LOS ANGELES - Where is Shohei Ohtani going? All eyes remain on Ohtani, as the Los Angeles Angels star is not only in the middle of a historic season both at the plate and on the mound, but he is also at the center of most baseball fans' trade and free agency dreams as 2023 marks the final year of his current contract.
So where do the Los Angeles Dodgers stand on the Ohtani trade deadline sweepstakes? According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, Ohtani is not getting traded to the Halos' crosstown rival.
In an interview with Bleacher Report, Heyman said Angels owner Arte Moreno is not planning to ship his best hitter (and pitcher) up the 5 Freeway to the Boys in Blue.
Heyman, who has made a name for himself in the MLB circles as a longtime baseball columnist and insider, became a meme on social media prior to the 2023 MLB season after he broke a story on his professional Twitter account that "Arson Judge" was heading to the San Francisco Giants. Contrary to Heyman's report, Aaron Judge ended up staying with the New York Yankees.
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Heyman, in his prediction Monday, gave Ohtani a 25% chance the Halos would trade him by the trade deadline. The Ohtani trade rumor began surfacing online after the Angels skidded to the All-Star break with a 45-46 record, going well against Ohtani's wishes of playing for a winning team.
After the Angels finished the 2022 season with a disappointing 73-89 record, Ohtani was quoted by the Associated Press in an interview last winter that he had a "negative impression" on the season he had with the Halos, despite finishing 2nd in AL MVP votes.
"We were not able to play as many good games as we would like, including 14 consecutive losses," Ohtani said in the Oct. 2022 interview with AP.
Fast-forward to the 2023 MLB All-Star Game, fans from other teams have started jumping in on the Ohtani recruiting trail. With the Midsummer Classic taking place at T-Mobile Park, where AL-West rivals Mariners play, fans began serenading Ohtani with a "Come to Seattle" chant the two times he went up to bat for the American League.
And yes, Ohtani himself heard the chants.
"Never experienced anything like that," Ohtani said through translator Ippei Mizuhara.
Earlier in the season, MLB insider and ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that the Boys in Blue are named among top contenders for the 2023 World Baseball Classic MVP. Passan also mentioned the New York Mets, Yankees, Giants and the Mariners pushing to sign Ohtani in the following offseason.