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Shohei Ohtani has continued his dominant campaign in the first week of games following the All-Star break. Much like his play, I haven’t changed my stance on Ohanti’s future with the Los Angeles Angels. 

But I don’t think the Halos will follow my advice. 

Shortly after the second half of the season commenced over the weekend, the Angels apparently went into “listening mode” on trade offers surrounding their two-way superstar, MLB Network reported. 

There was a major guideline put into place, though, that makes me skeptical the Angels will even be seriously close to trading him. They’re reportedly seeking at least two top-100 prospects to even get the ground rolling on negotiations surrounding a trade. 

On top of that, the Angels are also completely shutting out a potential top suitor. They won’t listen to any offers from the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to MLB on FOX insider Ken Rosenthal. 

Ken Rosenthal provides an update on Shohei Ohtani trade rumors

Ken Rosenthal provides an update on Shohei Ohtani trade rumors

That’s why I think Ohtani will still be an Angel at 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 1 — the time of the trade deadline. And that has me extremely concerned.

Anyone who has read any of my Ohtani columns or listened to “Flippin’ Bats” over the last two weeks would know I’m clamoring to the point of begging the Angels to move Ohtani. While I came out with my take when the Angels were in the midst of their 1-9 stretch, what really made me think it’s time for them to deal Ohtani was Mike Trout’s broken hamate injury, which will force him to miss up to two months.

I know the Angels are still in the mix for a playoff spot. Entering Wednesday, they’re 48-48 and 4.5 games back of the final wild-card spot in the American League. But without Trout, I just don’t think they can keep up with the rest of the American League and the glut of eight teams that have a reasonable chance for the three wild-card spots. 

Yet, as they only have an 11.8 percent chance to make the postseason per FanGraphs, the Angels seem to be clinging onto whatever hope possible and will need Ohtani to be ripped from them in order to move him. It sounds like any trade is going to require an extreme offer; one they just can’t refuse.

I don’t think that’s a smart approach.

Could Shohei Ohtani land with Dodgers next season?

Could Shohei Ohtani land with Dodgers next season?

Colin Cowherd explains why he believes Shohei Ohtani will suit up for the Los Angeles Dodgers, not the New York Yankees, next season

The Angels have to get something for Ohtani in the next couple of weeks. As you all know by now, he’s a free agent at season’s end. I recently shared which five teams I think are the most likely suitors for him, and none of them were the Angels. In fact, the No. 1 team on my list can offer the same location the Angels can, but with a better team and possibly more money. 

The Angels are losing leverage. Now, they are stuck with two options: take what you get from another team or lose him in free agency, receiving nothing but a compensation pick in next year’s draft. Not great options, but it is what it is.

Even if Angels owner Arte Moreno doesn’t want to be the one who traded arguably the greatest player of all time in his prime, it appears some people in the Angels front office know it’d be bad business to lose Ohtani for nothing as they’re now listening to offers. 

Angels fans need to come around to the idea of trading him, too. From my interactions with them, it sounds like they slowly are coming to that realization. For those who haven’t yet, though, here’s the best way to explain it: you can trade Ohtani now and get players who’ll be good for your team for a long time to come. No prospect is guaranteed to succeed in the majors, but any package worthy of Ohtani will feature multiple players who should help you in the immediate future and for the next decade.

You can either go down that path or a much sadder one, where you’d enjoy three months more of Ohtani — and that’s it, you’re done. You’d have nothing to show for it come Opening Day next spring. At best, you might get another Shohei Ohtani pillow from a giveaway in September to help you sleep through the offseason. 

You’ve got to trade him. I just don’t think they will.  

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