‘Crazy decision’ to sign 5 MVPs and LAD Troutani at the same time if realized… “Prospects can also be given up”

How many reigning MVPs can you name? The Major League Baseball (MLB) Los Angeles Dodgers are in the market for both Shohei Ohtani, 29, and Mike Trout, 32, key resources for their local rivals, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

“The Dodgers are going to be aggressive in trying to get the Idoru star Ohtani as a free agent and trying to get Trout via trade,” Major League Baseball source Hector Gomez, a reporter for Dominican Republic outlet Deportivo Z 101, said on Monday (Aug. 18).

Ohtani is already the hottest player in the Stovrig League this year. In 135 games this season as a hitter, Ohtani batted .304 with 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, 102 runs scored, 20 doubles, a .412 slugging percentage, a .654 on-base percentage and a 1.066 OPS, and as a pitcher, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 games and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings. His Wins Above Replacement (WAR) ranked first in the majors according to both FanGraphs (9.0) and Baseball-Reference (10.0). This was despite a season that ended prematurely with a torn medial collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. As a result, Ohtani received first-place votes from all 30 voters in this year’s American League (AL) MVP voting, becoming the 20th unanimous MVP in major league history.

What’s especially positive is that his two-way game is becoming more complete with each passing year. At the plate, he’s consistently been a threat with the long ball, and this year he broke the triple digits and OPS 1 mark for the first time since his big league debut. On the mound, after struggling with injuries and poor performances in his first three years (2018-2020), he posted 15 wins and a 2.33 ERA last year. This year, injuries again prevented him from reaching the postseason, but he still managed to reach the 10-win plateau. A team that acquires Ohtani could get 15 wins and a 40-homer hitter at the same time. Despite the fact that he won’t be able to take the mound next season due to surgery, he remains at the top of several free agent rankings.

Unsurprisingly, many teams are in the mix for Ohtani, with the Dodgers reportedly leading the pack. According to MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, 10 of the 14 top decision-makers from each club who gathered for a general managers’ meeting recently thought Ohtani was headed to the Dodgers. One executive with a National League club said, “The Dodgers got the guy they’ve always wanted when they got hooked on a guy and made a move for him. The Dodgers were already a favorite to land Ohtani, as they were a finalist for his first trip to the United States in late 2017.

However, the name of the prospect is a bit of a surprise. He’s signed a massive 12-year, $426.5 million contract with the Angels starting in 2019 and still has seven years left on his deal. Add to that the fact that he’s still an iconic player for the team, and it’s surprising that there’s trade talk.

Trout is a major league star beyond the Angels. He debuted in the big leagues in 2011 and burst onto the scene the following year, winning the American League Rookie of the Year award after hitting .326 with 30 home runs, 83 RBI, 129 runs scored, 49 doubles, and an OPS of .963 in 139 games. Since then, Trout has racked up numerous honors, including three MVPs (2014, 2016, 2019), 11 All-Star appearances, and nine Silver Slugger awards. In 1489 games with the Angels through this season, he’s batted .301 with 368 home runs, 940 RBI, 1106 runs scored, 1624 hits, 206 doubles, a 0.412 slugging percentage, a 0.582 on-base percentage, and a 0.994 OPS. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime performance for an average player.

The catch is that injuries are becoming more frequent. After playing more than 150 games every year for four years starting in 2013, Trout hasn’t played more than 145 games since a finger injury limited him to 114 in 2017. In 2021, a calf injury limited him to just 36 games. This year, he battled back from a broken wrist mid-swing to play in 82 games, hitting .263 with 18 home runs, 44 RBIs, and an OPS of .858.

Although he had a down year in 2023, it’s encouraging to note that he’s always been one of the league’s best hitters in his previous outings. He’s also still in his early 30s, so there’s plenty of time for a rebound. In addition, USA Today recently reported that the Angels will attempt to trade Trout in the upcoming offseason.

“I haven’t thought about a trade yet,” Trout told the Orange County Register, a local Los Angeles newspaper, “but it’s definitely something that will be talked about in the winter. We’ll see where it goes and what the plan is,” he said.

The Dodgers could also make a bold move to acquire a free agent. “The Dodgers could be willing to give up top prospects to get a prospect,” Gomez said. Currently, the Dodgers have five players ranked in MLB Pipeline’s top 100 overall prospects, including catcher Dalton Rushing (No. 43) and infielder Michael Bush (No. 44). The idea is that by giving up these players, the Dodgers can still acquire top prospects.

If the Dodgers make this move, they could have as many as five MVPs on one team. The Dodgers currently have 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts (31) and 2020 National League MVP Freddie Freeman (34). Add to that the re-signing of 2014 National League MVP Clayton Kershaw (35), and you’ve got a team with too many MVPs for one team. 캡틴토토

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