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Reasons for, against the D-backs entering the race Shohei Ohtani

The Arizona Diamondbacks asked about Los Angeles Angels superstar, starting pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Monday.

Morosi mentioned that both the D-backs and the Baltimore Orioles did due diligence on the Angels star and as teams with an influx of young talent.

Ohtani is the best player potentially available at an MLB trade deadline in league history. The problem for clubs hoping to trade a large amount of farm capital for Ohtani is that he hits free agency after the season ends. He could command the biggest contract in MLB history because of his two-way ability.

He’s slashing .285/.398/.674 with 36 home runs (MLB lead) and 77 RBI, to go along with a 3.71 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 148 strikeouts in 111.2 innings pitched this year on the mound. He is currently -1,000 to win the AL MVP, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Before fans around the Valley get excited that the best player in MLB, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports said Arizona will not trade for the two-way player.

“I’ve shot him before and I’ll shoot him again. The Diamondbacks are not trading for Shohei Ohtani. Gambadoro said. “What I’m hearing is that they would be surprised if (owner) Arte Moreno traded him.”

In the spirit of trade rumor season, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Arizona executing a big trade for Ohtani:

The upside of the Ohtani-Diamondbacks trade

It’s plain and simple that Ohtani is one of the best players to ever step onto a baseball field. Adding him to the Diamondbacks would not only give them three No. 1-caliber starting pitchers. 1, but would also inject another MVP candidate into the lineup next to Corbin Carroll.

Additionally, the D-backs have been linked to targeting starting pitching and a power bat as the Aug. 1 deadline approaches. Ohtani would kill two birds with one stone and potentially give the D-backs an edge over the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the division.

According to MLB Pipeline, Arizona had the No. 1 ranked farm system. 3 entering the 2023 preseason. Despite this roster including Carroll, Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson who are no longer viable, the team has a wealth of young talent.

Outside of the Orioles, there may not be a better team than Arizona to trade a rental player for a high-quality package built mostly from prospects. This would give the D-backs a chance to briefly land one of the top players without paying full price.

Depending on who the Angels would look to, the D-backs have a lot of top-tier prospects who all play similar positions in both the outfield and center field. In the outfield, the organization has Carroll, Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Kyle Lewis, Pavin Smith, Dominic Fletcher, Dominic Canzone, Kristian Robinson and Jorge Barrosa all on the 40-man roster with Druw Jones (No. 2) and AJ Vukovich1h

In short ball, the team has opportunity no. 1 Jordan Lawlar, MLB starter Geraldo Perdomo and prospect No. 8 Blaze Alexander.

ANTI

For starters, there’s no guarantee the Angels will get rid of their superstar when they’re in a playoff race. They were four games back of a wild-card spot as of Monday.

That, coupled with Ohtani being unlike any player in MLB history and the number of teams that would be interested, makes it hard to imagine what the trade package looks like.

The 2021 deadline included trading an ace and a top-order bat.

The Washington Nationals dealt Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers for catcher Keibert Ruiz (No. 41 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline), right-hander Josiah Gray (No. 42), right-hander Gerardo Carrillo (Dodgers’ No. 17 prospect) and outfielder Caseyan Donov.

That’s still not a perfect comparison, as Ohtani gives a team both with a roster spot with the power to potentially hit 60 homers this year.

The bidding war would be extreme and cost the Diamondbacks depth and firepower to build around Carroll and Co. beyond this season.

If the Ohtani package mirrors the Nationals-Dodgers deal at all, would the D-backs be willing to part with at least two of their top three prospects, additional farm talent and possibly MLB players for less than three months guaranteed by Ohtani?

D-backs GM Mike Hazen has said he wants to be aggressive, but not reckless, and the organization must determine which bucket an Ohtani deal falls into.

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