 sits at a career high 11.76 while his BB% is a career low 2.15. Not quite ace numbers, but certainly a fantastic #2 pitcher (or in the Jays’ case, #3 pitcher).
Last season, he posted an ERA of 3.18 and a FIP of 3.52 in 130.1 innings pitched. His K/9 in 2021 only sat at 10.77 while his BB/9 sat at 3.04, so realistically, he’s improved quite a lot on the mound.

Why the Jays should trade for Ohtani:

If the Jays were to trade for Ohtani, it would be like trading for two different needs, they’d be getting a borderline ace, as well as one of the best left handed batters in the game. This is the type of player you unload your farm system for.
If the Angels continue to suck, they’d be able to get the biggest haul at this season’s trade deadline. This would give the team acquiring Ohtani about a year and a half of team control before he hits free agency. 
However, I believe that if he’s going to be traded, it would be during the off-season. Either way, I think it’s something the Jays have to consider doing. Ohtani is a once in a lifetime type of talent, and he’d propel the Jays to the next level for at least the two seasons he’d be here.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. Get ‘er done Blue Jays.



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